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Alphonso David, who for the past four years held a key post at the pinnacle of New York politics as counsel to Governor Andrew Cuomo, has been named the new president of the Human Rights Campaign, the group announced on June 25.
In its press release, HRC, the nation’s leading LGBTQ lobbying group , noted that David, a 48-year-old African-American gay man, will be the first person of color and first civil rights attorney to lead the organization in its four-decade history.
A graduate of Philadelphia’s Temple University Law School, David went on to clerk for US District Judge Clifford Scott Green there.
He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland.
But in this moment I see a tremendous opportunity to overcome these attacks.” In a written statement, he added, “I believe that together, we can harness the strength that’s inherent in our differences, to stand together in the face of fear and division….
If we want to win full equality, that’s going to require us to come together, to dig deep, to be resilient, to embrace our differences, to tenaciously defend the most vulnerable among us, to fight with every ounce of determination we have.” In his state government work since 2007, David has made significant contributions in the battle for LGBTQ rights and civil rights generally.
Her longtime boyfriend, whom she’d met when both were undergraduates at Brown, had dropped dead of a heart attack during a snowball fight on the Washington Mall.
In his first year as Cuomo’s counsel, David oversaw the implementation of new executive regulations within the State Division of Human Rights to interpret the term “sex” within New York human rights law to include “gender expression and identity.” That action came 13 years after New York adopted a gay rights law that included no protections for transgender people.
In harrowing terms, he described a military coup that had his uncle assassinated, his home overrun by armed rebels, and his father imprisoned.
When he was 14, his father led the family in escaping Liberia for Baltimore, where, David said, he was “the other,” an immigrant from Africa who in time figured out he was gay, which led, for a time, to a profound estrangement from his family.
David won praise from other quarters with HRC’s announcement.
Out gay Manhattan State Senator Brad Hoylman tweeted, “Huge congratulations to Alphonso, who has been a steadfast ally with @NYGov Cuomo in the fight to protect LGBTQ New Yorkers—and now people across the country.” When David was named Cuomo’s counsel four years ago, Susan Sommer, a former Lambda colleague who then ran that group’s constitutional litigation efforts, described him as “an outstanding LGBT civil rights lawyer at Lambda Legal” and “a staunch advocate for civil rights in this state.”By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms: You agree that you, and not Gay City or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post.