Tuesday, June 25, 2013


You have probably heard already about the firing of Allyson Robinson from the directorship of OutServe-SLDN.
Allyson Robinson to Continue as OutServe-SLDN Director for 'Near Term'
Allyson Robinson says she will be stepping down as executive director of the LGBT military advocacy group "of her own accord," but will continue to lead "in the near term."
The Advocate
By Sunnivie Brydum
June 24 2013

After nearly a full day of speculation — and of a flurry of resignations — since a leaked email and emergency board meeting indicated that LGBT military advocacy group OutServe-Servicemembers Legal Defense Network asked its executive director, Allyson Robinson, to resign, both Robinson and the organization issued statements Monday afternoon. Those statements don't provide much additional information about how the leak occurred but do confirm that Robinson will continue in her role as executive director through the organization's upcoming leadership transition.
In a lengthy statement also published in OutServe Magazine, OutServe-SLDN claimed the organization is facing financial hardship and requires organizational restructuring, which prompted the issue of Robinson's removal.

"The board would like to clarify that the drafted item was only part of a series of discussions aimed at transitioning the organization in what has been a rapidly changing financial and political landscape facing the LGBT movement, which will soon include a Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act," reads the statement.
Translated… “We got ours, screw the trans servicemembers.” My guess is that the funding is drying up (if that is the real reason for her firing) because “Gay Inc.” is no longer supporting SLDN because of the repeal of DADT. We have seen that in every state that has passed marriage equality legislation. Here in Connecticut one of our strongest supports Love Make a Family closed its door once marriage equality legislation passed because the donations stopped.

Allyson Robinson took the high ground in the statement that was published on OutServe website,
This weekend’s events were most unfortunate and deeply troubling for many of us, but for my part, as from the beginning of my tenure with this organization, I am fully and firmly committed to our LGBT service members, veterans, and their families and to their fight for equality. For that reason, and to honor those who’ve shared those values with me, it is my intent to continue to lead OutServe-SLDN in the near term as we approach an historic moment for our community and our country. After that, at a date to be determined, I have decided of my own accord to step down, and will work with our members to ensure an orderly transition to the next phase of this organization’s life.

Very few people ever get the opportunity in this life to hear from those whose lives they’ve touched just how much they are loved and respected. I have no words to express my gratitude for the hundreds who have reached out to me privately or stood up for me publicly over these last 24 hours to show their support: from the military community, the LGBT community, and most especially, most dear to me, the troops of OutServe-SLDN and their families. For that, I am blessed beyond measure.

In light of the momentous events the coming days hold for us all, I intend to put this matter behind us and look forward to shifting the focus back to where it belongs: our LGBT service members, veterans, and families, who sacrifice so much every day, and their ongoing fight for full equality.

— Allyson Robinson, Executive Director, OutServe-SLDN
According Bilerico the entire senior staff resigned over the firing of Allison Roberson,
The entire senior staff of the organization promptly tendered resignations following the board vote and other additional staffers like Kulsoom Naqvi, staff attorney, and Erica Reardon, communications and development associate, are no longer listed on the website as employees according to Buzzfeed.

At least three board members - Sue Fulton, Beth Schissel, and Marine Corps Capt. Matthew Phelps - tendered their resignations yesterday. In a statement to the Washington Blade this morning, Phelps announced that the board refused to accept his resignation and has asked him instead to participate in resolving the crisis.
We are going to have to wait to see how this affect SLDN position on trans-servicemembers, Ms. Roberson was the only trans-person on their Board.

The article goes on to say,
Schissel refers to "an organization in chaos that has put egos before mission," in her letter and multiple sources are suggesting that Seefried's motivation to seek Robinson's removal had nothing to do with fundraising abilities or anti-trans bias. Instead, they - like Schissel - claim that the actual reason is petty jealousy.
UPDATE 2: Nine OutServe-SLDN chapters have threatened to break away if Seefried does not step down as board co-chair. They say they will form their own organization.

UPDATE 3: Military Advisory Council member Jeremy Johnson resigned from the organization an hour ago citing the treatment of Robinson. A copy of his resignation letter is after the break.

Update 7/4/2013:
American Blog just had this article about SLDN/OutServe,
OutServe-SLDN co-chair steps down
By John Aravosis

Josh Seefried has stepped down as co-chair of OutServe-SLDN, in an effort to help the organization survive what has become a bitter – and I mean literally bitter – fight for survival.
Here’s what we do know.
6. Robinson’s supporters, including three board members and a number of OutServe-SLDN chapter heads, fought back and demanded the resignation of OutServe-SLDN co-chair, Josh Seefried, who is gay.  No explanation for why Seefried is singled out.

9. We discovered a few days ago that OutServe-SLDN is for all intents and purposes now bankrupt.

10. Board co-chair Josh Seefried, in an effort to help the organization survive and move past this dispute, has just resigned.
Stay tune as the saga continues...

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