Stevenson served his last day of New Jersey’s statewide equality organization on Jan. 26, which coincided with GSE’s 10-year anniversary celebration. He will move on to take over as executive director of The Equality Network in his home state of Oklahoma, where a federal judge recently ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.
Prior to taking over GSE, Stevenson worked for four years as the agency’s managing director. He said in a statement that he has been honored to work for LGBT rights in New Jersey.
“All of you made me grow to love my adopted home almost as much as my home state. The GSE family and the community that has been created over the last decade cannot be compared to any other organization of its kind,” he said. “That sense of community is what gives me faith that GSE will continue to grow, continue to thrive and continue to make history.”
GSE managing director John Mikytuck will serve as interim executive director while the board conducts a nationwide search for its next leader.
“John has my utmost confidence,” Stevenson said. “He has over 20 years of nonprofit experience, including working in LGBT- and HIV/AIDS-advocacy arenas.”
Last year was a momentous one for LGBT rights in the Garden State, with the state legalizing marriage equality and banning conversion therapy for minors.
Stevenson credited the members of GSE with being a large part of the agency’s, and the state’s, LGBT-rights victories.
“Garden State Equality and all of our accomplishments are a testament to you, our members. It is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to all of you and look forward to watching your accomplishments in the future,” he said. “A part of my heart will always be in New Jersey.”