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The executive director of the state's largest advocacy group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered rights has decided to step down after less than six months on the job.

Roland Palencia, selected in May to replace longtime Equality California leader Geoff Kors, announced last night that he will leave his post on Friday. He said in a statement released by the group that he "will continue to be an avid and involved supporter of EQCA and its work for equality."

"Over the next year, the movement in California faces a unique set of challenges that demands leadership uniquely positioned to take those challenges head-on, strengthen the organization and bring together the diverse parts of our movement into a powerful force for change," he said in a prepared statement.

EQCA Board Chair Cathy Schwamberger thanked Palencia for his "important work to build diverse and inclusive coalitions and engage and reconnect our movement."

"That work has helped to position our movement to fight back against attacks on the LGBT community and protect advances in equality -- the effects of which will impact our movement for years to come," she said in a statement.

The EQCA Board of Directors plans to release a transition plan for selecting a new leader by the end of the week. EQCA spokeswoman Rebekah Orr declined to comment further on the announcement, saying Palencia's "decision to resign was a personal one for him."



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