Human Rights Campaign Settles Lawsuit Brought by Its Former President

WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest L.G.B.T.Q. advocacy group, has settled a lawsuit brought by the group’s first Black president, Alphonso David, who accused the group of racial discrimination and said it had fired him because of his race.

Mr. David was ousted by the group’s board in 2021 after a report by the New York State attorney general revealed that he had advised the office of Andrew M. Cuomo, then the governor, on how to handle sexual harassment allegations. Mr. Cuomo eventually resigned over the findings in the report, which included documentation of 11 allegations of harassment and of a toxic work environment.

In a joint statement on Wednesday, the Human Rights Campaign and Mr. David said that they had chosen to “amicably resolve” the lawsuit out of court and that the terms of the settlement were confidential.

“Mr. David and H.R.C. agree it is in their mutual best interests, and the interests of the communities that they serve, to put this matter behind them,” the statement said.

Mr. David, who had been a lawyer for the governor, shared a memo containing confidential information about one of Mr. Cuomo’s accusers with a member of Mr. Cuomo’s communications staff, according to the report. Mr. David was no longer working for Mr. Cuomo at the time. He has said he had an obligation as a lawyer to share the information, but the revelations were met with outrage among some at the Human Rights Campaign.

In a lawsuit filed last spring in the Eastern District of New York, Mr. David described a “toxic workplace” at the Human Rights Campaign, where “nonwhite staffers were marginalized, tokenized and denied advancement to high-level positions” before his own ascent, and said that he had been underpaid compared with his white predecessor.

The Human Rights Campaign denied those claims in documents filed before a federal judge, saying that Mr. David had manufactured allegations of racial bias “rather than take responsibility for his behavior that did not live up to H.R.C.’s values and mission.” The group sharply criticized his role in assisting Mr. Cuomo to “discredit, silence, and/or intimidate” his accusers, and maintained that the decision to terminate Mr. David had nothing to do with race.

The Human Rights Campaign announced last fall that Kelley Robinson would become its next president, the first Black woman to hold the post. Mr. David is now the president and C.E.O. of the Global Black Economic Forum, a platform that says it is committed to improving diversity, equity and inclusion in corporate America.