Chuck Smith

The press release came in after we’d already stepped out the door for Black Tie Dinner on Saturday, but Equality Texas has named Chuck Smith as its new executive director.

Smith has served as interim executive director since August, when former ED Dennis Coleman resigned. Prior to that, Smith served as deputy executive director since 2005.

“It is always gratifying to look nationally and then select one of your homegrown to lead an organization,” said Anne Wynne, chair of the Equality Texas board of directors. “Chuck’s knowledge and experience will allow Equality Texas to start in high gear for the 2013 legislative session. No one is more passionate about working for LGBT equality in our state than Chuck Smith.”

Smith said in the release that Texas is on the cusp of change when it comes to public policies affecting LGBT residents.

“Public opinion continues to move in our direction,” Smith said. “We must work to ensure that public policy also moves in our direction. I look forward to working with and expanding our boards of directors to create the organizational capacity necessary for a statewide advocacy organization in today’s Texas of 25 million residents. Likewise, I am ready to take on the challenges of increasing our membership, as well as our political & electoral power, in order to enact real policy change. It will not be easy, but together we will make equality a reality in Texas.”

Smith’s appointment takes effect immediately, and he now has all of two months to prepare for the session. Good luck, Chuck.