The Board of Film Independent, the not for profit organization that produces both the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Spirit Awards, named its new director on Thursday. Rebecca Yeldham, who, along with Sean McManus, served as interim co-director, has been selected to fill the vacancy left after Richard Raddon was pushed out by the revelation that he had given $1500 to the Yes-on-8 campaign, the constitutional amendment ratified by voters in November that yanked back the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry in California.

Raddon became a casualty of the post-election Proposition 8 Hollywood war of retribution on November 25 when the board reluctantly accepted his resignation. His first attempt was met with an unanimous rejection by the board, but the controversy refused to die down. Resentment simmered as people inside and outside of Hollywood pointed to the group's explicit mission to promote diversity in a industry that employs a large number of openly gay and lesbian people.

“Is it OK to let this go?” distributor Howard Cohen, an advisor to the film festival who is gay, told the Los Angeles Times after the board rejected Raddon's first resignation attempt. “There are a lot of gay people who work at Film Independent. The issue has not been closed.”

Director Gregg Araki, long considered a favorite among gay cult film fans for such gems as Mysterious Skin, agreed Raddon should walk away.

“I don't think he should be forcibly removed,” he said. “The bottom line is if he contributed money to a hateful campaign against black people, or against Jewish people, or any other minority group, there would be much less excusing him. The terrible irony is that he runs a film festival that is intended to promote tolerance and equality.”

Gay activists so far have been denied an explanation about what motivated Raddon.

“As many know, I consider myself a devout and faithful Mormon. I prefer to keep the details around my contribution through my church a private matter,” Raddon said in a statement announcing his departure. “But I am profoundly sorry for the negative attention that my actions have drawn to Film Independent and for the hurt and pain that is being experienced in the GLBT [gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender] community.”

Yeldham's tenure begins immediately.