The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) on Thursday announced that its executive director, Kate Kendell, will step down from her post after 22 years.

“My time at NCLR has widened my vistas and laid open my heart. I am honored to have held this position and privileged to have experienced the countless moments of joy and awe that have forever changed our lives as LGBTQ individuals,” Kendell said in a statement. “I’ve been at the center of enormous NCLR victories, four at the U.S. Supreme Court, including the freedom to marry, a fight that seemed impossible to many when I became executive director 22 years ago. I feel enormous gratitude to have been a part of the NCLR legacy and part of the history of the fight – still on-going – for justice for all LGBTQ people.”

NCLR played a pivotal role in advancing same-sex marriage. In 2008, NCLR won the California marriage equality case. The law group was also involved in Obergefell, which resulted in nationwide marriage equality. NCLR was first to file a federal lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump's proposed ban on transgender people serving in the military.

Under Kendell's tenure, NCLR's budget has grown from $500,000 to more than $5 million.

Kendell said that NCLR “has never been more important” because the Trump administration is “committed to rolling back our rights, jeopardizing the lives of LGBTQ immigrants, failing to protect our youth, and committed to denying critical access to health care.”

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, praised Kendell.

“Kate Kendall is one of the most fearless and tireless advocates the LGBTQ equality movement has ever known,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Under Kate’s leadership, the National Center for Lesbian Rights has reached new heights, working to secure national marriage equality and defend the rights of LGBTQ people before the U.S. Supreme Court. Kate’s profound work is woven into the fabric of our movement and millions of Americans have felt the impact of her unwavering leadership. I am proud to call Kate a friend, colleague, and a true champion for equality.”