Jarrett Barrios on Saturday announced he's stepping down from the helm of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) after less than two years, the Miami Herald reported.

Barrios is leaving after weeks of criticism over a letter sent to the FCC in support of AT&T's proposed merger with TMobile. Critics noted that AT&T has donated heavily to the group and GLAAD has no clear interest in the telecom industry.

GLAAD also sent a second letter opposing the FCC's proposed rules on net neutrality, but later withdrew the letter and claimed it was sent erroneously.

POLITICO.com on Friday reported that a GLAAD panel voted in favor of removing Barrios, but he refused to leave. The post noted that Barrios would likely take up the issue with the full board of directors.

Barrios was the first Latino to head the gay rights group and the youngest. In 2009, he stepped down as president of the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Foundation of Massachusetts, the job he took after leaving the Massachusetts state Senate, to replace Neil G. Giuliano, who had held the position since 2005.