The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) on Thursday announced John Eastman will replace co-founder Maggie Gallagher as the group's board chair.

Eastman is a professor and former dean at Chapman Law School in Southern California. Gallagher will remain on the group's board.

“John Eastman is one of America's foremost constitutional scholars and has distinguished himself as a fierce advocate for families and religious liberty,” said NOM President Brian Brown. “He will be a great asset to NOM.”

Eastman, who last year unsuccessfully ran for state attorney general in California, asserted that marriage was the bedrock of civilization.

“Marriage has quite correctly been described as a bedrock of civilization. Protecting the institution of marriage is a critically important issue, and I'm honored to join such distinguished company on the board of such a phenomenally effective organization as the National Organization for Marriage.”

Last year, Gallagher relinquished the group's day to day operations to Brown, naming him president of the four-year-old group.

In her forthcoming book Debating Same-Sex Marriage, she'll argue her opposition to gay marriage against Wayne State University Professor John Corvino, a nationally recognized speaker on the issue.