Following a big push to legalize same-sex marriage that fell just short, Maryland’s leading gay-rights group has dismissed its top staffer.

In a statement posted on her Facebook page, Morgan Meneses-Sheets wrote that Friday was her last day as executive director of Equality Maryland and that “it is not my choice to leave.”

In the statement, which was also e-mailed to the group’s volunteers, Meneses-Sheets called her 18 months in the job both “rewarding” and “extremely difficult.”

“In particular the past few months have been tough to bear,” she wrote. ”Not because of the hard work which I welcome and felt honored to be part of, but because of the forces within the organization and external politics that created additional and unnecessary obstacles to our forward movement and success. As I move on, I will not focus on the negative or destructive forces that created this untenable situation, instead I will look back at the many proud moments along the way.”

A report Friday in the Washington Blade said the Equality Maryland board decided in an executive session Sunday to fire Meneses-Sheets.

A bill to legalize same-sex marriage passed the Maryland Senate this year but died unexpectedly in the House of Delegates, which had been the more liberal chamber regarding social policy in recent years.

Equality Maryland also suffered a late-session defeat on another legislative priority this year: a bill to extend anti-discrimination protections to transgender people in the areas of housing, employment and lending. That bill passed the House but died in the Senate.