Having an issue where the start synchronizing menu item in the replication monitor is grayed out for users who have repl_monitor permissions in the distribution database. The weird thing is that it worked for all users for as far back as I can remember and now it just decided to stop working for seemingly random people. I can also create a new user with repl_monitor permission in the distribution database and the menu item does not appear grayed out. Anyone else experience this?
As per books online
repl_monitor role can only do following:
View replication activity, errors, and history using Replication Monitor. A user cannot modify agent profiles, schedules, and so on, unless the user is a member of the sysadmin server role.
Did you try to start synchronizing using tsql which will give the appropriate privilege error?