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Fenty apologizes for honoring leader of 'ex-gay' movement


D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty apologized today over his decision to issue a certificate of appreciation honoring the leader of the "ex-gay" movement, which believes homosexuals can be "rehabilitated."

Fenty's statement comes one day after local and national gay rights leaders demanded to know why Fenty honored Regina Griggs, executive director of the Parents and Friends of ExGays and Gays.
Mafara Hobson, a Fenty spokeswoman, called Griggs' award a "staff level error."

"We apologize for the error as it runs contrary to the mayor's vision of a more open and inclusive city," Hobson said. "The mayor is proud of his ardent support of the LGBT community."

On Wednesday, PFOX sent out a press release heralding the fact that the District and its mayor had honored one of its leaders. According to a copy of the certificate, Fenty sgined his name to a statement thanking Griggs for her "dedication, commitment and outstanding contributions" to the ex-gay movement.

Gay rights leaders, who believe PFOX is a discriminatory organization, were outraged.

"PFOX is notorious as a purveyor of junk science which constitutes an ongoing slander against gay people." Rick Rosendall, vice-president for public affairs for the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington DC wrote to several Fenty staffers Wednesday.

GLAA demanded that Fenty "explain" his decision, issue "a clear statement" rejecting the ex-gay movement, and describe the "steps" he plans to take to undue the "false impression" that the District government supports the ex-gay movement.


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The controversy is another distraction for Fenty in his re-election campaign against Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D). With Fenty and Gray both supportive of gay rights, including the city's new same-sex marriage law, activists say the city's politically influential gay community is up for grabs in the election.

"Given the Mayor's record of support for gay families, it is painful to see him honor someone with the pernicious record of a Regina Griggs," Rosendall said.

On Wednesday night, a national organization that was formed to counter PFOX also sent out a statement blasting Fenty.

"We call on Mayor Fenty to explain how a pusher of anti-gay propaganda and junk science received a certificate of appreciation," said Wayne Besen, executive director of New York-based Truth Wins Out. 'It is outrageous and surreal that one of the most dishonest and divisive organizations in Washington would be honored."

Griggs, who lives in Virginia's Northern Neck, defended her honor. She notes she has been a leader of the local and national ex-gay movement for nearly a decade. Last year, PFOX successfully sued the city to have ex-gays recognized as a protected class under the city's Human Rights Act.

"I obviously didn't nominate myself," Griggs said. "This was brought to the mayor by a D.C. resident and I was given an award."

Griggs also strongly defended her movement, saying scientists have yet to discover a "gay gene." She said gay men and lesbians can be rehabilitated several ways, including therapists, self-help books or by being around other ex-gays.

"We believe people have a right to self-determination," Griggs said.

-- Tim Craig

By Tim Craig  |  April 29, 2010; 9:26 AM ET
Categories:  Mayor Fenty , Tim Craig  | Tags: Ex-gay, Gay Lesbian and Bisexual, Gay community, LGBT, LGBT rights by country or territory  
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Next: Gay rights leaders unsatisfied with Fenty apology

Comments

Oh well. So much for attention to detail.

Posted by: linroy62 | April 29, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

and her name is regina? you sure?
maybe fenty thought someone was pulling his leg and just went along with it.

Posted by: MarilynManson | April 29, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Mistake's can happen, correct it and go on.

Posted by: onesugar | April 29, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

WTF Fenty? I don't take issue with his support of the Ex Gay movement. The voters of Ward 2 have the right to decide if this was justified in any way come the September primary and the November general.

My beef is that Virginia residents are being honored by the DC Mayor. When was the last time the City of Alexandria gave an award to a DC resident? "staff level error"? My foot it was a "staff level error"!

Posted by: nwrepresent1 | April 29, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Adrian Fenty has serviced many, many, many more gays then all of the other DC mayors combined. This must be a clerical error. Perhaps the Mayor was researching how he himself might become an "ex" gay. Considering all the pressure he is under and the blow back from his fraternity "relationships" he might have hoped it possible.

The Mayor should hook up with Wayne Besen. Wayne is much like others "close" to the Mayor like Alex Evans and Clark Ray. They would get on. They could get everyone together for a nice cookie buffet, talk it out, make the mayor a pass, and move on.

Posted by: JackStar | April 29, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

You know the Mayor was just hoping to meet new workout "buddies" at the awards ceremony.

Posted by: JackStar | April 29, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Typical Fenty move..." whoops, must be a clerical mistake...I didn't realize Regina was homophobic(didn't realize all that snow would come last winter, didn't realize the council would catch on that I gave my frat bros lots of $$ thru contracts,etc.)Let's see if the mayor can manage to honor some GLBT citizens from DC!!!

Posted by: lsf07 | April 29, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

OK gay folks are upset because a Fenty staffer and Fenty himself were clueless of the person' nominated.

When will Fenty apologize for the DC kids they are not educating. the streets not plowed, paved, etc.

Posted by: oknow1 | April 29, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Another embarassing moment in DC-

Thanks

Posted by: weaverf | April 29, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

If gays didnt go out of their way to let EVERYONE know they are gay I wouldnt have a problem with them.... just like the goth folks.. all for attention... and if its not then when do you put rainbows and crap all over your selves?

Posted by: rockettonu | April 29, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Seasaw Fenty. Which way did the wind blow today?

Posted by: rmiles5598 | April 29, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

If you are gay and could be turned back to non gay because you don't fully believe you are gay, would you do it? I am sure that for alot of people they would always be gay, but there are people who could go back to being straight. It's not born in everybody, nothing wrong with helping someone find out that he or she is truely NOT gay just like there is nothing wrong with helping someone find out he or she IS GAY.

Posted by: WhatBubble | April 29, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

If straight people didn't go out of their way to let EVERYONE know they are straight I wouldn't have a problem with them....just like goth folks for attention(sorry goth folks just some scarcasm)... and if it's not that why do you put all of these not so 'cute' bumper stickers on your cars and wear those tasteless T-shirts?

Posted by: lsf07 | April 29, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Wow he actually apologized. That has to be the quickest turn-around time in the Fenty administration!

Posted by: thelildiva4u | April 29, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

How many votes is that for Gray?

Posted by: candycane1 | April 29, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

There should be a call for Fenty to rescind the honor. If it was truly an error, it should be pulled back.

Posted by: smithson80 | April 29, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Straight people are not going about demanding rights for straights, having parades to announce their straightness, putting markers on their vehicles, shirts et cetra announcing their straightness and politicizing their straightness to gain attention. Gays have to continue to put their perverse lifestyle in front of the general public all the time in order to tell everyone they must be accepted into society. Many people do not accept their lifestyle but pay no attention to them until they demand special treatment because they are gay. The public is sick and tired of this nonsense. You want to be gay go to it, but do not demand I accept your lifestyle as normal. It is perverse in any sense of the word. Go back into your closets, dry up and disappear.

Posted by: OhBrother67 | April 29, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

So, let me get this straight (no pun intended)...

- Homosexual persons are often among the first to say that they should be allowed to freely express themselves and their orientation equally.
- This back-peddle move by Fenty, and comments following it, suggest that we should now discriminate against those who express their orientation in a way that doesn't make homosexuality an ultimate choice.

Apparently, straight-to-gay is OK, but gay-to-straight is not...and those who might assist someone in thinking through that process should not be recognized as contributing to society? (I know nothing about this organization, only in basic concept)

Who is being discriminatory now?

Posted by: pkrumpe | April 29, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't every life have inherent worth?

Posted by: RepealObamacareNow | April 29, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Judging by the comments to this story there are a whole lot of people in DC who are as ignorant about gay people as Regina Griggs. I'm just glad she's not my mother--can you imagine being raised by such a bigot.

Posted by: dbmcvey | April 29, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

OhBrother Said...

"Straight people are not going about demanding rights for straights, having parades to announce their straightness, putting markers on their vehicles, shirts et cetra announcing their straightness and politicizing their straightness to gain attention."
________________________________

Straight people don't need to go around demanding their rights. You can't be fired from a job for being straight, you can't be kicked out of your apartment for being straight, nobody prevents you from adopting because you are straight, you can marry who you want to because you are straight. However, what I do see from you is that as soon as anybody says you can't be a bigot, you get VERY upset and claim that your rights are being trampled on. You must just be doing that "For attention"

Posted by: cambel1 | April 29, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

What can we say execpt GAY in not the PLAY
Stright has all of Dear God's weight/fate

And 'pkrumpe ' you got it straight in your remarks.

Straight gonna give money to PFOX
Straight gonna keep lovin the women
Straight gonna disapprove of gays
Straight gonna be happy for me

Posted by: foxxmacpryor | April 29, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

After all, even tolerance and inclusiveness have their limits. Can't include people who think they aren't gay, much less praise them for normalizing their lives, now, can we?

Posted by: dennis10 | April 29, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

How the hell did this get past the mayor? Is that even his signature? Jeez, if PFOX can get one of these, how much are they really worth?

Posted by: lmjs63 | April 29, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Inclusive, except for Ex-Gays!

Posted by: 15of18 | April 29, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

BFD! Get back to work everyone.

Posted by: ajlerner1 | April 29, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that is lamest apology and the worst excuse I have ever heard from a public official. That is more than just dropping the ball, that is being on the wrong field with the wrong equipment. A true disappointment and really has me wondering what is going on in the Mayor's office!?

Posted by: MiCoBa | April 29, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Well obviously either fenty doesn't read everything he signs or he is as much a fake in his alleged support for equality as he was running for mayor saying he would protect neighborhoods.

Not to mention the $100 billion illegal contract to his two frat bros.

I asked the woman holding the fenty sign at Eastern Market Metro this morning, "which developer do you work for?"

Vincent Grey will be a honest, hard working, innovative and competent mayor.

Posted by: majorlongfont | April 29, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Rick Rosendall and Wayne Besen blast PFOX for relying on "junk science." But ironically, it's mostly gay rights advocates who rest their arguments on junk science about homosexuality being biologically hard-wired and fixed. According to the American Psychological Association, which largely supports the LGBT agenda, there is neither conclusive evidence nor consensus in the scientific community about the causes of a person's sexual orientation. (See http://www.apa.org/topics/sexuality/orientation.aspx.) Those who self-identify as "gay" or "staight" do so based on their own subjective feelings not any empirical, provable facts. "Sexual orientation," being "gay," and being "ex-gay" are all mere constructs.

Posted by: thinkitthrough1 | April 30, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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