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Gay rights leaders unsatisfied with Fenty apology

Washington Post Editors

Local gay rights leaders are not satisfied with the apology Mayor Adrian M. Fenty issued after it was discovered he awarded a certificate of appreciation honoring the leader of the "ex-gay" movement, which believes homosexuals can be "rehabilitated.

Earlier today, Fenty (D) blamed a "staff-level error" for his decision to issue the honor to Regina Griggs, executive director of the Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays.

But the issue has quickly escalated into one of the first political tempests of the 2010 mayoral race. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D), Fenty's chief rival in the Sept. 14 Democratic primary, has issued a statement accusing the mayor of embarrassing the city.

"For the mayor to issue a certificate of appreciation honoring an organization that has done so much to alienate so many is not only an insult to the LGBT community, it is yet another example of the insensitivity of his administration." Gray said. "It is an embarrassment to our city that he would make such an offensive mistake. It was the Mayor's signature on the certificate, not a staff member's, and I hope the Mayor will personally take responsibility."

Earlier today, Fenty spokeswoman Mafara Hobson told The Washington Post that the certificate was mistakenly issued "contrary to the mayor's vision of a more open and inclusive city."

"The mayor is proud of his ardent support of the LGBT community," said Hobson, noting that Fenty was a vocal supporter of the city's new same-sex marriage law.

But the leaders of the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington are calling on Fenty to denounce the ex-gay movement and further explain the process in which Griggs was selected for the honor.

"Stating it was a staff error doesn't cut it," Bob Summersgill, a longtime local gay rights leader, posted on the GLAA blog. "How was the error even possible? What vetting process does an honorary certificate go through? Who initiated the certificate, who approved it, who processed it? Why was this not flagged for possible political impact and given a higher level of review?

Rick Rosendall, GLAA's vice-president for public affairs, wrote Hobson this afternoon demanding that Fenty respond to the questions outlined by Summersgill. Hobson responded that "the proper process wasn't followed" but "beyond that" she can't comment because it's a "personnel issue," according to an e-mail posted on the GLAA Web site.

Rosendall then accused Fenty of "stonewalling."

"The Mayor is not helping himself by this response," he wrote to Hobson.

Peter Rosenstein, another gay rights activists aligned with the Campaign for All DC Families, is also unhappy with Fenty's apology.

"He doesn't take responsibility for it and he also doesn't denounce PFOX, which he should be doing," Rosenstein said. "This is more than a simple error."

Although the controversy may not penetrate into the broader electorate, political strategists say gay men and lesbians account for as much as 15 percent of the electorate in a Democratic primary. With Fenty and Gray both supportive of gay rights and same-sex marriage, activists say the gay community is up for grabs in the election.

-- Tim Craig


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By Washington Post Editors  |  April 29, 2010; 2:38 PM ET
Categories:  2010 District Election , City Life , Mayor Fenty , Tim Craig , Vincent C. Gray  | Tags: Gay Lesbian and Bisexual, Gay community, Homosexuality, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, Same-sex marriage, adrian fenty, apology for certificate, gay rights  
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Comments

It is disingenuous of Peter Rosenstein to identify as an "activist" aligned with some bogus front group primarily organized to give those with no credentials cover. While not the most credible and certainly not the smartest or wisest of Fenty's gay supporters he was one of the earliest and certainly the LOUDEST. As Rosenstein has posed the story he discovered Adrian Fenty and gifted the rest of us with him. He has pimped his association with Fenty ever since posing himself as some sort of kingmaker.

Few can ever forget the Stein Club endorsement meeting where Rosenstein left the room in stunned and embarrassed silence (Adrian Fenty included)with his Linda Blair channels Satan from the deepest rungs of Hades screed demanding that Fenty win the endorsement. Linda Cropp , of course, did in no small measure due to Rosenstein..

Apparently, it was only the first time that Adrian would have to consider whether or not with friends like Rosenstein, who needs enemies. Clark Ray, Rosenstein's new pet, would be well advised to be very wary of someone with such facile integrity.

The Post also does a disservice to Rick Rosendall, someone with years of labor, wisdom, experience, and intellectual growth within the LGBT intelligentsia, and Bob Sumersgill, an acknowledged leader thereof. To quote Peter Rosenstein alongside these two men is like getting a quote from Cecil B. DeMille on film making and corroborating that quote with some pithy observation from the videographer of BarneyCam.

Note to WaPo - lose Peter Rosenstein from your source list except for days when the wind is not blowing! But, of course, on those days he would have nothing to say.

Posted by: JackStar | April 29, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Fenty is a micromanager...I dont believe he is as clueless as he wishes us to be. I'm sick of Fenty and he will never get my vote again. I'm going to back Gray.

Posted by: DCJUSTICE | April 29, 2010 7:51 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 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget baby fenty's best frat bud, loyal campaign aide and supreme benefactor from illicit Parks and Rec./ Housing Authority contracts is non other than sinclair skinner; the man who coined the perceived racist and homophobic nickname "Grahamzilla" for Ward 1 Councilmember and eunuch Jim Graham.

Posted by: bob_dylan_rocks | April 30, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

For one thing you can never satisfy people. Someone's always gonna have a problem with you, especially in this city. As I see it the only real mistake Fenty has made is Michelle Rhee, he's going down with her but if you think that Vincent Gray will be better for this city you all are sadly mistaken. I'm not a Washington voter anymore but I really don't believe Vincent Gray is the right person for Mayor...

Posted by: Gerard3906 | April 30, 2010 1:12 AM | Report abuse

more special interest BS.everyone is wrong if they do not accept my beliefs.

Posted by: pofinpa | April 30, 2010 5:59 AM | Report abuse

I simply cannot believe that Fenty would do something like this. I also can't believe that I will vote for him again. Shameful.

Posted by: mradams | April 30, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

"more special interest BS.everyone is wrong if they do not accept my beliefs.

Posted by: pofinpa
"

yep, the anti-gay groups are sick

Posted by: newagent99 | April 30, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Vincent Gray looks better and better all the time. While this shows more incompetence than malice towards the LGBT community, his gutting of the GLLU is much more of a problem. I'm registered Green, but I might have to change party affiliation to get rid of Fenty.

Posted by: DCCharles | April 30, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

How many votes is this for Gray?

Posted by: candycane1 | April 30, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

If Fenty was impressed with other work that Regina Griggs had performed, he should come out and say it. Otherwise, it looks like he doesn't know who he's honoring or why he's honoring them in the first place. Weird.

Posted by: forgetthis | April 30, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

The homosexual community has no problems when some confused heterosexual joins their ranks, but refuses to acknowledge some homosexuals might just be "closeted" heterosexuals. Is "once a homosexual, always a homosexual" the only option? Hypocrites.

Posted by: JoStalin | April 30, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I can't imagine why they're mad at him. He's one of them. Unless they're mad because he won't come out of the closet.

Posted by: PercyKution | April 30, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I can't imagine why they're mad at him. He's one of them. Unless they're mad because he won't come out of the closet.

Posted by: PercyKution | April 30, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

ask Jonetta Rose Barras, she can make up an explanation for you.

Posted by: gordonbundy | April 30, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

RE: The homosexual community has no problems when some confused heterosexual joins their ranks, but refuses to acknowledge some homosexuals might just be "closeted" heterosexuals. Is "once a homosexual, always a homosexual" the only option? Hypocrites.

Posted by: JoStalin

I believe your interpretation is a little off. For the most part, the GLBTQ movement supports the spectrum of sexuality (evidenced, if nothing else, by the cumbersome acronym used above). Contrary to your point, most people who identify with the community understand that these boundaries are not fixed but can change depending on the person, his or her lover, and the circumstance. The issue here; however, is that ex-gay groups believe that homosexuality is akin to a pathogen and must be "cured." Consequently, while GLBTQ groups try to be inclusive of people where ever they find themselves on the Kinsey Scale; this strategy is in direct opposition to ex-gay groups, who only see queerness as something to be corrected.

Posted by: dpm367 | April 30, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: JoStalin-"The homosexual community has no problems when some confused heterosexual joins their ranks, but refuses to acknowledge some homosexuals might just be "closeted" heterosexuals. Is "once a homosexual, always a homosexual" the only option? Hypocrites."
-------------------------
No, we have no problem with someone who is questioning to try it out and decide its not who they are. We do have a problem with people saying that being gay/lesbian is just a misguided choice and that we need rehabilitaion and will then be "normal". You didn't choose to be straight and I didn't choose to be gay. I dated both sexes for a while until I really found my place. A freind of mine went through the same thing and came to the conclusion she was happier with men. We supported each others and are still very good friends.

Posted by: schnauzer21 | April 30, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I guess an open and inclusive city can only allow those who share your views.

ANIMAL FARM lives right here in Washington DC.

Posted by: crayon | April 30, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Everyone must concede that the Mayor, with such a horrible reputation within the African American community, absolutely NEEDS the LGBT vote if he is to stand a prayer of being re-elected and these folks tend to have a very long memory. Ask Bill Clinton.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | April 30, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Great thing..he did it right the first time..shame he pulled it back and "apologized" a least he acknowledged a great organization the firs time..kudos Fenty:) the first thing i like that uve actually done:)

Posted by: detroitblkmale30 | April 30, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who seeks a way out of an immoral lifestyle, and those who love and support them, deserve the highest praise and encouragement. Those who viciously attack them are beneath contempt.

Posted by: thebump | May 1, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

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