Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fenty Apologizes, But Not Enough

The previous post was about an award that the mayor of DC gave to the anti-gay leader of a hoax organization. He needed to provide an explanation. He did, sort of.

The Post:
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.


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

Everybody was outraged. The word is good, "pernicious," PFOX is a pernicious organization. Regina Griggs has a gay son and wishes impossibly that he will someday become straight. It is a pitiful delusion.
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.

Sure, short people have the right to become tall, old people have the right to be young again. Nobody says they don't have the right. It's just stupid and cruel to tell them they can do it.

I personally don't think the explanation that it was a "staff level error" is quite satisfactory. Part of managing is depending on lower level staff, managing is sometimes defined as the art of making decisions with incomplete information. The mayor can't make up his own mind every a laundromat wins an award for cleanliness, but in a case like this it should have been obvious to any political person that a review is in order. PFOX sued the city to include ex-gays in the city's nondiscrimination code, the mayor should have looked up, pen and hand, and asked, "somebody tell me, what is this?" The whole point of putting your signature on a certificate is to lend your authority to it. If low-level staffers are signing the mayor's name there is a problem more serious than this.

The mayor's press release said, in full:
Sent: Thursday, April 29, 2010 9:12 AM
To: ''
Cc: Dyer, Christopher (EOM)
Subject: Re: Mayor Fenty honored notorious "ex-gay" group

A staff level error was made when the request for the certificate in question was fulfilled. We apologize for the error as it runs 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 as illustrated in his championing of the Marriage Equality legislation which he signed into law on December 18, 2009.

I note that Truth Wins Out somewhat overstates the mayor's apology. Wayne Besen writes:
We are pleased that no such recognition was given and that the mayor did not endorse a hate group that deliberately spreads misinformation against LGBT people.

No, the mayor did not retract, rescind, or invalidate the certificate, he signed it and then said it was a mistake and blamed it on somebody else. You can be sure PFOX is not going to take the certificate down from their web site.

There will be more to this story.


Anonymous Derrick said...

Regina is such a sad story of a mother.

She´ll become a GLBTQI supporter in the future when she FINALLY realizes how wrong she´s been for so long.

Until then, she´ll consistently be proven wrong.

April 29, 2010 9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are you so mean to those that have become heterosexual?

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Read their Testimonies and Letters to the Editor for yourself

April 29, 2010 10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had once failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama's socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan".
All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A...

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

Could not be any simpler than that. (Please pass this on)

April 29, 2010 11:07 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Have you got anything besides fifteen year old urban legends and conspiracy theories?

Apparently not.

Let's try some reality shall we?

Earlier this week, the GOP voted three times to prevent our Senators from debating Wall Street reform in the open. Apparently the GOP prefers to use back room deals to try to protect their corporate sponsors, especially now that corporations are free to use their profits to effect elections. After the economic tumbles in 1929 and 2008, we all see how well poorly back room regulated capitalism works.

April 30, 2010 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is warning Congress not to tamper with the military’s ban on openly gay service members until he can come up with his own plan for repeal.

In a strongly worded letter, obtained by The Associated Press, Gates told a House committee on Friday that forcing policy changes on the military before it’s ready “would send a very damaging message."

Maybe he missed the video created by some of our troops in Afghanistan doing a cover of Lady Gaga's song "Telephone."

Watch it here

They are ready, Mr. Gates!

May 01, 2010 8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so happy for you that you have found Jesus. us all a favor...and stop lying about anyone's ability to "walk out of homosexuality". Perhaps you fear the ability to "walk out of heterosexuality" which, after all, is obviously a choice!

No one is mean to those deluded souls who have been suckered into believing that they can change their true, inherent, God-given sexual orientation. God will forgive them for challenging His reason for creating people in "His image"!

May 01, 2010 11:17 AM  

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