The government of the District of Columbia has awarded a certificate of appreciation to Regina Griggs, executive director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX). The certificate, signed by D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty, recognizes Griggs for her “dedication, commitment, and outstanding contributions as Executive Director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays.”
PFOX has been instrumental in ensuring civil rights to all District of Columbia residents. PFOX’s lawsuit against the D.C. Office of Human Rights last year resulted in ex-gays being recognized as a protected class under D.C.’s Human Rights Act. The Office of Human Rights had refused to extend the sexual orientation non-discrimination law to former homosexuals. The court held that the Human Rights Act does not require immutable characteristics for sexual orientation status so that ex-gays are entitled to the same legal protections that gays currently enjoy.
Obviously, that announcement was rather confusing, given Fenty’s support for marriage equality and the LGBT community in general. And today his office has disavowed the certificate, calling it a mistake which can be attributed to a “staff-level error”:
D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty apologized Thursday 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.”