District of Columbia Mayor Adrian M.
Fenty – an ardent gay rights supporter – apologized Thursday for
issuing a certificate of appreciation to an ex-gay leader.
Fenty signed the certificate
appreciating Regina Griggs, executive director of Parents and Friend
of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), a group that believes sexual orientation
can – and should – be altered, in November.
Gay group's quickly reacted when PFOX
released a statement Wednesday touting the award.
“We call on mayor Fenty to explain
how a pusher of anti-gay propaganda and junk science received a
certificate of appreciation,” Wayne Besen, executive director of
Wins Out, a group dedicated to fighting the ex-gay movement,
said. “It is outrageous and surreal that one of the most dishonest
and divisive organizations in Washington would be honored.”
“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,” Rick Rosendall,
vice-president for public affairs for the Gay
and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington DC, told the
On Thursday, a Fenty spokesperson
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,” Mafara Hobson said. “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.”
The District's gay marriage law went
into effect in March.