As many as fourteen media outlets, including the Washington Post and Pink News, have reported on a bogus story that claims singer Britney Spears has been named the ultimate gay icon.

The story first appeared on the's website and was written by Orange County Gay Culture Examiner Fernando Palazzo.

“A survey from Orange County's Equality Project asked 1,000 gay men all over Southern California who is the greatest gay icon,” Palazzo wrote. “Britney Spears won the poll with 31 percent of the vote.”

The group's Joel Waddell slams Lady Gaga in the story: “Lady Gaga is a talentless scam artist. She is to the gay community what Hitler was to Germany – completely destructive.”

UK gay glossy Pink Paper, the Toronto Sun and the Washington Post's Celebritology blog are some of the outlets that eagerly repeated the claim.

The Post's Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly questioned the survey's findings: “We can only conclude that Orange County, Calif., is home of a micro-saturation of gay BritBrit fans who are all extremely motivated voters. Either that or they thought they were voting for Lady Gaga.”

Gay weekly the South Florida Gay News reported that it could not find any evidence to support the's story.

The paper noted that the group – and its spokesman – quoted in the story appear to be fake and that Palazzo has not responded to numerous email requests.