Thursday, April 29, 2010

Contact: Wayne Besen, TWO Executive Director
Phone: 917-691-5118

We are Relieved That The Mayor Did Not Honor A Hate Group, Says TWO

NEW YORK — Truth Wins Out (TWO) thanked Washington, DC mayor Adrian Fenty today for quickly clarifying that a certificate of appreciation given to Regina Griggs, an activist with Parents & Friends of Ex-Gays, (PFOX) was a clerical error. PFOX had breathlessly touted the certificate in a press release and proudly displayed a copy of it on its website. Today, the mayor’ office issued the following statement

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’ 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.

“We appreciate Mayor Fenty’ rapid response and for clarifying this troubling issue,” said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out. “The mayor took an affirmative step to stop PFOX from touting the certificate as a stamp of approval from the DC government. 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. Additionally, we thank GLAA’ Richard Rosendall for bringing the issue to our attention and for their efforts to resolve this matter.”

According to a gushing PFOX press release:

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.”

Truth Wins Out also took PFOX to task for its overwrought excitement over a certificate it was mistakenly given.

“This pathetic publicity stunt shows how desperate PFOX is for attention and how delusional they truly are,” said TWO’ Besen. “Now they look doubly ridiculous, because the they were never meant to have this certificate.”

UPDATE: Mayoral candidate and Council Chair Vince Gray today issued the following statement about Mayor Fenty’ Certificate of Appreciation honoring the work of Parents and Friends of ExGays and Gays:

“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. It is an embarrassment to our city that he would make such an offensive mistake. It was the Mayor’ signature on the certificate, not a staff-member’, and I hope the Mayor will personally take responsibility.”

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