Mayor Fenty's wrongful apology

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Regarding the April 30 Metro article "D.C. mayor apologizes for award":

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) should not apologize for recognizing Regina Griggs, executive director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX) and a family advocate who has been instrumental in ensuring civil rights to all D.C. residents.

The lawsuit filed last year by PFOX against the D.C. Office of Human Rights resulted in ex-gay men and lesbians being recognized as a protected class under the District's Human Rights Act. The office had refused to extend D.C.'s sexual orientation nondiscrimination law to former homosexuals. But the court held that the Human Rights Act does not require immutable characteristics for sexual orientation status, so ex-gay men and lesbians are entitled to the same legal protections that gays enjoy.

Mr. Fenty should protect the civil rights of all D.C. residents, including former gay men and lesbians. Mr. Fenty's apology, at the behest of gay rights activists, enables intolerance and hate against former homosexuals like me.

This irrational phobia of those who have overcome unwanted same-sex attractions disregards diversity and is a refusal to respect a basic human right to dignity and self-determination. Ex-gays should not have to be closeted for fear of others' negative reactions.

Fenty signed gay-marriage legislation for the nation's capital in the name of equality. Now is the time for him to demonstrate he actually means it.

Greg Quinlan, Dayton, Ohio

The writer is president of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays.


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