In a press release full of risible exaggerations, PFOX’s Regina Griggs has claimed that ex-gays are “the most bullied and maligned group in America,” and complained that “they are not protected by sexual orientation non-discrimination laws.”
Calling on presidential candidate Barack Obama to include ex-gays in sexual orientation discrimination regulation, Griggs wrote:
Former homosexuals and their friends have been fired from their jobs, repeatedly ridiculed, assaulted, and intimidated. This harassment is most often perpetrated by the same groups who demand protection under sexual orientation laws but work to deny ex-gays the same respect.
The evidence offered for these assertions is wide of the mark. She cites the case of gospel singer Donnie McClurkin, whose appearance at an Obama rally was opposed by gay rights groups. Is Griggs sure activists attacked McClurkin “just for being ex-gay”? Perhaps it was more to do with McClurkin’s extreme, ugly and homophobic statements, such as this one:
The gloves are off … And if there’s going to be a war, there’s going to be a war. But it will be a war with a purpose. … I’m not in the mood to play with those who are trying to kill our children.
Now PFOX is suing the Office of Human Rights for not including ex-gays in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). It’s a move devoid of integrity, since PFOX has been vocal in opposing ENDA and has insisted on decrying anti-discrimination laws for gays as “special rights.” Nevertheless, this has not stopped PFOX from riding the “equality” wagon. In July this year, a mass email informed PFOX supporters:
At a time when former homosexuals face increasing intolerance, ex-gay presentations are more important than ever for others to recognize and appreciate the ex-gay community. Equal access by ex-gays supports sexual orientation diversity and tolerance.
Griggs lauds the USDA Office of Civil Rights for confirming that”ex-gays are included in the Department of Agriculture’s non-discrimination policies.” Two problems present themselves here: First, why is PFOX demanding rights for ex-gays that they are happy to deny to gays? Second, is PFOX really claiming that “ex-gay” is a distinct sexual orientation that needs discrimination protection? If so, on what basis is this novel idea formed? Back in July, Ex-Gay Watch asked Exodus President Alan Chambers the following:
PFOX is an Exodus member ministry with considerable exposure. I would like to know your comments on this for the record; is it your contention that there is a complete and separate ex-gay sexual orientation? Is this the stance of Exodus? If not, do you think PFOX, as an Exodus member, should be making this rather serious claim?
We received no reply.
This move is almost certainly the brainchild of Estella Salvatierra, PFOX Vice President and civil rights attorney for the Federal Communications Commission. From the records, she appears to deal with equal employment opportunity issues for various sectors regulated by the FCC. XGW doesn’t yet know if the FCC plans on recognizing ex-gays as a separate and distinct sexual orientation, but the possibility that there may exist a conflict of interest should be explored in a future post.