News Advisory: October 14, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Human Rights Office Sued for Refusing to Protect Former Homosexuals
Obama sidesteps defending unpopular minorities
The DC Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on “sexual preference,” “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” and “gender expression.” The Office of Human Rights maintains that homosexuals, bisexuals, transgenders, and cross-dressers qualify for protection under this Act, but ex-gays do not. PFOX’s lawsuit asks the DC Superior Court to direct the Office to include former homosexuals under the sexual orientation law. “Shouldn’t ex-gays enjoy the same legal protections that gays enjoy?” asked Griggs.
“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.”
PFOX is especially concerned because Presidential candidate Barack Obama has failed to answer PFOX’s August 25th letter asking if ex-gays will be included in sexual orientation legislation which Obama says he will sign into law as President.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which Obama pledges to pass, will outlaw discrimination based on “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” and “gender expression.” ENDA would apply to private employers, the Federal Government, all State governments, and all local governments in all 50 states.
“This far-reaching law which Obama plans to pass as President will grant rights to homosexuals, transgenders, and cross-dressers, but what about ex-gays?” asked Griggs.
“Like Senator Obama, we believe in change. But others do not. When ex-gay gospel singer Donnie McClurkin sang at an Obama fundraiser last year, gay groups demanded that Obama remove McClurkin from the program. On CNN Prime News, former Human Rights Campaign spokesperson Wayne Besen insisted that Obama should fire McClurkin just for being ex-gay.”
“Former homosexuals should have the right to be out, open and safe in society,” Griggs continued. “On his website, Senator Obama says he supports gay and transgender rights because he supports civil rights for all persons, but does that include ex-gays? Americans need to know where Obama stands on the issue of ex-gay inclusion because his pledge to pass homosexual and transgender legislation as President will affect all of us. We urge Senator Obama to end his silence.”
###PFOX promotes an inclusive environment for the ex-gay community, and works to eliminate negative perceptions and discrimination against former homosexuals.