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Split Decision on Ex-Gay Protections


While a group of those who identify as formerly gay revel in a legal victory, it still must deal with its loss in the D.C. superior court earlier this summer after a seven-year legal battle.

Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX) brought the lawsuit against the National Education Association for failing to provide public accommodations for people who formerly identified as gay. The organization had applied to attend an NEA convention in 2002, where they were denied space to rent an information booth, according to the Washington City Paper. The NEA said the rejection was due to limited space, but three years later PFOX brought the NEA to court, citing sexual-orientation discrimination.

When the Washington, D.C., Office of Human Rights ruled that the NEA had the right to reject PFOX, the "ex-gay" organization appealed to the D.C. superior court. Judge Maurice Ross rejected their appeal, but agreed that people who identify as being formerly gay were protected under the city's Human Rights Act.

PFOX released a statement welcoming the judge's ruling, even though they lost the case. Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out, a group that fights against the "ex-gay" movement, said PFOX's reaction to the ruling was pure spin.

"The court's decision stated the obvious and the spin from PFOX's loss is downright bizarre," Besen said in a statement. "I think PFOX has furthered its reputation as a group that distorts the truth and exaggerates the facts to further its strange political agenda. This is a group that has no sense of reality and lives in a parallel universe devoid of reason and logic."

Editor's note: This version updates the story from an earlier version that incorrectly categorized Judge Ross's ruling.

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Julie Bolcer