Generally, I am not one to write about something as seemingly tabloidish as someone’s personal sex life but when the recent rank hypocrisy of George Rekers became a story about something more than sex I felt compelled to write about it.
As some of you may know George Rekers is an avid anti-gay activist Methodist Minister, with strong ties to the virulently anti-gay Family Research Council and the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), and—he is apparently gay. According to the Miami New Times, Rekers recently returned from a 10-day trip to Europe with a male escort whom he contacted via Rentboy.com. Now Rekers is certainly not the first anti-gay activist to be outed as gay (see Ted Haggard, Larry Craig, etc.) so initially I took note of the story and moved on giving it little thought, until I realized this is the same man whom Florida paid $120,000 to testify as an expert witness against Martin Gill, a gay man who wants to adopt the two children he has fostered for more than four years. I wrote about this a few months back in “Everybody Run that Homosexual Wants a Son” which details the lengths Florida has gone to remain the ONLY state that specifically prohibits someone from adopting if they are gay—even though they can foster children indefinitely. I am not going to get into details of Florida’s unfair adoption laws in this article, if you want to know more about them please refer back to my previous story.
Since I live in Florida I take this a little personally. Like most states we are struggling to make ends meet and the thought that we paid Rekers $120,000 dollars for his bigoted anti-gay testimony is appalling in and of itself, but add to that the fact that he himself is homosexual and I am apoplectic. Wow, I mean I never gave much credit to his testimony to begin with but at least Attorney General Bill McCollum (Republican Candidate for Florida’s next Governor) could have claimed that his views at least represented an honest (but dead wrong) opposition to homosexuality or fair adoption. This man basically sold us his false medical information and preached us ideas he disobeys in his own life while taking money that could have gone to education, foster care programs, etc. Instead it went to his vacation in Europe with a male prostitute. It is disgraceful that the attorney general used taxpayer dollars to compensate this discredited bigot-for-hire. It shows just how low he had to scrape to find anyone even willing to defend Florida’s harmful ban that denies children forever homes.
What’s possibly worst is we are not the first state to pay him for this testimony. In 2004, he testified in Arkansas but, even without his recently acquired stink of hypocrisy, the Arkansas Judge, Timothy Fox, said, “Rekers’ testimony was worthless as evidence because it was only his personal view.” The Arkansas Supreme Court concluded later that Rekers’ testimony was pointless and it declared Huckabee’s anti-gay rule unconstitutional. “Rekers testifies as a scientific expert for states that adopt anti-gay laws. The states lose, but Rekers always takes in big fees.”
Did I just say that was possibly worst? Let me correct myself—what is worst is that Rekers adopted a child in Florida about four years ago. So not only does he obviously act out the very actions he vilifies but he also breaks the law against gays adopting even though he has given “expert” testimony in support of that law. I certainly have no desire to see a family broken up in any manner, even one headed by someone such as Rekers, but it might not be unfair to have our attorney general look into this. After all if the reports are true and he did adopt in Florida, then he did so under perjury, which is a felony. When you apply for an adoption in Florida you must answer a question related to your sexuality and sexual lifestyle. If he lied on the application (the only way he could have obtained a Florida adoption) then he has broken the law. Many families suffer when a parent breaks the law so I don’t see why his should be exempt. Of course I am loath to have such an abhorent law upheld but on the other hand wouldn’t it be ironic if his trial for breaking the law actually helped to overturn the law?
As for Rekers, I am not going to ascribe motives for his actions, he could be a closeted gay who felt too oppressed by societal opposition to embrace his true self and thus filled with self-hatred turned to anti-gay campaigning to cast judgment on and shape legislation against the gay community as a way of atoning for his “sins” or he could be a happy as can be gay man who just likes making money even if, or perhaps because, it hurts others i.e. he could simply be an asshole. Whichever it is, I don’t care.
What I do care about is that this man has robbed my state of needed cash flow, has attempted to prevent a loving man from adopting two children who need and love him, and that the man who paid him to do this is attempting to become the new governor of my state. I admit to not knowing much about Alex Sink (McCollum’s presumed Democratic opponent), other than she supports fair adoption, but that is enough for me. I will do everything I can to make sure McCollum doesn’t win. And for those of you that say people shouldn’t vote on a single issue—I say would you vote for a man that would not let a white person adopt a black child or vice versa? Would you vote for a man that would not allow interracial marriage? Would you vote for a man who was bigoted towards any racial minority group? If so, then don your white hood and vote for the man who promises you a tax cut, as for me, I will vote for the person who promises to increase the number of forever homes available to those most in need.
Go here to contribute money to Alex Sink: Alex Sink for Governor
As I originally stated, I am not one to write about these type of salacious issues and it was only Reker’s hypocritical connection with the ban on gay adoptions in Florida that caused me to write about this but whatever reluctance I had toward destroying an individual does not extend to my desire to see NARTH taken down a peg or possibly obliterated. According to newly released information NARTH put together a questionnaire for Rekers to send to Jo-vanni Roman in an attempt to bury the story despite its claim of attempting to provide a full investigation into the scandal.
From the article:
“Members of one of America’s largest “ex-gay” organizations may have secretly intervened in the rentboy scandal, publicly calling for a “thorough investigation,” while working behind the scenes to quash the story.
Officials of the National Association for Therapy and Research of Homosexuality (NARTH) allegedly had a hand in crafting a questionnaire George Alan Rekers emailed to Jo-vanni Roman, the gay escort who accompanied him on a two-week trip to Europe.
Lucien asked Rekers repeatedly if anyone else had been involved in the questionnaire. “Yeah, one of the guys who’s on the board of a professional organization with me,” Rekers said.
In fact, Rekers is on the board of NARTH, a non-profit based in Encino, California, that believes homosexuality is a curable mental disorder. NARTH claims to be able to turn gay people straight.
Lucien denied to the New Times making the statements in Rekers’s questionnaire. The young man restated his allegation that he had a consensual “sexual encounter” with Rekers. The far-right theologian denies it.
NARTH, where Rekers is a senior figure, issued a May 6 press release on its website: “NARTH takes seriously the accusations that have been made (about Rekers), and we are currently attempting to understand the details behind these press reports… we urge all parties to allow a respectful and thorough investigation to take place.”
If NARTH really did try to squash the story this could be the proverbial nail in the coffin for the organization as it would be betraying its supporters by trying to hide this story. NARTH should have just let Rekers crash and burn on his own like the Family Research Council did, instead the only thing NARTH may successfully bury may be its own reputation.