Prominent Anti-Gay Christian Advocate Vacations With Male Escort
One of America's most influential anti-gay activists, George Alan Rekers, took a trip to Europe recently in the company of a 20-year-old male escort whom Rekers reportedly met at RentBoy.com, a website where young men sell their services, reported Miami New Times in a May 6 article.
Rekers, the article noted, has worked behind the scenes for decades to obstruct legal equality for GLBT individuals and their families. In one instance, Rekers served as an "expert witness" for a ban on adoption by gay and lesbian prospective parents in Florida. His influence as co-founder, in 1983, of the anti-gay Family Research Council--together with James Dobson, another highly prominent anti-gay activist--has meant that Rekers has had an even broader impact on GLBT equality in American law and culture.
Moreover, Rekers is a board member for the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), a group that claims that gays can be "cured" and "converted" to heterosexuality, in contradiction to the findings of ethical mental health professionals, who confirm that sexual orientation is innate and warn that so-called "reparative therapies" may well do more harm than good.
"While he keeps a low public profile, his fingerprints are on almost every anti-gay effort to demean and dehumanize LGBT people," said Wayne Besen, the founder of Truth Wins Out, in a news release. Truth Wins Out is a group working to counter the message and influence of organizations like NARTH and Love Won Out, which is sponsored by the anti-gay group Focus on the Family, and which has ties to "ex-gay" group Exodus International.
"His work is ubiquitously cited by lobby groups that work to deny equality to LGBT Americans," Besen added. "Rekers has caused a great deal of harm to gay and lesbian individuals."
GLBT parity group Equality Florida noted that Rekers and another "expert witness," Walter Schum, were paid $87,000 by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum to appear in court in support of the state's ban on gay and lesbian adoptive parents. Rekers compared gay and lesbian prospective parents to terrorists, telling the court that, "This is not basically different from denying placement in other households with structures that are not in the best interests of children. Fifteen-year-old couples, 90-year-old couples, Thai-language-only speaking couples, blind and deaf parents, households with a pedophilic-behaving adult, households with practicing criminals, households with drug dealers and drug abusers, households with unemployed adults, households that advocate the overthrow of the U.S. government, households with an active terrorist, households with sexually promiscuous unmarried men and women co-habitating and households with homosexually behaving adults all have either inherent instability or inherent disadvantage, stress, and potential harm to placed children."
"It is disgraceful that the attorney general used taxpayer dollars to compensate this discredited bigot-for-hire," said Equality Florida's executive director, Nadine Smith. "It shows just how low they have to scrape to find anyone even willing to defend this awful ban that denies children permanent loving homes."
The Miami New Times dubbed Rekers' travel companion "Lucien," and noted that Rekers claimed that due to recent surgery he needed an assistant to help him with his luggage during the trip. Unzipped.net claimed in a May 4 posting that "Lucien" and a 20-year-old RentBoy.com advertiser who goes on the site by the designation BoyNextDoor/Geo were one and the same. "Using the search parameters that the New Times lamely hinted at in its article," the Unzipped.com article said, "this is the hooker that Rekers took to Europe. He's 'blond,' 'slender,' and has the same verbiage in his profile that the paper quotes ('will do anything as long you ask first')." The link provided by Unzipped.net led to a RentBoy.com profile for an escort under the name MarkOnTheBlock, but that profile also described a 20-year-old escort who works in Miami who will "do anything you say as long as you ask".
Gay blog JoeMyGod.com reported that following an enquiry to Rekers, the site received a reply from the Family Research Council co-founder saying that media reports about is trip abroad with the young escort were "a mixture of truth and falsehood." Added Rekers, "I have spent much time as a mental health professional and as a Christian minister helping and lovingly caring for people identifying themselves as 'gay.' My hero is Jesus Christ who loves even the culturally despised people, including sexual sinners and prostitutes. Like Jesus Christ, I deliberately spend time with sinners with the loving goal to try to help them."
Rekers went on to tell JoeMyGod.com that, "Contrary to false gossip, innuendo, and slander about me, I do not in any way 'hate' homosexuals, but I seek to lovingly share two types of messages to them, as I did with the young man called "Lucien" in the news story:  It is possible to cease homosexual practices to avoid the unacceptable health risks associated with that behavior, and  the most important decision one can make is to establish a relationship with God for all eternity by trusting in Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins, including homosexual sins."
Rekers added, "If you talk with my travel assistant that the story called 'Lucien,' you will find I spent a great deal of time sharing scientific information on the desirability of abandoning homosexual intercourse, and I shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with him in great detail."
JoeMyGod reported an independent determination of "Lucien's" true identity, and posted the same RentBoy.com images that Unzipped.net had put up. JoeMyGod also reported that the profile for BoyNextDoor/Geo had disappeared from the site.
JoeMyGod.com also posted a follow-up that said links to Rekers had vanished from the Family Research Council's home page, "not even 12 hours after the news broke that Dr. James Dobson's one-time buddy has been having his sack lifted by a barely legal Latino twink."