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This hit the gay blogs and quickly went viral yesterday. It's now making its way into the mainstream media. Another anti-gay house of cards collapses.

Christian Right Leader George Rekers Takes Vacation With "Rent Boy"

The pictures on the Rentboy.com profile show a shirtless young man with delicate features, guileless eyes, and sun-kissed, hairless skin. The profile...explains he is "sensual," "wild," and "up for anything" — as long you ask first. And as long as you pay.

On April 13, the "rent boy" (whom we'll call Lucien) arrived at Miami International Airport on Iberian Airlines Flight 6123, after a ten-day, fully subsidized trip to Europe. He was soon followed out of customs by an old man with an atavistic mustache and a desperate blond comb-over, pushing an overburdened baggage cart.

That man was George Alan Rekers, of North Miami — the callboy's client and, as it happens, one of America's most prominent anti-gay activists. Rekers, a Baptist minister who is a leading scholar for the Christian right, left the terminal with his gay escort, looking a bit discomfited when a picture of the two was snapped with a hot-pink digital camera.

Reached by New Times before a trip to Bermuda, Rekers said he learned Lucien was a prostitute only midway through their vacation. "I had surgery," Rekers said, "and I can't lift luggage. That's why I hired him." (Medical problems didn't stop him from pushing the tottering baggage cart through MIA.)

Yet Rekers wouldn't deny he met his slender, blond escort at Rentboy.com — which features homepage images of men in bondage and grainy videos of crotch-rubbing twinks — and Lucien confirmed it.

At the small western Miami townhome he shares with a roommate, a nervous Lucien expressed surprise when we told him that Rekers denied knowing about his line of work from the beginning. "He should've been able to tell you that," he said, fidgeting and fixing his eyes on his knees. "But that's up to him."

For decades, George Alan Rekers has been a general in the culture wars, though his work has often been behind the scenes. In 1983, he and James Dobson, America's best-known homophobe, formed the Family Research Council, a D.C.-based, rabidly Christian, and vehemently anti-gay lobbying group that has become a standard-bearer of the nation's extreme right wing. Its annual Values Summit is considered a litmus test for Republican presidential hopefuls, and Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter have spoken there. (The Family Research Council would not comment about Rekers's Euro-trip.)

He has also influenced American government, serving in advisory roles with Congress, the White House, and the Department of Health and Human Services and testifying as a state's witness in favor of Florida's gay adoption ban. A former research fellow at Harvard University and a distinguished professor of neuropsychiatry at the University of South Carolina, Rekers has published papers and books by the hundreds, with titles like Who Am I? Lord and Growing Up Straight: What Families Should Know About Homosexuality.

"While he keeps a low public profile, his fingerprints are on almost every anti-gay effort to demean and dehumanize LGBT people," says Wayne Besen, a gay rights advocate in New York City and the executive director of Truth Wins Out, which investigates the anti-gay movement. "His work is ubiquitously cited by lobby groups that work to deny equality to LGBT Americans. Rekers has caused a great deal of harm to gay and lesbian individuals."

Rekers is a board member of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), an organization that systematically attempts to turn gay people straight. And the Huffington Post recently singled out Rekers as a member of the American College of Pediatricians — an official-sounding outfit in Gainesville that purveys lurid, youth-directed literature accusing gays of en masse coprophilia. (In an email, the college's Lisa Hawkins wrote, "ACPeds feels privileged to have a scholar of Dr. Rekers' stature affiliated with our organization. I am sure you will find Prof. Rekers to be an immaculate clinician/scholar, and a warm human being.")

Rekers lectures worldwide, from Europe to the Middle East, on teen sexuality. Yet during his ten-day sojourn with Lucien to London and Madrid, he had no lectures scheduled. Both men deny having sex on the trip, and emails exchanged between the two before their jaunt are cautiously worded.

"I'd like to propose another trip to Rome, Italy, for a week or more," Rekers wrote in an email dated March 21 obtained by New Times. "This is so exciting to have a nice Travel Assistant and traveling companion! Wow! I'm so glad I met you."

"I called and talked to the reservation guy in London and reserved a room with two twin beds," Rekers wrote on March 26.

"Now that I'm packed, tomorrow I'll work on completing my income tax return," Rekers wrote two days later. "Not fun... But I'll just remind myself that the fun trip is coming soon."

In his interview with New Times, Lucien didn't want to impugn his client, but he made it clear they met through Rentboy.com, which is the only website on which he advertises his services. Neither Google nor any other search engine picks up individual Rentboy.com profiles, any more than they pick up individual profiles on eHarmony or Match.com. You cannot just happen upon one.

To arrive at Lucien's site, Rekers must have accepted Rentboy.com's terms of use, thereby acknowledging he was not offended by graphic sexual material. He then would have been transported to a front page covered with images of naked, tumescent men busily sodomizing each other.

Then Rekers must have performed a search. Did he want a "rentboy," a "sugar daddy," or a "masseur"? In what country? And what city? If Rekers searched for a rent boy in Miami, he would have found approximately 80 likely candidates. He must have scrolled down the first page, past the shirtless bears and desperate ex-models, and on to page 2. There, at last, was Lucien.

As a favor to Rekers, Lucien recently removed any wanton sexual descriptors from his Rentboy profile. Though he does admit Rekers "likes younger guys to hang out with," Lucien is protective of his erstwhile client. He describes Rekers primarily as a family man — one whose passion for oppressing homosexuals is dwarfed by his desire to help children. "You don't understand how much this guy honestly cares about taking care of kids," he says.

Indeed, much of Rekers's activism over the past three decades — beginning with his 1983 book, Shaping Your Child's Sexual Identity — has been devoted to improving children's lives by educating them, protecting them from their own budding sexualities, and keeping them safe from gay adoptions — as he did by testifying as an expert witness in favor of gay adoption bans in both Arkansas and Florida.

Well, it's a good thing Rekers isn't gay himself. Lucien tells us that Rekers frequently takes in foster children and that four years ago he adopted a 16-year-old boy. We found the boy, who is now Lucien's age, on Facebook. He declined to be interviewed.

This story was originally broken by the Miami New Times

If you have any doubt, this guy's career is over. The Family Research Council has scrubbed all references to Rekers from their site. They deny that they ever had any affiliation with him. Meanwhile, Lucien has also removed his profile from Rentboy.

What the article fails to mention is that Rekers and an associate were paid $87,000 of taxpayers' dollars for their "expert" testimony in Florida.

And I know it's wrong to kick someone when they're down, but I can't resist when we're talking about hypocrisy of this magnitude. So, here are some of my favorite comments regarding Reker's escapade (found on Towleroad.com):

"I had surgery" is the new "I have a wide stance."

I'm THRILLED every single time I read one of these stories because it just proves the point: you don't get to choose your orientation and God won't "fix" you because there's nothing to fix. These bible-thumping douchebags are going the way of the dinosaurs. Buh-bye! Don't let the screendoor hit ya where the good lord split ya on your way out, a**holes!

Classic Freud. They are ALL gay and self-loathing. I feel for poor Lucien—how many drinks with umbrellas do you have to have until the memory of this creep touching you goes away. And the hypocrisy baggage cart keeps rolling along... [with a rate rumored at $200 an hour, I don't imagine it was too painful for Lucien-BHE]

BRILLIANT. These people are trying to turn gay men straight so they can have all the twink booty to themselves.

My goodness gracious, that's the first time I've heard it referred to as "luggage".

This is a classic case... of bad home hair coloring.

I am gay but to be honest with you I would rather have sex with a woman than that old toad!!!!!!!

George Alan Rekers' story is pathetic, and would be hilarious if it were not for the many people his cowardly, hateful rhetoric has influenced over the years. I want to have sympathy for him - and view him as an ironic victim of religious and conservative homophobia, but it's difficult. Very difficult. Right now I just want to laugh and point. Oh, and judge.

(I need a shower now)


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 6th, 2010 01:47 am (UTC)
Very sad indeed.

Although the use of "rabidly Christian" offended me a bit. I mean, they're making it sound like if you're really a Christian if you do things lik he did and tried to brainwash gay individuals into thinking they're straight or that there was something wrong with them. Speaking as a person who considers myself a Christian, I don't think that is very Christ-like at all, and I would hope that most people would agree with me, even if they don't agree with or support homosexuality.

I guess I feel like a hypocrite because I so often try to play both sides of the fence: try to be a good Christian and also stand up for equal rights.

Edited at 2010-05-06 01:48 am (UTC)
May. 6th, 2010 02:15 am (UTC)
I'm a Christian, too, and I don't think it's hypocritical at all to support equal rights.

What it comes down to for me is this: gay people are born gay, and I don't believe God would condemn someone for being how He made them. People shouldn't have to change or suppress their gay tendencies because someone else can't deal with it.

The term "rabidly Christian" is offensive, but I understand where it comes from when I read stories like this one. We are stereotyped, too. I believe the blame lies in the Christian right - and honestly with the more progressive denominations for not being more vocal about how wrong these factions are.

I can respect someone's right to believe that homosexuality is immoral, as long as they are not using political influence to force those "values" on everyone else, too.

And when a self-hating gay does it, it's doubly wrong.
May. 6th, 2010 02:35 am (UTC)
May. 6th, 2010 02:56 am (UTC)
Yes. *hugs*
May. 6th, 2010 03:41 am (UTC)
I always love a good hipocracy scandle. =)
May. 6th, 2010 10:13 am (UTC)
Indeed! And there are, oh, so many of them. ;)
May. 6th, 2010 04:05 am (UTC)
This is quite sad. I'm a bit sad for him because of the self-loathing he must endure, and the irony of his life.

I'm more sad for all of the other people who suffer, whose courageous efforts are undermined by this man's cowardice.

It will take the passing of generations I think. Taboos take time to lift.
May. 6th, 2010 10:16 am (UTC)
I don't feel too sad for him. He's made lots of money at the expense of lgbt people. He's made his own bed.

Overall, you're right about the generations. But there is still bullying in schools because hate is passed down. And I've talked one-on-one with several people in my parents' generation and older who get it.
May. 6th, 2010 02:44 pm (UTC)
Mind blowing, and yet somehow not surprising. What is the old expression "He doth protest too much."

I feel bad for the kid he was with. That guy is gonna have to keep a low profile for a while.

I'll be sharing this article. It is worth passing around. All the trouble he had to go through on rentboy.com really shows he knew what he was getting into. I was really surprised he wasn't quoted as saying something like "I hired him off that gay site so I could teach him how to be un-gay." or something.

I just can't help but laugh at this guy. He's set out to ruin so many lives, he can stew in that pot for a while.
May. 6th, 2010 04:47 pm (UTC)
Hopefully, the kid got enough money to tide him over for awhile. He would be wise to relocate. ;)

"I was really surprised he wasn't quoted as saying something like "I hired him off that gay site so I could teach him how to be un-gay." or something."

Funny you should say that, because that was his next line after he saw how the "luggage handler" excuse wasn't holding up. Yeah, you need to take the guy on an all-expense paid European trip and sleep in the same room to straighten him out. ;D
May. 6th, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)
Yeah I did find an article regarding something he said on facebook about that. I posted that link. >.> Silly silly hypocrite.
May. 6th, 2010 09:19 pm (UTC)
Sad stuff.
All around sad stuff.

It shows the faults in the battle lines the extreme rabid christian right has drawn. And I use the small c on purpose.

I think there are many Christians who think like we do. Many of us are just less vocal about it. And that may in part be due to the whole "live & let live, love & let love" way of being. It may also be due to a reluctance to appear to go against the grain of the mainstream, for fear of being ostracized. Common human failing, that. I prefer to hope it's the first reason more often than the second.

Have you seen my post here?
I plan on sharing Adam Hamilton's sermon series on where Christian's get it wrong.

May. 7th, 2010 02:11 am (UTC)
I agree the live & let live, idea is part of it, but I feel the time has come to be more vocal about it.

I saw that post. I'll try to post something on that date, although I do it a lot anyway.

"When Christians Get it Wrong" is an excellent series and worth posting again.

Ron and I are going to a meeting in Pittsburgh for "Reconciling Ministries" the group within the Methodist church that wants to make the church more welcoming.
(Deleted comment)
May. 7th, 2010 04:52 pm (UTC)
And for god's sake, if you're going to make it remotely credible that you hired him to carry your luggage, hire a bear, not a twink! ;D

Edited at 2010-05-08 03:32 am (UTC)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


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