Reason contributor Penn Bullock is the coauthor of a Miami New Times report on the curious case of Family Research Council co-founder George Alan Rekers' European grand tour with a male hustler he found on Rentboy.com.
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.
Now, what anybody does on their vacation is their own business. But Rekers is interesting because he doesn't subscribe to the live and let live school of tolerance and pluralism (I'm guessing his pal, whose Rentboy profile "touts his 'smooth, sweet, tight ass' and 'perfectly built 8 inch cock [uncut]' and explains he is 'sensual,' 'wild,' and 'up for anything' — as long you ask first" is a graduate cum laude of the live and let live school). In fact, Rekers has
...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.
And let's hear it for 2010, which is just about the best year for tawdry sex scandals since...2009.