More on the story of the Christian rightwing “expert” George A. Rekers, who has spent a lifetime demonising gay people, only to be caught in April returning from a vacation with a male hooker. When confronted by the media, he claimed the young man he had with him was only hired to help him carry his bags.
It turns out that a few years ago, Rekers had been paid a five-figure sum to testify for the State of Florida defending the state’s law that banned adoption by gay couples.
The Attorney General’s Office hired Dr. George Rekers, a Miami psychologist and co-founder of the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian group, to defend the ban. Rekers considers gays immoral deviants, doomed to an early death and thereafter to eternal damnation. So it understandably caused a stir when the Miami New Times busted Dr. Rekers for going on a 10-day European vacation with Lucien, a 20-year-old male prostitute who advertised on rentboy.com.
The Attorney General’s Office paid Rekers $60,900 for his expertise. Attorney General Bill McCollum said last week that his agency did a “thorough search” to find him. He said Rekers had a Ph.D. from UCLA and experience testifying in similar cases. Rekers did testify in Arizona in opposition to gay foster parents. But the judge there called his testimony “extremely suspect and of little, if any, assistance to the court.” So much for a thorough search. McCollum then admitted the obvious about hiring Rekers: “There wasn’t a whole lot of choice.” It’s almost impossible finding a credible mental-health expert who supports a blanket ban on gay adoption. Research shows that it’s parent quality that matters, not parent sexual orientation.
The above extract was from an op-ed in the Orlando Sentinel by columnist Mike Thomas. Read the full version here.
But what else was the Attorney-General McCollum to do? He was obliged to defend the law when a citizen challenged it in court. The law, having been written to promote the Christian Right’s agenda, had not one professional expert in all of the United States prepared to defend it. The only person available was Rekers (who pretended to be an expert, and pretended to be heterosexual) from – you guessed it – the Christian Right. He was so “credible” a witness that the judge in the Florida suit ruled against the State and overturned the law.
Update: A second rentboy has announced that he too had been hired by Rekers.
Not enough? Want more? Yet another article: The Christian Right’s gay problem.