Christian Right Mounts Defense as Rent Boy Scandal Grows
As the story of Family Research Council co-founder George Alan Rekers has grown in the media, the Christian right has cast about for ways to explain away or excuse the European trip that Rekers took with a 20-year-old male escort that Rekers reportedly hired off RentBoy.com. The young traveling companion in question has since told the press that during the week and a half long trip, he gave Rekers daily massages that included contact with the anti-gay leader’s genitals and anus.
The new revelations were reported by the Miami New Times in a May 6 article. The escort, dubbed "Lucien" by the Miami New Times, reportedly told the press that Rekers favored a technique called the "long stroke," which the young man said involved contact "across his penis, thigh... and his anus over the butt cheeks." Added Lucien, "Rekers liked to be rubbed down there."
It was also the Miami New Times that broke the story originally on May 5, running a photo of Rekers, a stack of luggage, and a young man whose face was obscured. Rekers, the original story 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" in a court case over a ban on adoption by gay and lesbian prospective parents in Florida, for which he and a colleague were paid $87,000 by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum. 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. "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."
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.