When George Alan Rekers, a cofounder along with James Dobson of the Family Research Council and a leader in the ex-gay movement, was caught walking off a plane from Europe with a young male prostitute, he first insisted that he didn't know the young man was an escort until halfway through their 10-day vacation.
"I had surgery," Rekers told the Miami New Times, which broke the story yesterday, "and I can't lift luggage. That's why I hired him."
Rekers had hired the escort, dubbed "Lucien" by the New Times, through the website RentBoy.com (NSFW), a popular site that hosts ads for gay male escorts. There's little mistaking what the site is for. [Ed: Link to RentBoy.com disabled. It is very, VERY NSFW.]
For those of you unfamiliar with the Family Research Council, it's pretty much one-stop shopping for all of your frothing, anti-gay needs. I think we can all be glad that Tony Perkins has a platform.
Rekers, a leader in the "ex-gay" movement, appears to be having some trouble with the "ex" part. Normally I have a lot of sympathy for tortured, self-hating closet types. (It sucks in there, guys. Step outside and take some deep breaths. You'll feel so much better.) But normal tortured, self-hating types don't co-found reactionary theocratic political organizations bent on crushing my civil rights. So George, you get no sympathy from me.
Of course, you can bet that the FRC is standing by the man who helped bring it into being, right? (Those who agree should see me about some exciting real estate deals along the Gulf coast.)
The full statement from Perkins:
In the past 24 hours FRC has received calls regarding Dr. George Rekers and his connection with the Family Research Council. After reviewing the historical records we did verify that Dr. Rekers was a member of the original Family Research Council board prior to its merger with Focus on the Family in 1987.
Reports have been circulating regarding Dr. Rekers relationship with a male prostitute. FRC has had no contact with Dr. Rekers or knowledge of his activities in over a decade so FRC can provide no further insight into these allegations.
While we are extremely disappointed when any Christian leader engages in the very activities that they "preach" against, it is not surprising. The Scriptures clearly teach the fallen nature of all people. We each have a choice to act upon that nature or accept the forgiveness offered by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and do our best to ensure our actions, both public and private match our professed positions.
"After reviewing the historical records." I love the idea of some cantankerous old coot, down in the dusty bowels of the FRC vault, blowing cobwebs off the box of archives that contains the one record of George Rekers. Kind of like Raiders of the Lost Ark, except in this case all the snakes are merely metaphorical.
I also love the nonchalant, offhand way they describe their reaction to the news. "It is not surprising." Really? I would have thought the news that one of your co-founders was found in the company of a male prostitute would be very, very surprising. (I would be surprised.) I get the impression that the FRC is packed to the gills with guys who are thisclose to going nuts, flying to some distant location and paying for sex.
Anyhow, I typically prefer that people be left to their own personal moral failings in peace. But in the case of people who bent their career toward demonizing people like me (and, it turns out, themselves) I'm willing to make an exception. Enjoy the love of your old pals, George. It's no fun to be on this side of the firing line, is it?