Inside the Breaking Story
"This is a bombshell that completely discredits the ex-gay industry and proves that the movement is a fraud," said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out
Another ex gay leader who says homosexuality can be cured through therapy has been brought down, this time by a report engineered by a popular South Florida weekly.
According to the May Miami New Times article, George Alan Rekers, a prominent anti-gay activist and cofounder of the conservative Family Research Council, recently went on a 10-day trip to Europe accompanied by a male escort who advertises his ‘services’ on Rentboy.com, the pre-eminent gay hook up site. Most gay men know this, but the company advertises itself as a place where clients "find gay escorts, male escorts, gay masseurs, male masseurs and learn how to become an escort."
Rekers told the New Times he hired the escort only as a ‘travel assistant,’ to help carry luggage, not for sexual purposes, and that he only learned his companion was a prostitute midway through the trip.
The New Times article was reported by Penn Bullock and Brandon K. Thorp,
On Wednesday, he published a statement on his own web site decrying the New Times story as "slanderous."
"A recent article in an alternative newspaper cleverly gave false impressions of inappropriate behavior because of its misleading innuendo, incorrectly implying that Professor George Rekers used the Rentboy website to hire a prostitute to accompany him on a recent trip," the statement said.
"Contrary to Internet stories based on this slanderous article, following medical advice Professor George Rekers requires an assistant to lift his luggage in his travels because of an ongoing condition following surgery. Professor Rekers was not involved in any illegal or sexual behavior with his travel assistant."
A professor of psychology at the University of South Carolina and a Baptist minister, Rekers is a leading proponent of therapy to "cure" homosexuality. His testimony against gay adoption was most recently offered in the Prop 8 California trial, now awaiting a June verdict. Rekers is a board member of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, which calls itself "a professional, scientific organization that offers hope to those who struggle with unwanted homosexuality."
A friend of the escort, who was identified in the article by the pseudonym 'Lucien,' told the newspaper that his services were enlisted through Rentboy.com, ‘Lucien’ has become the focal point of national attention as bloggers such as Joe My God and other gay sites in the blogosphere have flooded the media with stories about the stunning revelation. The story made today’s Washington Post.
‘Truth Wins Out’ founder Wayne Besen, who helped expose another ex gay icon earlier this year as an ex-con, in a joint investigation with SFGN remarked once again about the incredible hypocrisy of the ex gay movement. “Let’s put it this way,” Besen stated, “you don’t stumble upon Rentboy accidentally.” Even the Human Rights Campaign chimed in with a press release yesterday censuring the hypocrisy of Dr. Rekers.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said the group had no specific knowledge of Rekers recent doings. "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," Perkins told the Washington Post yesterday, as the news story zoomed like a tornado into a national media whirlwind.
The Post reported further that David Pruden, a member of the board of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, told them in an e-mail that Rekers "is a dear, kind man who has had poor health as he has aged and often finds it impossible [alone] to travel to professional conferences or meetings." He added that he has attended conferences where Rekers needed another psychologist or academic to travel with him.
Another website, identified in Joe My God’s blog, identified the 20 year old man who served as Reker’s valet. Searching out the identifiable words from the rent boy ads, and looking for a 20 year old blond advertising his services in Miami, correctly linked the escort’s snapshot to his advertisement. This morning, he gave an exclusive interview to unzipped.net.
UPDATE: 3:25pm 05/06/2010
Unzipped.net revealed that the young escort is a Miami Dade College student, whose real name is Jo-vanni Roman. After talking to him for a few minutes, he then shut down their interview, saying he is going to give an ‘exclusive’ to Miami New Times for its next week’s issue. But just as quickly, Steve Rothaus of the Miami Herald reportedly also spoke to the young man, and his short interview appeared on his own website.
In all honesty, I did go on the trip with him," Jio, 20, told The Miami Herald on Wednesday. "He was setting me up as a companion. In all honesty, he's a very kind family-values man."
Jio told Rothaus he became a prostitute to pay his bills.
"I was just trying to get through school," he said. "I think I'm going to have drop my classes."
Geo's parents know he's gay, but not that he's an escort.
"Who the hell wants to tell them I was doing this stuff?" he said. "I come from a very conservative Spanish family."
And finally, Miami New Times is publishing on its blog the information that the kid is recanting and changing his story, now saying Dr. Rekers is gay, and liked to be “rubbed down there.”
Here is what New Times has reported:
“The male escort hired by anti-gay activist George Alan Rekers has told Miami New Times the Baptist minister is a homosexual who paid him to provide body rubs once a day in the nude, during their ten-day vacation in Europe.
Rekers allegedly named his favorite maneuver the "long stroke" -- a complicated caress "across his penis, thigh... and his anus over the butt cheeks," as the escort puts it. "Rekers liked to be rubbed down there," he says.
Here is the full story, just posted online.