Nothing is quite so wonderful as the uncovering of the hypocrisy of a moralistic “champion” of “family values.” The pattern has become so familiar over the years, with the most rabid Bible-thumpers, those who most publicly chastise others for immoral behavior suddenly caught–in a sleazy motel, a public toilet or on a rap sheet–embracing exactly the behavior they’ve been excoriating. The latest hypocrite to be outed is Christian Right leader George Rekers, one of the founders of the Family Research Council, caught returning from a 10-day European vacation with a gay hooker. Miami New Times:
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.
Reached by New Times before a trip to Bermuda, Rekers said he learned Lucien was a prostitute only midway through their vacation. “I had surgery,” Rekers said, “and I can’t lift luggage. That’s why I hired him.” (Medical problems didn’t stop him from pushing the tottering baggage cart through MIA.)
Oh, oops. And if that isn’t one of the lamest excuses ever presented. Rekers found his hunky travel companion on Rentboy.com, not exactly the website to search for luggage handlers (although I concede that “luggage handlers” may be a sexual term I’ve just missed out on). I know that the Right managed to completely misunderstand the term “teabagger”, but “rent boy”? Seriously?
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. (In an email, the college’s Lisa Hawkins wrote, “ACPeds feels privileged to have a scholar of Dr. Rekers’ stature affiliated with our organization. I am sure you will find Prof. Rekers to be an immaculate clinician/scholar, and a warm human being.”)
Rest assured, however, that nothing naughty took place. Indeed, besides his baggage handling abilities (somewhat missing in the Miami airport), Lucien was apparently chosen for special attention in ridding himself of his homosexual orientation. From Joe.My.God, which had a Facebook conversation with Rekers:
Like John the Baptist and Jesus, I have a loving Christian ministry to homosexuals and prostitutes in which I share the Good News of Jesus Christ with them (see I Corinthians 6:8-11). Contrary to false gossip, innuendo, and slander about me, I do not in any way “hate” homosexuals, but I seek to lovingly share two types of messages to them, as I did with the young man called “Lucien” in the news story:  It is possible to cease homosexual practices to avoid the unacceptable health risks associated with that behavior, and  the most important decision one can make is to establish a relationship with God for all eternity by trusting in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins, including homosexual sins. If you talk with my travel assistant that the story called “Lucien,” you will find I spent a great deal of time sharing scientific information on the desirability of abandoning homosexual intercourse, and I shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with him in great detail.
Suuuure. You spent 10 days with some hunk, touring London and Madrid, all while lovingly lecturing Lucien, your “travel assistant” on the evils of homosexuality. Very convincing. Just as convincing at the idea that you found a baggage handler on rentboy.com, where you just happened to stumble.
As the New Times notes:
In his interview with New Times, Lucien didn’t want to impugn his client, but he made it clear they met through Rentboy.com, which is the only website on which he advertises his services. Neither Google nor any other search engine picks up individual Rentboy.com profiles, any more than they pick up individual profiles on eHarmony or Match.com. You cannot just happen upon one.
Joe.My.God. tracked down Lucien and his rentboy profile. Quite the luggage handler.
UPDATE: Joe at Joe.My.God reached “Lucien” by phone and interviewed him about his travels with Rekers. “Lucien” is Jo-Vanni Roman, who comes across as an intelligent, if slightly naive young man.
After covering every aspect of his time with Rekers that I could think of, I wanted to know if Jo-Vanni now got exactly who he is. I asked him, “You DO understand just what an incredible monster George IS, right? The horrible things he’s said in court about gay people? That he’s personally responsible for ripping apart gay families?” I wanted to disabuse Jo-Vanni of what seemed to be fleeting moments of odd affection for the man who’d been such an agreeable travel companion. “Oh, yes. I get it, I really do. He’s like way worse than the orange grove lady.” The orange grove lady. I’m afraid I went a little Professor Homo at that point and gave Jo-Vanni a three-minute primer on Anita Bryant.
But that “orange grove lady” moment sort of crystallizes who Jo-Vanni is, I think. He’s clearly a sharp kid, but there’s a plaintive naivete to him. We talked about his being deluged with media requests and he asked me if I’d ever heard heard of the National Enquirer and if “they are any good.” Yes, I’ve heard of them. They’re horrible. Stay away from them. “OK, thanks for telling me, They’ve been calling.” He also, as impossible as it seems, had never heard of Ted Haggard or the Mike Jones scandal and he seemed somehow encouraged to learn from me that another gay escort had been through a similar firestorm of attention. I told him about Jones’ book and Jo-Vanni responded, “I should probably buy that tomorrow, huh?”
And it appears that Jo-Vanni will be (has been?) interviewed by “that gay reporter on TV”, CNN’s Anderson Cooper.