A noted anti-gay activist and Southern Baptist minister, George Rekers, was recently made famous for engaging the services of a barely legal gay male prostitute as a companion for a recent European vacation. The young man, who posted his services on a site called Rentboy.com, has since told media outlets that he was not, as Rekers claimed, along just to carry the luggage.
It’s the usual quick-hit bit of schadenfreude as yet another holier-than-thou holy Joe gets caught—this time by the Miami New Times—doing something he claims is an abomination. But Rekers’ life work makes it of particular interest in California.
He is a co-founder, along with the Rev. James Dobson, of the Family Research Council, a major player in the passage of Proposition 8 in California. In the transcripts for Perry vs. Schwarzenegger, the trial to determine whether Prop. 8 is valid under the U.S. Constitution, references to the work the FRC did in organizing—and in spreading misinformation about gays and lesbians—are frequent.
Yes, Rekers is a man to be pitied for his self-hate and homophobia. But he has also done an immeasurable amount of damage to gays and lesbians in California, in the United States and around the world. Laugh if you must, but remember that George Rekers’ own life is proof that such claims about homosexuality are at best inaccurate, and at worst, deliberately damaging not only to individual gays and lesbians, but to our society as a whole.