Rekers Threatens to Sue Over Beng Called ’Gay’
Anti-gay Christian heavyweight George Rekers reportedly hired a 20-year-old male escort from RentBoy.com and took the young man on a European vacation because, said Rekers, he had recently had surgery and was unable to lift his own luggage. However, the young man in question, Jo-vanni Roman--also known in press reports as "Lucien"--told the Miami New Times that he was not acting as a luggage porter for Rekers; rather, he was providing intimate massage for the older man.
Meantime, conservative chat sites lit up with accusations that the scandal was a plot by liberals to smear Rekers, who co-founded the anti-gay Family Research Council along with James Dobson in 1983. Rekers also served as an "expert witness" in a Florida court case challenging a state law that bars adoption by gays and lesbians; in that case, Rekers--who was paid a hefty fee for his testimony--compared gays to terrorists and said that neither same-sex couples nor Native Americans would make for fit adoptive parents.
Rekers is also a board member for the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), an "ex-gay" organization that claims gays and lesbians can be "cured" of their "affliction." That claim stands in contradiction to most reputable mental health professionals, who warn that so-called "reparative therapies" are liable to damage, rather than benefit, gays trying to "convert" to heterosexuality. Media reports of Rekers' affiliation with NARTH may have led some to the conclusion that Rekers himself claims to be "ex-gay," but Miami Herald columnist Steve Rothaus reported in a May 6 blog posting that Rekers had sent in an email asserting, "I am not gay and never have been."
Rekers also said in the email that he had "been advised to retain the services of a defamation attorney in this matter," and went on to say, "My travel assistant called me this afternoon earnestly asking me to clarify on my website that he worked for me as a travel companion and not as a prostitute.
"I completely agreed with my travel assistant that it is absolutely true that I hired him and he worked for me as a travel companion and not as a prostitute," the email continued. Rekers then went on to say that, acting on advice from a friend, he had emailed the younger man a list of four questions to answer about the details of their trip together.
"Together we agreed that I in fact hired him to lift luggage when necessary as a travel assistant during the trip, because I cannot do so himself since having surgery," wrote Rekers. "We agreed that this is what my travel assistant agreed to do for pay prior to taking the trip."
Rekers continued, "We agreed that my travel assistant did in fact lift my luggage each time it was necessary, that I did not lift my luggage, and my travel assistant did all the lifting."
Added Rekers, "We agreed that I hired him as a companion and to help with luggage, and that I did not hire him as a prostitute for any sexual purpose."
Rekers had previously issued a statement to the effect that he had counseled the young man about the "gay lifestyle." Rekers reiterated that point in the email, writing, "We agreed that I explained the Christian faith to my travel assistant in conversations on several days during the trip."
Next: According to Jo-vanni