The blogosphere is ablaze today with a story that broke in the May issue of Miami New Times and was reported today by The Washington Post. Prominent anti-gay activist and cofounder of the conservative Family Research Council George Alan Rekers recently returned from a 10-day European trip with a male escort who advertises on a Web site called Rentboy.com.
Rekers told the New Times he hired the escort to help carry luggage, not for sexual purposes. He only learned his companion was a prostitute midway through the trip and on Wednesday published a statement 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 and has testified against gay adoption. He 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.”
The escort, who was identified in the article by the pseudonym ‘Lucien,’ told the newspaper that his services were enlisted through Rentboy.com, which helps clients “find gay escorts, male escorts, gay masseurs, male masseurs and learn how to become an escort.”
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said the group had no specific knowledge of Rekers recent doings. Central Voice columnist Sophonda Cox said “You go girl!”