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Hey, George, How’s That Ex-Gay Hopey-Changey Thing Working Out?

by David Badash on May 6, 2010

in News

Post image for Hey, George, How’s That Ex-Gay Hopey-Changey Thing Working Out?



“Ex-gay.” It means someone who believes they were once gay, lesbian, or bisexual, but no longer affirms that identity, usually after intervention of “conversion therapy.” It is a widely discredited pseudo-science made popular in the early 1980s.

This week, the media is in an uncontrollable, gleeful hysteria over the Miami New Times’ report that “ex-gay” activist, professional gay-hater and Baptist minister George Alan Rekers, was caught and photographed returning from a one-week European vacation with a twenty-year old gay male prostitute he “found” on the gay sex site rentboy.com. Amusingly, Rekers initially explained that he was unaware of the young man’s vocation, then claimed his physician had instructed him to hire someone to “lift my luggage,” as he had recently had surgery, then claimed he was doing the Lord’s work.

Rekers told Joe Jervis of Joe.My.God. the following:

“I have spent much time as a mental health professional and as a Christian minister helping and lovingly caring for people identifying themselves as “gay.” My hero is Jesus Christ who loves even the culturally despised people, including sexual sinners and prostitutes. Like Jesus Christ, I deliberately spend time with sinners with the loving goal to try to help them. Mark 2:16-17 reads, “16When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the “sinners” and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?” 17On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” In fact, in a dialogue with hypocritical religious leaders, Jesus even stated to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him. ” (Matthew 21:31).”

There might have been something about washing the feet of Lepers in there too…

George Alan Rekers literally is a professional gay-hater. The sixty-one year old has made his living talking, writing, and testifying in court against homosexuality, homosexuals, and he helped create the “ex-gay” industry.

Rekers’ resume currently lists him as “President/CEO” of InterAct International, where he claims to have “[f]ounded and directed university-campus programs locally and internationally to present practical integration of academic disciplines such as business & psychology with Christian ethics.”

Let’s take a look at his “accomplishments.”

Rekers, along with another professional gay-hater, James Dobson, co-founded the Family Research Council (FRC) in 1983. (Remember in February when FRC’s Peter Sprigg told Chris Matthews “gay behavior should be outlawed?”) FRC is a right-wing Christian lobbying group that was part of another professional gay-hating group that Dobson founded, Focus on the Family. (FOF sponsored the controversial Tim Tebow Superbowl anti-abortion ad.)

(By the way, Dobson is supporting Tea Party extreme right-wing candidate Rand Paul.)

Along with co-founding FRC, Rekers co-founded NARTH — The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality — another gay-hating right-wing Christian group.

In The Huffington Post, Alvin McEwen (author of “Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters”) calls NARTH “an organization espousing scientifically inaccurate beliefs that gays can turn straight,” and the American College of Pediatricians “a shell group attempting to bring a level of credibility to anti-gay distortions.”

NARTH lauds Rekers with this bio:

“Dr. Rekers has served as an invited expert for committees of the US Congress, and for the White House staff, and for several presidential cabinet agencies. He is an ABPP Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, a Fellow of the American Academy of Clinical Psychology, and a recipient of the Sigmund Freud Award from NARTH. Dr. Rekers published the first empirical treatment studies demonstrating that childhood cross-gender identity could be reversed, thereby offering prevention of some forms of adulthood homosexual and transsexual development. Professor Rekers was an expert for the legal defense of the Florida law prohibiting child adoption by homosexuals, which was upheld by the US Supreme Court in 2005.”

Rekers also makes his money writing books. Lots of books. Right now on Amazon.com you can buy some of Rekers’ books:

  • “Shaping your child’s sexual identity,”
  • “Growing up straight: What families should know about homosexuality,”
  • “Gender identity disorders,”
  • “Who am I, Lord?: Discovering your spiritual gift and where God wants you to use it,”
  • “The Christian world view of the family”

Rekers self-created “expert” status on homosexuals, homosexuality, and “ex-gays” also helps him fill his wallet by appearing in court as an “expert witness.” Equality Florida this week reported,

“George Rekers, the “expert” witness hired by Attorney General Bill McCollum to defend Florida’s anti-gay adoption ban…was one of only two witnesses Attorney General Bill McCollum called in an effort to reverse a Miami judge who ruled Florida’s adoption ban- the only one in the country- is unconstitutional.

“McCollum paid Rekers and a colleague t$87,000 for testimony that called gay people mentally unstable and advised that the ban should be expanded to include Native Americans because, Rekers claimed, they are also at much higher risk of mental illness and substance abuse.

“They would tend to hang around each other,” Rekers testified. “So the children would be around a lot of other Native Americans who are … doing the same sorts of things.”

But it looks like the tide has finally turned for Dr. Rekers. (Yes, believe it or not he is a Ph.D.) Virtually all of the “ex-gay” organizations and those organizations he co-founded have been furiously pulling down and, according to Truth Wins Out, “scrubbing” any mention of Rekers from their websites.

“When news broke yesterday that ex-gay movement godfather George Alan Rekers had hired a male prostitute for a 10-day excursion to Europe, the Family Research Council — which Rekers co-founded — promptly scrubbed its website free of references to Rekers, without admitting the scandal to its readers.

“NARTH, PFOX, Exodus, and Focus on the Family have yet to do so.”

Rekers has been discredited. Sadly, it’s very possible in a few years he’ll turn up and go down the same nasty gay-hating path, this time with a new schtick.

But the real story here is not George Alan Rekers. After all the jokes and laughter, after all the tweets about schadenfreude, Facebook messages about hypocrisy, and Colbert jokes about “What boy would Jesus rent?,” what’s left, sadly, are thousands of people Rekers directly or indirectly touched. Anyone who believed in the “ex-gay” concept, anyone who paid Rekers and his organizations, or other “ex-gay” organizations, like Exodus or PFOX.

Rekers caused so many thousands great pain claiming they could be “cured” of their homosexuality. He caused countless millions more — on both sides of the issue — great pain, when they were impacted by his false claims and false research. And now, totally discredited, Rekers has caused these poor souls immeasurable pain by his actions.

Bilerico’s Waymon Hudson asks, “Celebration, Compassion, or somewhere in between?” Rekers doesn’t deserve our sympathy, or our compassion. He lost that right the day he chose to make a career out of hate. Rekers deserves the shunning and “scrubbing” from the history books that is taking place now.

The question remains: How can one man have been allowed, for so many decades, to create an entire industry of lies, and be so handsomely rewarded for it?

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{ 5 comments }

RMThrower May 6, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Great post! Heh heh….

Lauren--NY May 6, 2010 at 4:22 pm

The levels of lies and deception that shape this man's life are just staggering to me. You won't even believe the denial:http://professorgeorge.wordpress.com/2010/05/05/m

Does he really expect anyone to buy this?

Lauren--NY May 6, 2010 at 4:22 pm

The levels of lies and deception that shape this man's life are just staggering to me. You won't even believe the denial:http://professorgeorge.wordpress.com/2010/05/05/m

Does he really expect anyone to buy this?

Michael May 7, 2010 at 3:33 am

How much money has radical anti-gay activist Rekers made off the misery of God's gay children? Misery which he helped underpin and support with his non-stop efforts to make being gay look like a "choice" and a bad choice at that. When he threw in his lot with shrill anti-gay pressure groups, he affirmed that he is not out to help anyone. He just wanted part of the pie and he told his unrepentant homophobe handlers whatever they wanted to hear to keep the money flowing. But now the truth comes out as it always does. "Ex-gay" activist Rekers needs to ask Jesus for forgiveness for the harm he has caused so many. Then he needs to begin the long hard task of leaving homophobia. Yes, he will lose lots of money leaving the immoral anti-gay lifestyle. But in the process, he may save his soul.

Michael May 7, 2010 at 3:33 am

How much money has radical anti-gay activist Rekers made off the misery of God's gay children? Misery which he helped underpin and support with his non-stop efforts to make being gay look like a "choice" and a bad choice at that. When he threw in his lot with shrill anti-gay pressure groups, he affirmed that he is not out to help anyone. He just wanted part of the pie and he told his unrepentant homophobe handlers whatever they wanted to hear to keep the money flowing. But now the truth comes out as it always does. "Ex-gay" activist Rekers needs to ask Jesus for forgiveness for the harm he has caused so many. Then he needs to begin the long hard task of leaving homophobia. Yes, he will lose lots of money leaving the immoral anti-gay lifestyle. But in the process, he may save his soul.

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