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Antigay psychologist George Rekers takes trip to Europe with Rentboy from Miami

BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com

rekers A nationally known antigay psychologist who testified for the state in its defense of Florida's gay adoption ban recently took a trip to Europe with a gay male prostitute from Miami who advertised himself online.

George A. Rekers – an officer of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) and a retired University of South Carolina professor -- hired the young escort known as Geo on Rentboy.com, a gay-sex website.

Miami New Times reported the story Tuesday on its website and it quickly went viral on the Internet. By Wednesday, Rekers had taken down his Facebook page and Geo had removed his Rentboy profile.

Both Rekers and Geo, who declined to give his real name, deny they had a sexual relationship during their 10-day journey to Spain and England.

"In all honesty, I did go on the trip with him," Geo, 20, told The Miami Herald on Wednesday. "He was setting me up as a companion. In all honesty, he's a very kind family-values man."

Rekers, 61, said via e-mail that he hired Geo as "an assistant to lift his luggage in his travels because of an ongoing condition following surgery."

He added: "Dr. Rekers found his recent travel assistant by interviewing acquaintances. There was nothing inappropriate with this relationship. Professor Rekers was not involved in any illegal or sexual behavior with his travel assistant."

Rekers said he had no idea Geo worked as an escort until they were already in Europe.

“Dr. Rekers found his recent travel assistant by interviewing different people who might be able to help, and did not even find out about his travel assistant’s Internet advertisements offering prostitution activity until after the trip was in progress,’’ Rekers told The Miami Herald late Wednesday night.

Geo says Rekers -- the father of three grown sons -- hired him to carry luggage, be a companion and to translate Spanish to English during their time in Spain.

"Nor did he pay me enough'' for sex, Geo said.

"I was getting about $75 a day," Geo said, adding that he and his friends usually charge $300 to $500 a day for sex.

Geo said he is a Miami Dade College student who became a prostitute to pay his bills.

"I was just trying to get through school," he said. "I think I'm going to have drop my classes."

Geo's parents know he's gay, but not that he's an escort.

"Who the hell wants to tell them I was doing this stuff?" he said. "I come from a very conservative Spanish family."

Rekers, a founder of conservative Family Research Council who believes homosexuality is a sin, is well-known for his antigay stance. In 1989, he and Jerry Regier (later appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush as secretary of Florida's Department of Children and Families) co-wrote an essay entitled The Christian World View of the Family, which railed against abortion and gay couples forming families, and emphasized that husbands have "final say in any family dispute."

The state of Florida recently paid him about $60,000 to be an expert witness against gay adoption, in the case of Frank Gill, a gay foster parent seeking to adopt two young brothers.

Florida is the only state that bans all gay people from adopting.

In Nov. 2008, Miami-Dade Judge Cindy Lederman awarded custody of the two boys to Gill. In her final judgment, Lederman wrote:

"Dr. Rekers' testimony was far from a neutral and unbiased recitation of the relevant scientific evidence. Dr. Rekers' beliefs are motivated by his strong ideological and theological convictions that are not consistent with the science. Based on his testimony and demeanor at trial, the court can not consider his testimony to be credible nor worthy of forming the basis of public policy."

The state Attorney General's Office has appealed Lederman's ruling and a decision is expected anytime.

On Wednesday, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Bill McCollum wouldn't comment about Reker. A NARTH office worker also declined to speak.

Gay activists seized the opportunity, though.

"He's not a credible witness," said Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida, the state's leading gay-rights group. "The hateful rhetoric he spews in court is very damaging to the children being denied permanent and loving homes because of this adoption ban."

Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out, a national group that opposes the ex-gay movement, said it doesn't matter whether or not Reckers and Geo had a sexual relationship.

"Who cares? It's even creepier if they didn't have sex," said Besen, who grew up in Fort Lauderdale. "If you go to Rentboy.com to have the company of a sex worker and not have sex, I think that shows a pattern of repression and delusion. That's just not normal behavior.

"Rekers is driving the story right now with his comical denial. He could have just as easily given someone a big tip to carry his bags, like everyone else does."

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I like the quote he need " an assistant to lift his luggage in his travels because of an ongoing condition following surgery "
I quess that ongoing condition was Penile dysfunction .

Its like I have always said, this world is full of hypocrites. And its *always* the most vocal ones that are against something... they are the very ones that do what they claim they hate so much. When it comes to anything sex related. Mr. Foley is another example, along with countless others.

If "Geo" can make $300 to $500 a day for sex, why did he accept working for $75 a day carrying luggage?
This really doesn't make any sense.

It would be nice if you blurred the face of "Geo."

$300 - $500 a day for that?

Talk about having bad taste...

I find a lot of anti-gay activists doth protest too much!!! I think they are afraid of gays because they are latent homosexuals themselves but think it is a sin so don't want temptation around. A lot of anti-gays are also hypocritical, preaching against one thing and doing the very thing they are preaching against on the sly. I guess this is a case of do as I say, not as I do!!!!

It amazes me that everyone assumes they did have sex when they both said they did not. If all he earned is $75/day and he gets $300-$500 for sex...

The _assumption_ is that Geo is lying as is Reikers. Somehow this assumption doesn't ring true. Could it be they are telling the truth.

I think gays have made much ado about nothing.

Hey Bert, "they both said they did not"... you believe that chit?


How about we ask a few more questions, such as: What were the sleeping arrangements while in Europe? Did "Geo" have his own room? If so, where are the receipts for the rooms, all of them.

And, who paid for the trip to Eurpoe? And, did the trip to Europe coincide with Spring Break at Geo's school?

Can we see the expense report for this trip? How many candle-light-dinner-for-two line items are there? How many champagne-dark-chocolate-1-dozen-roses-room-service charges are there?

Has Rekers purchased condoms with his ATM or credit card within days of his trip to Europe?

Did Rekers get an invoice for services from Geo - something the IRS can use?

Did Rekers have an account in rentboy.com - can we subpoena Rekers computer equipment and find out if he did?

answer those questions, and we'll know Rekers intentions. Whether or not he "Slept" with the kid is not the point. The pint here are the intentions.

If Rekers intentions are discovered, would you want him influencing public policy?

Anti-gays has the right to express how they feel about this...But sometime we need to respect each others point of view so that we could leave harmoniously with each other... Antigay

And, did the trip to Europe coincide with Spring Break at Geo's school?

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