George Rekes latest anti-gay leader caught in gay tryst
Yet another religious leader who fought gay rights apparently doesn’t practice what he preaches.
George Alan Rekers, known in conservative circles as a staunch anti-gay activist who champions “curing” homosexuals, solicited a 20-year-old male hooker online from a website called rentboy.com, according to a published report. The Baptist minister then reportedly took his escort for a 10-day romp through Europe last month, according to a published report.
The allegation drew parallels to former Florida Rep. Mark Foley, evangelical pastor Ted Haggard and other leaders who opposed rights but were either pursuing men or having trysts with them.“He’s a spectacular hypocrite who’s done great harm to our community,” said Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out of Rekers. “He spent his entire career demeaning and demonizing our lives.”
Rekers, 61, who was a co-founder of Christian lobbying group Family Research Council, said he only enlisted the young man to help carry his bags. But he visited rentboy.com, a racy male escort site filled with images of scantily clad men for hire, the Miami New Times said. In a statement on his website, Rekers on Wednesday called the report “slanderous.”
The Family Research Council on Wednesday distanced itself from Rekers, saying it has no contact with him.
“While we are extremely disappointed when any Christian leader engages in the very activities that they ‘preach’ against, it is not surprising. The Scriptures clearly teach the fallen nature of all people,” council president Tony Perkins said in a statement.
New Yorkers on Wednesday said Rekers was in deep denial.
“What is possible is that he’s being such a prominent activist to prove to everyone – probably including himself – that he is a good Christian,” said Don Gremchik, 24, of Chelsea. “He’s hiding under all that activism.”
Sarah Chinn, executive director of CUNY’s Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, argued that the alleged outing perpetuates a dangerous stereotype.
“It has a negative effect because it feeds into this sort of pop psychology that people who are homophobes are secretly gay and they’re repressing their desires,” Chinn said. “No, they’re homophobic because they hate gays.”
Besen, of Truth Wins Out, which fights gay disinformation, countered that the Rekers incident clears up other misconceptions about homosexuality.
“There’s a huge silver lining. Every time these hypocrites are exposed, it does show that [being gay is] not a choice, it’s not something that can be reversed,” Besen said. “If the people writing books … are renting hookers, then there’s no hope for the ones actually reading their books.”
Julia Borovskaya contributed to this story.