Gay-rights advocates are celebrating the news that George Rekers — co-founder of the conservative Christian group Family Research Council and a key player in the movement to "cure" homosexuality — was caught renting a young male prostitute for a 10-day European vacation. Rekers, 61, says he hired escort "Lucien" from Rentboy.com to help him "lift luggage" while he recovers from surgery, reports the Miami New Times. Bloggers aren't buying it, but could there be a nonsexual reason for Rekers to hire a gay escort? (Watch an MSNBC report about George Rekers' scandal)
Rekers' excuse stinks: Rekers hired a dishy rent-boy to "hold his bags"? asks Lisa Derrick at La Figa. Please. If the "virulently anti-gay" Rekers had really wanted a luggage carrier, he'd have turned to "an employment agency or a church group," not a site that's very clearly "dedicated to uniting men who are willing to pay for sex with very fit, very naked men who would like to make some extra cash by having sex."
"Me thinks the homophobe doth protesteth WAY too much"
It was evangelism, not pleasure: "Like Jesus Christ, I deliberately spend time with sinners with the loving goal to try to help them," says George Rekers, in a Facebook response to blogger Joe Jervis. And my "travel assistant," "Lucien," is a good example of that. "I spent a great deal of time sharing scientific information on the desirability of abandoning homosexual intercourse, and I shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with him in great detail."
"Dr. George Rekers, patron of male prostitutes, responds to me on Facebook"
Sign me up for that cure: If being "cured" of homosexuality "involved all-expense-paid trips to Europe and large fees," says Dan Savage in The Stranger, I'm sure more of us gays would take Rekers up on his treatment. "Hell, my boyfriend and I volunteer to accompany George Rekers on this next trip to Europe (provided there's no sex, just easily-tuned-out bible verses)."
"Whatever lifts your luggage, George"
Rekers is the one who needs compassion: "You know, Rekers may not have actually had sex with the kid," as both claim, says Timothy Kincaid in Box Turtle Bulletin. But how long can Rekers convince himself that his "urges to travel for ten days" in the company of a male escort are less about "endless evangelism" than they are about dancing on "the edges of his own unwanted desires"?