The Miami Herald
BY STEVE ROTHAUS
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 on Tuesday 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.”
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.”