George Alan Rekers, a prominent anti-gay activist who co-founded the conservative Family Research Council, was caught returning from a 10-day trip to Europe with a male escort he found on Rentboy.com, which is exactly what it sounds like.
[UPDATE: The escort now says Rekers is indeed gay, and that Rekers paid him to perform daily nude body rubs during their European jaunt. "It's a situation where he's going against homosexuality when he is a homosexual," the young man told the New Times, adding that Rekers -- who repeatedly asked for a move he dubbed "The Long Stroke" -- ought to divorce himself from his many anti-gay associations.
Rekers has a new explanation for the trip. "I deliberately spend time with sinners with the loving goal to try to help them," he said in a statement posted on Facebook.
The Miami New Times promises more details and a profile of the escort, whom they codenamed "Lucien" but whose identity has been revealed elsewhere.]
Not to worry, Rekers told the Miami New Times, which broke the story: He claims he learned his 20-year-old companion was a prostitute only midway through their trip, they had no intimate contact, and he hired the young man only because recent surgery means "I can't lift luggage."
This seems highly dubious, not least because the New Times reporters spotted the retired professor pushing his baggage cart through Miami International Airport. It would be extremely difficult to stumble upon the Rentboy.com homepage, which features young well-muscled men rubbing each other's crotches on grainy video loops, and not figure out what the site means by "rent boy."
The site's pages aren't indexed by Google, either, so we'll need to take the New Times' word for it that the profile page for Rekers' escort advertised his "smooth, sweet, tight ass" and "perfectly built 8 inch cock." The young man denied that he and Rekers had sex, but he did confirm that they met via his Rentboy profile.
With the scandal flaring in the wake of the New Times expose, Rekers published a statement on his personal website that decries the story's "misleading innuendo." He confuses libel with slander, but he doesn't deny any specific element of the story, only repeating his claim that he needed help carrying luggage and averring that family and friends will back that claim.
Rekers, who is also a professor emeritus of neuropsychiatry at the University of South Carolina and a Baptist minister, recently testifed against gay adoption in Florida, where he resides. Raw Story flagged a particularly jarring article in which he claims that children adopted by gay couples are more likely to commit suicide.
The retired professor has remained far less high-profile than his Family Research Council co-founder James Dobson, but he is an extremely prolific author of books like Who Am I? Lord and Growing Up Straight: What Families Should Know About Homosexuality. He has also advised members of Congress, the White House, and the Department of Health and Human Services, according to the New Times story, which is worth reading in its entirety.