A leading proponent of so-called “ex-gay” reparative therapies has been outed after a Miami New Times report revealed he’d taken a male prostitute with him on vacation to Europe.

According to the report, Dr. George A. Rekers — founder of the Family Research Council, a board member of the anti-gay National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) and a former professor at the University of South Carolina — was witnessed with the young prostitute (who New Times called “Lucien”) as the two departed an Iberian Airlines flight at the Miami hotel. A passer-by snagged a photo of the pair.

New Times reports:

Reached by New Times before a trip to Bermuda, Rekers said he learned Lucien was a prostitute only midway through their vacation. “I had surgery,” Rekers said, “and I can’t lift luggage. That’s why I hired him.” (Though medical problems didn’t stop him from pushing the tottering baggage cart through MIA.)

Yet Rekers wouldn’t deny he met his slender, blond escort at Rentboy.com — which features homepage images of men in bondage and grainy videos of crotch-rubbing twinks — and Lucien confirmed it.

At the small western Miami townhome he shares with a roommate, a nervous Lucien expressed surprise when we told him that Rekers denied knowing about his line of work from the beginning. “He should’ve been able to tell you that,” he said, fidgeting and fixing his eyes on his knees. “But that’s up to him.”

Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out, an organization countering the lies and damage of the “ex-gay” movement said in a release:

“This is a bombshell that completely discredits the ex-gay industry and proves that the movement is a fraud,” said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out. “While Rekers keeps a low public profile, his fingerprints are on almost every anti-gay effort to demean and dehumanize LGBT people. Lobby groups that work to deny equality to LGBT Americans ubiquitously cite his work. Rekers has caused a great deal of harm to gay and lesbian individuals.

“It is clear that Rekers has baggage and certainly needs help,” said Besen. “At least he did not say he was walking the Appalachian Trail. Given the sordid and tawdry facts, he should immediately step down from NARTH’s Board and apologize to the LGBT community for his extreme hypocrisy and self-loathing. As of today, his entire body of work on LGBT issues is rendered meaningless.”

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.

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