Prominent anti-gay activist George Rekers, who was caught last week returning from a 10-day trip to Europe with a male escort he found on Rentboy.com, has terminated his association with a major anti-gay group.
Rekers has resigned from the board of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, or NARTH, "to allow myself the time necessary to fight the false media reports that have been made against me," the retired professor said in a statement.
Once again, Rekers declined to dispute specific elements of the Miami New Times' coverage, choosing instead to contradict its obvious implications. "With the assistance of a defamation attorney, I will fight these false reports because I have not engaged in any homosexual behavior whatsoever," he said. "I am not gay and never have been."
NARTH, which advocates "therapy" to convert gays and fights scientific research suggesting that such treatment is ludicrous, attached a statement to Rekers' resignation asserting that his apparent hypocrisy does not reflect on their work. A NARTH spokesman told TPM that the extent of the organization's involvement in the Rentboy scandal is to tell Rekers "if he is innocent he needs to get a good lawyer."
Rekers is no stranger to courtrooms. As Michael Rogers notes, Rekers has testified against gay adoption on behalf of the states of Florida and Arkansas, for which he was paid $120,000 by Florida and $60,000 by Arkansas -- the latter in a settlement following a two-year court battle after he billed Arkansas for $165,000. In each case, the presiding judge called Rekers' testimony "extremely suspect" or concluded that "the court cannot consider his testimony to be credible nor worthy of forming the basis of public policy."
The escort Rekers was caught with, Jo-Vanni Roman, appeared on "Anderson Cooper 360" to talk about their trip to Europe. Roman didn't have too many new details, but he talks a bit about some elements of the contract Rekers drew up, which required that Roman spend eight hours and eat two meals with him per day during the trip.