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Hey, George, How’s That Ex-Gay Hopey-Changey Thing Working Out?

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“Ex-gay.” It means someone who believes they were once gay, lesbian, or bisexual, but no longer affirms that identity, usually after intervention of “conversion therapy.” It is a widely discredited pseudo-science made popular in the early 1980s.

This week, the media is in an uncontrollable, gleeful hysteria over the Miami New Times’ report that “ex-gay” activist, professional gay-hater and Baptist minister George Alan Rekers, was caught and photographed returning from a one-week European vacation with a twenty-year old gay male prostitute he “found” on the gay sex site rentboy.com. Amusingly, Rekers initially explained that he was unaware of the young man’s vocation, then claimed his physician had instructed him to hire someone to “lift my luggage,” as he had recently had surgery, then claimed he was doing the Lord’s work.

Rekers told Joe Jervis of Joe.My.God. the following:

“I have spent much time as a mental health professional and as a Christian minister helping and lovingly caring for people identifying themselves as “gay.” My hero is Jesus Christ who loves even the culturally despised people, including sexual sinners and prostitutes. Like Jesus Christ, I deliberately spend time with sinners with the loving goal to try to help them. Mark 2:16-17 reads, “16When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the “sinners” and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?” 17On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” In fact, in a dialogue with hypocritical religious leaders, Jesus even stated to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him. ” (Matthew 21:31).”

There might have been something about washing the feet of Lepers in there too…

George Alan Rekers literally is a professional gay-hater. The sixty-one year old has made his living talking, writing, and testifying in court against homosexuality, homosexuals, and he helped create the “ex-gay” industry.

Rekers’ resume currently lists him as “President/CEO” of InterAct International, where he claims to have “[f]ounded and directed university-campus programs locally and internationally to present practical integration of academic disciplines such as business & psychology with Christian ethics.”

Let’s take a look at his “accomplishments.”

Rekers, along with another professional gay-hater, James Dobson, co-founded the Family Research Council (FRC) in 1983. (Remember in February when FRC’s Peter Sprigg told Chris Matthews “gay behavior should be outlawed?”) FRC is a right-wing Christian lobbying group that was part of another professional gay-hating group that Dobson founded, Focus on the Family. (FOF sponsored the controversial Tim Tebow Superbowl anti-abortion ad.)

(By the way, Dobson is supporting Tea Party extreme right-wing candidate Rand Paul.)

Along with co-founding FRC, Rekers co-founded NARTH — The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality — another gay-hating right-wing Christian group.

In The Huffington Post, Alvin McEwen (author of “Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters”) calls NARTH “an organization espousing scientifically inaccurate beliefs that gays can turn straight,” and the American College of Pediatricians “a shell group attempting to bring a level of credibility to anti-gay distortions.”

NARTH lauds Rekers with this bio:

“Dr. Rekers has served as an invited expert for committees of the US Congress, and for the White House staff, and for several presidential cabinet agencies. He is an ABPP Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, a Fellow of the American Academy of Clinical Psychology, and a recipient of the Sigmund Freud Award from NARTH. Dr. Rekers published the first empirical treatment studies demonstrating that childhood cross-gender identity could be reversed, thereby offering prevention of some forms of adulthood homosexual and transsexual development. Professor Rekers was an expert for the legal defense of the Florida law prohibiting child adoption by homosexuals, which was upheld by the US Supreme Court in 2005.”

Rekers also makes his money writing books. Lots of books. Right now on Amazon.com you can buy some of Rekers’ books:

  • “Shaping your child’s sexual identity,”

  • “Growing up straight: What families should know about homosexuality,”

  • “Gender identity disorders,”

  • “Who am I, Lord?: Discovering your spiritual gift and where God wants you to use it,”

  • “The Christian world view of the family”

Rekers self-created “expert” status on homosexuals, homosexuality, and “ex-gays” also helps him fill his wallet by appearing in court as an “expert witness.” Equality Florida this week reported,

“George Rekers, the “expert” witness hired by Attorney General Bill McCollum to defend Florida’s anti-gay adoption ban…was one of only two witnesses Attorney General Bill McCollum called in an effort to reverse a Miami judge who ruled Florida’s adoption ban- the only one in the country- is unconstitutional.

“McCollum paid Rekers and a colleague t$87,000 for testimony that called gay people mentally unstable and advised that the ban should be expanded to include Native Americans because, Rekers claimed, they are also at much higher risk of mental illness and substance abuse.

“They would tend to hang around each other,” Rekers testified. “So the children would be around a lot of other Native Americans who are … doing the same sorts of things.”

But it looks like the tide has finally turned for Dr. Rekers. (Yes, believe it or not he is a Ph.D.) Virtually all of the “ex-gay” organizations and those organizations he co-founded have been furiously pulling down and, according to Truth Wins Out, “scrubbing” any mention of Rekers from their websites.

“When news broke yesterday that ex-gay movement godfather George Alan Rekers had hired a male prostitute for a 10-day excursion to Europe, the Family Research Council — which Rekers co-founded — promptly scrubbed its website free of references to Rekers, without admitting the scandal to its readers.

“NARTH, PFOX, Exodus, and Focus on the Family have yet to do so.”

Rekers has been discredited. Sadly, it’s very possible in a few years he’ll turn up and go down the same nasty gay-hating path, this time with a new schtick.

But the real story here is not George Alan Rekers. After all the jokes and laughter, after all the tweets about schadenfreude, Facebook messages about hypocrisy, and Colbert jokes about “What boy would Jesus rent?,” what’s left, sadly, are thousands of people Rekers directly or indirectly touched. Anyone who believed in the “ex-gay” concept, anyone who paid Rekers and his organizations, or other “ex-gay” organizations, like Exodus or PFOX.

Rekers caused so many thousands great pain claiming they could be “cured” of their homosexuality. He caused countless millions more — on both sides of the issue — great pain, when they were impacted by his false claims and false research. And now, totally discredited, Rekers has caused these poor souls immeasurable pain by his actions.

Bilerico’s Waymon Hudson asks, “Celebration, Compassion, or somewhere in between?” Rekers doesn’t deserve our sympathy, or our compassion. He lost that right the day he chose to make a career out of hate. Rekers deserves the shunning and “scrubbing” from the history books that is taking place now.

The question remains: How can one man have been allowed, for so many decades, to create an entire industry of lies, and be so handsomely rewarded for it?

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COMMENTARY

Trump An ‘Enemy of the Constitution’ Declares Nicolle Wallace, Blasting Call to ‘Terminate’ Nation’s Founding Document

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MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace slammed Donald Trump as an “enemy of the Constitution” on Monday after the ex-president, over the weekend, called for the U.S. Constitution to be terminated.

Trump demanded “the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” in light of his most recent – and false – claim the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

That was Saturday, on his Truth Social account.

On Monday, Trump denied having ever said it, despite the post still being up.

Wallace characterized Trump’s call to terminate the Constitution “an extraordinary statement even by the standards of a failed wannabe autocrat who plotted a coup against his own government and recently dined with white supremacists.”

READ MORE: ‘Venom’: Experts Shocked as Gorsuch Angrily Accuses Colorado of Forcing Anti-LGBTQ Baker Into ‘Re-Education Program’

“The disgraced ex-president made his contempt for our democracy as clear as ever, when he called for the United States Constitution to be ‘terminated.'”

Quoting The Washington Post, Wallace said: “Trump’s message on his Truth Social platform reiterated the baseless claims he has made since 2020, that the election was stolen, but he went further by suggesting that the country abandon one of its founding documents.”

She also played a clip of Republican Congressman Dave Joyce of Ohio from Sunday’s ABC News.

Rep. Joyce in the clip twists and turns but ultimately admits that if Trump is the GOP nominee for president in 2024 he will vote for him.

READ MORE: Anti-LGBTQ Slurs on Twitter Up Over 800% as Musk Allows Thousands of Previously Banned Users Back: Reports

“Well, again, it’s early I think there’s gonna be a lot of people in the primary I think at the end of the day, you will have — wherever the Republicans tend to pick up I will fall in behind because that’s –”

ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos interjected, asking,”Even if it’s Donald Trump, as he’s called for suspending the Constitution?”

“Again, I think it’s gonna be a big field. I don’t think Donald Trump’s gonna clear out the field like he did in 2016.”

“I will support whoever the Republican nominee is,” Joyce added.

“And I don’t don’t think that at this point he will be able to get there because I think there’s a lot of other good quality candidates out there.”

“He says a lot of things,” Joyce continued, refusing to denounce Trump.

“Let’s not speed past that moment,” Wallace urged. “This is exactly how Trump happened. All the Republicans in Washington and around the country said, [Trump] ‘says all sorts of stupid you know what. Dorsn’t mean he’s going to do it.'”

“He did all of it, all of it. And then some,” she chastised.

Watch below or at this link.

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'REGURGITATING RIGHT WING TALKING POINTS'

‘Venom’: Experts Shocked as Gorsuch Angrily Accuses Colorado of Forcing Anti-LGBTQ Baker Into ‘Re-Education Program’

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch appeared angry and even hostile at several points throughout Monday’s oral arguments in a case brought by a Colorado right-wing evangelical Christian website designer who is suing the state because she wants to be able to discriminate against same-sex couples who are getting married.

The case, 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, promises to be one of the most important of the term, and arguments extended more than two hours.

During one of the more heated moments, conservative Justice Gorsuch attacked Colorado Solicitor General Eric Olson, claiming the state forced an infamous anti-LGBTQ baker who also went before the Supreme Court, winning his 2018 case in a very narrow ruling, into a “re-education program.”

RELATED: ‘What the Hell, Sam’: Justice Alito Slammed for Making ‘Joke’ About Black Children in KKK Costumes

Jack Phillips, a business owner who refused to bake cakes for same-sex weddings, citing his religious beliefs, was required to attend a class so he could become familiar with Colorado anti-discrimination law.

The Supreme Court’s ruling at the time called it, “additional remedial measures, including ‘comprehensive staff training on the Public Accommodations section'” of Colorado’s anti-discrimination law.

Justice Gorsuch instead called it a “re-education program,” and slammed the state’s Solicitor General, Eric Olson, with it on Monday.

“Mr. Phillips did go through a re-education training program, pursuant to Colorado law, did he not, Mr. Olson?” Gorsuch asked the solicitor general.

“He went through a process that ensured he was familiar –” Olson responded, before Gorsuch cut him off.

“It was a re-education program, right?” the justice blared.

“It was not a ‘re-education program,'” Olson replied, holding his ground.

“What do you call it?” Gorsuch, dissatisfied, pressed.

“It was a process to make sure he was familiar with Colorado law,” Olson explained.

“Some might be excused for calling that a ‘re-education program,’” Gorsuch snapped.

“I strongly disagree, Justice Gorsuch,” Olson said, defending the law.

Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, who provided the clip above, warns: “It does not bode well for the future of civil rights law that Gorsuch believes a state imposes ‘reeducation training’ on employers when it reminds them how to comply with nondiscrimination rules.”

RELATED: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Supreme Court Ruling in the Gay Wedding Cake Case

“Astounding that Gorsuch, A Supreme Court Justice,” tweeted Adam Cohen of Attorneys for Good Government, “Refers to Colorado giving courses on following civil rights law, As ‘reeducation training.'”

“Like being taught not to discriminate against LGBTQ is the same as being sent to a gulag for protesting communism in the Soviet Union,” he added.

Professor Elizabeth Sepper of the University of Texas at Austin School of Law says, “Justice Gorsuch describes education about antidiscrimination law and compliance as a REEDUCATION PROGRAM. This is beyond offensive. It was a central and SOFT tool of many civil rights movements and was essential to targeting market discrimination.”

Columbia Law School’s Elizabeth Reiner Platt, the Director of The Law, Rights, and Religion Project responded, “OMG Gorsuch repeatedly insists that a training on civil rights law is a ‘reeducation program.’ Good grief.”

Attorney Andrew L. Seidel, Vice President of Strategic Communications for Americans United for Separation of Church and State tweeted, “WHOA. Gorsuch asks a very hostile question about sending the bakery to ‘a re-education program.’ He spits the phrase with venom and repeats it several times. He’s regurgitating right wing talking points.”

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'INAPPROPRIATE'

‘What the Hell, Sam’: Justice Alito Slammed for Making ‘Joke’ About Black Children in KKK Costumes

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The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in one of the most important cases of the term, a case that will determine if the nation’s highest court will or will not allow a person citing their personal religious beliefs to openly discriminate in the marketplace against same-sex couples.

In likely the most salient and important hypothetical example, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson described in great detail a photographer wanting to re-create scenes from 1940’s Christmases with Santa Clauses and children, in sepia tones, and making them historically accurate.

She asked the attorney representing the right-wing Christian website designer who does not want to have to provide her product to same-sex couples, if under her legal theory the hypothetical photographer would have to create photos of a white Santa with Black children.

Kristen Waggoner, the Alliance Defending Freedom‘s attorney arguing in favor of anti-LGBTQ discrimination, was forced to admit that the photographer would be able to say they would not take photos of Black children with a white Santa.

RELATED: Listen Live: SCOTUS Hears Christian Right Religion vs. LGBTQ Civil Rights Challenge

Later, Justice Samuel Alito, one of the Court’s most far-right jurists, decided to use Justice Jackson’s hypothetical analogy to make a point, and he did so by mockingly joking about Black children wearing KKK costumes.

“Justice Jackson’s example of that, the Santa in the mall who doesn’t want his picture taken with Black children,” Justice Alito began, getting the basics of the analogy incorrect.

“So if there’s a Black Santa at the other end of the mall, and he doesn’t want to have his picture taken with a child who is dressed up in a Ku Klux Klan outfit, now does that Black Santa have to do that?”

Colorado Solicitor General Eric Olson replied, “No, because Klu Klux Klan outfits are not protected characteristics under public accommodation laws.”

READ MORE: ‘Anathema to the Soul of Our Nation’: Trump Pilloried for Demanding ‘Termination’ of the US Constitution

“And presumably,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor interjected, “that would be the same Ku Klux Klan outfit regardless whether if the child was Black or white or any other characteristic.”

That’s when Alito decided to make a “joke,” while thousands of Americans were listening to the Court’s live proceedings.

“You do see a lot of Black children in Ku Klux Klan outfits all the time,” he said, presumably sarcastically.

He then laughed, and some viewers in the gallery joined with him.

Many on social media were outraged and offended.

“He is so inappropriate today. And offensive,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, the former President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF). “The Black kids in KuKluxKlan outfits? Not funny. Is this the highest Court of the most powerful country in the world? Good grief.”

Minutes later, NYU School of Law Professor of Law Melissa Murray weighed in, saying, “I’m going to need Justice Alito to stop joking about seeing ‘Black children in Ku Klux Klan costumes.'”

“Seriously, what am I listening to?” she asked, to which Ifill replied, “Just awful.”

“The joke about Black kids in KuKluxKlan outfits?” Ifill also lamented. “No Justice Alito, these ‘jokes’ are so inappropriate, no matter how many in the courtroom chuckle mindlessly.”

Columbia University Professor of Law Katherine Franke tweeted, “Justice Alito is resorting to KKK jokes. Ha ha ha. As if what’s at stake here is funny, and isn’t taking place in a context in which LGBTQ people feel like we have a target on our backs. And, ahem – Klan jokes aren’t funny under any context.”

The Rewire News Group tweeted, in all caps, “I knew Alito wouldn’t be able to resist bringing up the Ku Klux Klan,” and then: “What the hell, Sam.”

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