Various Internet sites are claiming to “out” Rev. George Alan Rekers, a Baptist minister with a long anti-homosexual history of writings and sermons. For his part, Rekers is threatening a defamation lawsuit after stories appeared that he had hired a 20-year-old young man to travel with him from a gay escort site.
Rekers has been a leader in gay-to-straight conversion-therapy and is a co-founder in 1983 with James Dobson of Family Research Council.
Rekers insisted that he did not know that his companion worked as a gay male escort when he took him on a 10-day European vacation. He said that he hired him because he could not life his own luggage due to a surgery. He does admit that he learned of his profession halfway through the trip and that he did meet the the man on Rentboy.com. The site advertises young men “up for anything” and contains pornographic details of their physiques.
Referring to the escort as “Lucien,” Rekers reportedly stated in a message to his followers:
“I seek to lovingly share two types of messages to them [homosexuals], as I did with the young man called ‘Lucien’ in the news story: It is possible to cease homosexual practices to avoid the unacceptable health risks associated with that behavior, and the most important decision one can make is to establish a relationship with God for all eternity by trusting in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins, including homosexual sins.”
As a public figure, Rekers will have difficulty under the New York Times v. Sullivan standard in pursuing a lawsuit. Moreover, given the public vacation, it may be equally difficult to allege the disclosure of embarrassing private facts.