Equality Florida, Florida’s leading organization advocating equality for LGBTs, is demanding an apology from the Florida attorney general for using taxpayer dollars to fund testimony from Family Research Council co-founder George Rekers.
Rekers and a cohort were hired as star witnesses and paid $120,000 by Florida attorney general Bill McCollum to defend Florida’s antigay adoption ban. In a widely circulated story first reported by Miami New Times, Rekers was caught in May with a male prostitute at the Miami airport.
“This latest controversy makes it clear that Florida attorney general Bill McCollum must publicly apologize for wasting taxpayers’ money on the outrageously biased and unscientific testimony,” representatives from Equality Florida said in a statement to the press. “No court should ever again consider George Rekers an ‘expert’ on anything, especially the lives gay people.”
The Miami Herald reported that Rekers testified in court that gay men and lesbians “would have less capability of providing the kind of nurturing and secure emotional environment for children.” Rekers further testified that he favored banning anyone from adopting who had more than 18 sex partners during a lifetime, calling the notion “a very good social policy” in a deposition.
Rekers’ animosity extends beyond the gay community when restricting adopting and fostering children. He said he would also consider banning Native Americans from adopting because research shows that 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.”
“Rekers, a national ‘ex-gay’ leader, was a fraud long before he was caught in Miami,” Equality Florida’s statement continued. “It is disgraceful that the Florida attorney general used taxpayer dollars to compensate this discredited bigot-for-hire.”—Nancy Ford