Intellectual Contortions

May 11, 2010 at 10:42 am 29 comments

by Brian Leubitz

Remember the story about George Rekers from last week? Well, there’s more to it. Apparently, Bill McCollum, the Attorney General of Florida who is trying to make a name for himself on the backs of children, aggressively pushed to hire this discredited quack for his defense of the Anita Bryant era gay adoption ban:

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum personally pushed to hire George Rekers to testify in defense of the state’s gay adoption ban in 2008, even when the Department of Children and Families balked at the cost, according to letters obtained by the Florida Tribune. But with Rekers now embroiled in a scandal involving a gay escort, McCollum said he wouldn’t do it again.

“We’ve been defending the constitutionality of the state law and we’ve been representing the Department of Children and Families, who hired him and paid him and needed expert witnesses and he was available and credentialed,” McCollum told the Tribune. “I wouldn’t do it again if I knew what I knew today but I didn’t know that then and neither did anybody else.” (Talking Points Memo)

McCollum, who is fighting for the Republican nomination against a tea party candidate even further to the right, got all Orange Queen on gay rights and decided to hire Rekers. He eventually had the state pay this guy $120,000 for his “expert” opinion. The court, rightly, totally discounted his evidence. Of course, McCollum, had he done his homework would have seen that Rekers testimony wasn’t worth 120 cents, let alone 120 thousand dollars. An Arkansas court also ignored his testimony a few years back. But McCollum was undettered, arguing strenuously for this self-loathing hypocrit:

The trial court totally disregarded Dr. Rekers’s testimony, citing his religious background and writing as the central reasons for concluding that the gave “far from a neutral and unbiased recitation of the relevant scientific evidence.” For example the court noted twice that Dr. Rekers … is a minister; it provided long excerpts from some old religious book that he authored … but no longer endorses. […]

Instead of dispassionately considering evidence and the merits of these experts’ research-backed opinions (or circumscribing those portions purportedly based purely on unsubstantiated religious tenets), the trial court repudiated their [Rekers’ and another witness’] entire testimony. The court’s wholesale disregard is arbitrary …

Oh, the lengths and logical contortions right-wingers will bend themselves into for the sake of bigotry.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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29 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ronnie  |  May 11, 2010 at 10:50 am

    $120,000 of tax payers hard earned money….including LGBTQIA tax payers…They use our money against us….and the reich just expects us to accept it…..

    NO!!!!!……I don’t think so….<3…Ronnie

    Reply
  • 2. Kathleen  |  May 11, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Documents from the Florida trial are available here:
    http://www.aclufl.org/adoption/gill.cfm

    Rekers’ testimony begins on page 810 (pg 812 of the pdf file) of the trial transcript.

    Reply
  • 3. Kathleen  |  May 11, 2010 at 11:08 am

    This site is reporting that Rekers has resigned from NARTH:
    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/05/rekers_resigns_from_board_of_ex-gay_group_narth.php

    though he still appears on NARTH’s website.

    Reply
  • 5. mattymatt  |  May 11, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Good grief, Rekers certainly does get slapped down pretty conclusively by the court — the judge goes so far as to use the word “astonishment” to describe her response to his testimony.

    Reply
  • 6. Adrenalin Tim  |  May 11, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    McCollum: Instead of dispassionately considering evidence and the merits of these experts’ research-backed opinions (or circumscribing those portions purportedly based purely on unsubstantiated religious tenets), the trial court repudiated their [Rekers’ and another witness’] entire testimony.

    Oh give me a break. It’s the very purpose of a court to determine whether a witness is credible, and whether their presentation “evidence and research-backed opinions” is skewed by their ideology.

    Rekers has always been a hack—now he’s a hypocritical hack. But don’t worry, folks, he’s hired a defamation attorney to prove that “I have not engaged in any homosexual behavior whatsoever. I am not gay and never have been.”

    Reply
    • 7. nightshayde  |  May 11, 2010 at 3:10 pm

      If not gay, then bisexual. I’m sure though, that in his mind, if he hasn’t actually had sex with another man, he thinks he’s telling the truth when he says he’s not gay. Nasty little piece of work, he is.

      Reply
      • 8. Carvel  |  May 16, 2010 at 8:04 pm

        Isn’t that what the Mormons think. No one is homosexual, they simply engage in homosexual behavior. And if he actually hasn’t had sex with another man, then i guess he isn’t gay and since I have not had sex with a man or anyone in a long time I guess I am a new virgin. Another three years of no sex and I could be a priest. Oh wait, they don’t go that long without sex do they. Sorry, bad joke.

        Let me rephrase this. A liar is a liar is a liar. We all know what gets is D*** hard so who the F*** does he think he is kidding. Only himslef.

        Reply
    • 9. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  May 11, 2010 at 3:18 pm

      Oh, really? Getting a sensual massage every day for ten days from an aopenly gay man, with the intention of getting aroused, is not homosexual behavior? And to have done this on at least two different occasion/ Sounds like a duck, walks like a duck, so I guess it IS a duck, no matter how much he uses an electronic voice alteration device to try and sound like a dog.

      Reply
      • 10. nightshayde  |  May 11, 2010 at 3:35 pm

        I’m not saying he’s not gay. I’m saying he likely doesn’t think of himself as gay. He probably thinks of himself as a straight man who has unwanted fantasies and desires — but that he can’t be “gay” unless he acts on those desires.

        When people claim to be “cured” of having been gay, what they’re saying (unless I’m horribly mistaken, which is quite possible) that they no longer have sex with same-sex partners. Since I don’t believe that homosexuality is something that can be “cured” (since it’s not a disorder), the only logical explanation in my mind is that they’re “curing” a symptom but not changing their fundamental orientation.

        I wonder how they would classify the sexual orientation of an adult virgin without knowing who the person finds attractive. I have a feeling it’s “straight until proven gay.”

        When I was in college (early 90’s), my Human Sexuality professor spoke about the difficulties in targeting HIV-awareness materials to bisexual African-American men. I’m not sure if it’s the same in all areas of the country, but in SoCal, the professor said the bisexual African-American men didn’t self-identify as “bisexual.” As far as they were concerned, they were straight men who happened to have sex with other men. Their interpretation of the terms, “gay” or “bisexual” had more to do with creating emotional bonds with someone than with anything having to do with sexual interaction. Sex was just sex.

        Peoples’ attitudes toward sexuality are strongly tied to perception. If Rekers (and others like him) can tweak their perception to self-classify as straight, it makes it much easier for them to condemn people they don’t perceive as straight. Something along the lines of “If I have those urges but can keep from having sex with men, then other people who have the urges can stop being gay, too.” Unless he has a major epiphany, it probably won’t click in his head that being attracted to members of the same sex makes him gay (or bisexual, if he’s also attracted to women) even if he never actively (rather than passively) engages in a sex act with another man.

        Reply
      • 11. fiona64  |  May 11, 2010 at 4:50 pm

        Nightshayde wrote: When people claim to be “cured” of having been gay, what they’re saying (unless I’m horribly mistaken, which is quite possible) that they no longer have sex with same-sex partners.

        That matches up with my experience dealing with the so-called “ex-gay” folks.

        Love,
        Fiona

        Reply
    • 12. Straight Dave  |  May 11, 2010 at 6:00 pm

      “I…did…not…have…sexual…relations…with…that…man.”

      Reply
      • 13. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  May 11, 2010 at 6:04 pm

        Yes, he did. He is just forgetting that foreplay is part of sexual relations. But I gather that this is your point, isn’t it, Straight Dave? Glad to see you on here again. It’s been a while.

        Reply
    • 14. Juli  |  May 12, 2010 at 10:26 am

      He’s not engaging in gay behavior just like Bill Clinton “never engaged in sexual relations with that woman”. Super specific erotic massage by a rent boy is gay behavior, Mr. Rekers. Oral sex is sex, Mr. President. I think some straight people are able to justify that only m/f intercourse is sex in the same way Rekers is justifying that only oral or anal sex is gay sex. You find straight Christian girls who have anal and oral sex and claim to still be saving themselves for holy marriage. What most of us gay folk know is, a hand job, a blow job, penetration of anus or vagina by anything, or just about any other activity resulting in arousal or orgasm is sex. Ask Dan Savage, he’ll tell ya. To Rekers, Clinton, and all the rest of you, you are SO having sex, whatever your working definition of that is.

      Reply
  • 15. nightshayde  |  May 11, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    So … Florida’s ban on LGBT adoptions was struck down, but still is being applied while the state appeals?

    Reply
    • 16. Andrea  |  May 11, 2010 at 3:56 pm

      When a pro-gay law is passed, its implementation is put on hold indefinitely, while the bigots take bite after bite at the apple trying to have it struck down.

      When an anti-gay law is passed, it takes effect immediately, and remains in effect even after being struck down, while the bigots take bite after bite at the apple trying to have it reinstated.

      Reply
  • 17. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  May 11, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Yes, there are many on this planet who will verbally contort themselves into pretzels to defend their bigotry and hatred, rather than let real science be introduced, and rather than actually getting to know the human beings they are hurting in order to continue to hate them. And unfortunately, I actually know people who fall into that category.

    Reply
  • 18. JonT  |  May 11, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    @mattymatt: Yes – I was also surprised to see the word ‘astonishment’ in that ruling as well :)

    I hope the tax payers can get their money back. Or at the least hang this around McCollum’s neck all through election season. Won’t matter to the right-wingnuts, but might to other, more sensible voters.

    Reply
  • 19. Regan DuCasse  |  May 11, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    McCollum deserves to be hoisted on this too. There is no such thing as ‘an expert on being ex gay’.

    As a matter of fact, NARTH, and FRC typically reference bogus organizations, distorted research (that the researchers themselves say is wrongly used and mischaracterized) and the sole purpose is to discredit and deny gays and lesbians from adopting children.

    Despite the fact that Florida is notoriously inundated with children who have no permanent homes.
    And, despite exemplary fosters over years time, or taking in a literally healing a child who was sick and without home, McCollum STILL crusades in this manner.

    The AMA, APA and so on, and any other legitimate peer group on the affects of gay parenting have had their accepted results out for years.

    And THEY don’t support NARTH and have put forth articles and researched NARTH and found it lacking in credibility.
    McCollum was lazy, and doesn’t want to know the truth.
    And in looking for what isn’t there, the endeavor was extremely expensive.
    I think that each and every gay parent who wasn’t able to adopt, should sue NARTH, and FRC.
    It’s long past time these people were on the hot seat.

    The FRC might sway some wetbrains in the court of public opinion, but no gay adult should have to be drawn into court over this.
    Especially over exceptional parenting and proving so.

    Reply
  • 20. Billy  |  May 12, 2010 at 8:48 am

    “I wouldn’t do it again if I knew what I knew today but I didn’t know that then and neither did anybody else.”

    McCollum has so many hangups about glbt issues, he can’t even say the word “gay”. Wonder what he has to hide…

    Reply
  • 22. Ronnie  |  May 12, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Another Conservative comes over to our side…The side of Good, Love, Freedom, Empathy, Compassion, and Equality….you know…the Human side…<3…Ronnie:

    Reply
  • 23. Straight Ally #3008  |  May 12, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    George Rekers is completely heterosexual!

    Reply
  • 24. Joe  |  May 12, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Was he the head of that atheist conversion therapy group? Oh right, there aren’t any….

    Reply
  • 25. Kathleen  |  May 12, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    And the plot thickens… from JMG
    http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2010/05/family-research-councils-first.html

    Reply
  • 26. Tim  |  May 14, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    The ignorance that spews from these closed minds makes me sicker and sicker each day!
    All these idiots know who they are, and are not going to admit to anything untill the word *homosexual* is no longer a bad word.
    Someone somewhere must hold scientific evidence proving that homosexuality is just as normal as heterosexuality.- find it and distribute it-.
    We need to change the way the public percieves that word and then these a#@ho*^s will have no amo!
    LIARS!! All of them!! love Tim…

    Reply
  • 27. fiona64  |  May 14, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Tim wrote: Someone somewhere must hold scientific evidence proving that homosexuality is just as normal as heterosexuality.- find it and distribute it-.

    There are boatloads of scientific articles about the matter, but people aren’t willing to read them unless they already believe that’s the case.

    However, this is one of my favorites, from Current Anthropology, June 2000: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11045928

    Heck, it even cites the evolutionary basis for homosexuality — and there is one — in direct opposition to the usual BS about how “if people were all gay, we’d be dead.”

    Love,
    Fiona

    Reply
  • 28. Regan DuCasse  |  May 15, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Can’t argue with you there, fiona. If the population was all priests and nuns, reproduction wouldn’t be likely either.

    The least discussed aspect of sexuality and attraction is ASEXUALITY. Which perhaps might occur with as much frequency as homosexuality, but obviously far less scrutiny.
    But the general population isn’t taught to distrust people who are asexual, force them to be sexual or deny equal protections and equality.

    But even within this population is ss attraction. I prefer to liken the gay members of our human family as analogous to the relationship of the thumb and fingers to the hand.

    The fingers are more in number and the thumb is alone and situated in opposition to the rest.
    The tasks of the thumb, are no less important or wrongful for this situation.
    And without it, the hand is less skilled and strong.

    I would like to hope that better minds, more evolved thinking would see homosexuality as such a cooperative situation to heterosexuality. That not only is coordination possible, it IS a part of the natural order to human survival.
    After all, it’s not like gays and lesbians don’t have the same skills, just not the spontaneous ability to procreate.
    And sometimes, and realistically, that’s not always a bad thing.

    Reply
  • 29. Straight Ally #3008  |  May 17, 2010 at 6:39 am

    You know, friends, after reading some of the despicable things Rekers’ “ex-gay” treatment movement perpetrated on kids, I’ve pondered what he could possibly do to redeem himself. If he came out of the closet and devoted his life to undoing the harm he has caused, I’d be happy to see but I wouldn’t personally trust him. Besides, I can’t see that happening – he will lie low until he thinks everyone has forgotten. If this were feudal Japan, he might perform ritual suicide. When do you forgive after something like this? Could you?

    Reply

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