Dr George Rekers has resigned from the board of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), following allegations that he received nude, erotic massages from a male prostitute.
Rekers, who has been an anti-gay activist for decades, took a 10-day European vacation with Jo-Vanni Roman (at first identified only as “Lucien”), a gay escort who says they met through the explicit website Rentboy.com. Rekers faced humiliation in the media after denying the accusations, claiming he he hired Roman to help carry his luggage while he recovered from surgery. He said he only found out Roman was an escort partway through the trip, and responded by evangelizing him and warning him against homosexuality.
Stepping down from NARTH, Rekers wrote:
I am immediately resigning my membership in NARTH to allow myself the time necessary to fight the false media reports that have been made against me. With the assistance of a defamation attorney, I will fight these false reports because I have not engaged in any homosexual behavior whatsoever. I am not gay and never have been.
NARTH has accepted Dr. Rekers’ resignation and would hope that the legal process will sufficiently clarify the questions that have arisen in this unfortunate situation. We express our sincere sympathy to all individuals, regardless of their perspective, who have been injured by these events. We also wish to reiterate our traditional position that these personal controversies do not change the scientific data, nor do they detract from the important work of NARTH. NARTH continues to support scientific research, and to value client autonomy, client self-determination and client diversity.
Earlier this week, there were premature reports of some websites and organizations (Focus on the Family’s Family Research Council, for example, which Rekers co-founded) deleting mentions of Rekers from their history. Today, Dr Warren Throckmorton reports that the purge has begun.