Florida paper calls for end of gay adoption ban following Rekers fiasco

Chicago Pride.com/May 16, 2010

Fort Lauderdale, Florida - The Tribune-owned Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel newspaper editorial page is calling for an end to the ban on gay adoption in Florida.

In an editorial published this morning, the paper says "The fact that Florida has the strictest law in the country banning gay adoption is embarrassing enough."

"Now, when you add the George Rekers fiasco - a combination of hypocrisy and tens of thousands of wasted tax dollars - you can add ‘shameful' to ‘embarrassing.' The only hope is some good will come out of all this, and Florida lawmakers will get rid of an archaic ban on gay adoption that has no place in 21st century society."

Rekers, a Baptist minister and one of the leading anti-gay crusaders, was paid over $120,000 by the state of Florida to testify as an expect witness in a trial defending the ban on gay adoption two years ago.

The married 61-year-old Rekers was caught by the Miami New Times last month traveling with a 20-year-old male escort he hired from the Rentboy.com website. The couple was caught at the Miami International Airport returning from a 10-day trip to London and Madrid. Rekers has since stepped down from the board of ex-gay group the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH).

Rekers was hired by Florida state Attorney General Bill McCollum who is now a Republican candidate for Florida governor. The fact McCollum paid Rekers $120,000 for his services at taxpayers' expense is now becoming an issue in the gubernatorial race.

Rekers has also been used as an expert witness in a similar 2004 court case in Arkansas and he was hired as an expert witness by the Boy Scouts of America to uphold its gay ban 1998.

Gay activists say the Rekers fiasco destroys the effectiveness of religious right "experts" to speak against LGBT issues in court.

Calling the George Rekers case "shameful and embarrassing," the paper concludes "getting rid of the ban is the only answer."

The Tribune Company also owns the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Orlando Sentinel and a number of other papers.

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