The Evil of George Rekers

Yes, I still believe we need to understand and feel compassion for a tortured closet case like George Rekers.  But when people do evil, we need to stand up and call it evil. 

In 2008 Rekers testified as an expert witness to stop a gay couple from adopting a 4-year-old boy and his 4-month-old brother.  It’s even worse than it sounds.  Please read these excerpts from the judge’s ruling.  If you ever falter in your conviction that our cause is just, come back and read these again.

Here’s the condition of the boys John and James when they arrived at their foster home:

The children arrived…on the evening of December 11, 2004.  John, the elder sibling, arrived with his four-month old brother wearing a dirty adult sized t-shirt and sneakers four sizes too small that seemed more like flip-flops than shoes.  Both children were suffering from scalp ringworm.  Although John was clearly suffering from a severe case of ringworm, the medication brought from John’s home to treat his scalp was unopened and expired.  James, too, suffered from an untreated ear infection, as evidenced by the one-month old, nearly unused, medication.  John did not speak and had no affect.  He had one concern: changing, feeding, and caring for his baby brother.  It was clear from the children’s first evening at the Petitioner-Roe home that the baby’s main caretaker was John, his four year old brother…

For the first few months, John seemed depressed and presented a void, unresponsive demeanor and appearance.  Upon arriving at the Petitioner home, John did not speak a word for about one week.  After two weeks, he began to mumble imperceptible utterances.  After about one month, John finally began speaking.  Petitioner quickly learned that John had never seen a book, could not distinguish letters from numbers, could not identify colors and could not count.  He could not hold a pencil.  He had never been in an early childhood program or day care.  Nevertheless, John’s potential for educational development was apparent.  Although he had not had any formal education, John could sing and pick up lyrics very quickly.  Early on, Petitioner and Roe noticed that John hoarded food by requesting additional servings at the start of dinnertime and later hiding the extra food in his room.  John eventually grew out of this behavior, due in part to a tactic employed by Petitioner and Roe of showing John, in advance of mealtime, the more than sufficient amount of food on the stove prepared and available for the family.

James was a very happy baby and was content with anyone, even strangers.  After approximately two months, James began to exhibit signs of attachment to his primary caregivers, Petitioner and Roe.  John, however, took about two years to fully bond.  At one time, John shunned hugs from Petitioner and Roe. However, in his own time, John developed bonding and today, initiates goodbye hugs each morning before going to school.

And here’s what their world turned into — the world Rekers wanted to kick them out of:

On weekdays, the household wakes up at about 6:30 a.m.  Petitioner usually prepares breakfast, permitting each child to assist with an assigned kitchen duty.  Each morning, the family eats together without distraction from the television.  As each child finishes his breakfast, he puts his dish in the sink and proceeds to the bathroom to brush his teeth and hair.  Petitioner and Roe purchased a Ford minivan, which Petitioner jokes was not his dream car, however, to accommodate the family size, is the most feasible.  Tom Roe, Jr. is dropped off at school first.  Afterwards, Petitioner takes John and James to school, walking them into their classrooms and usually speaking to their respective teachers.  In the afternoon, after Petitioner picks the boys up from school, they generally go to the park for tennis lessons.  At the conclusion of their lessons, the family heads home for dinner.  At mealtime, the family blesses the food together and takes turns sharing the highlights of their day.  Phones are not answered and the television is off during dinner.  After the children are excused from the table, the older children load the dishwasher.  

After dinner, the children spend one hour doing their homework.  Although James does not have homework, he spends time at the table pretending to do homework.  John requires more supervision and one-on-one interaction to complete his homework.  If a child finishes his homework early, the remaining time is spent reading.  After homework is completed, the children are allowed to watch television.  At bedtime, the boys retreat to their separate beds.  By morning, however, James seems to always find his way into John’s bed. 

The family attends a non-denominational Christian church and have as pets, a dog, rabbit and kitten.  John and James refer to Petitioner and Roe as “papi” and “daddy” respectively.  John and James have lived in the same neighborhood, attended the same school, day care and aftercare since their arrival in the Petitioner-Roe home.  As a result, each child has created friendships from school and in the neighborhood.  John and James are closely bonded to Tom Roe, Jr., and their extended family.  The boys consider Petitioner and Roe’s parents, brothers and sisters their grandparents, uncles and aunts.  The extended family sends the boys gifts for their birthdays and the holidays.  Roe’s mother, who lives in Tampa, visits the family regularly.   

Please share. People have to know.

Thanks to my buddy Brad for inspiring this post.

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20 comments to The Evil of George Rekers

  • 1
    BradP says:

    What was also quite interesting to me is how the Court called the State’s “experts” out on their motivations–how their “science” was heavily influenced by their love of gay-hating Jesus. The Court found them to be far from dispassionate scientists neutrally weighing the evidence.

    Things like this court ruling make me vaguely proud to be a lawyer.

  • 2
    Steve Zlick says:

    Thanks for making me cry like a baby. Now my emotions connected to this story are complete (though they’ve mostly been of the laughter variety till now).

  • 3

    Y’know, I just read the document you linked to, Rob, and…wow. If I didn’t have sympathy for Rekers before, now I sincerely and fervently wish he suffers every iota of humiliation and scorn and distress that’s coming his way. I just wished I believed in hell, so I could believe he’ll burn forever in it after he croacks.

    In face of those boys’ history, in face of all the evidence presented, he went to court and testified (as an expert!) that they should be taken from the only true home they ever had. And, all the while, this walking waste of oxygen was secretly enjoying homosexual sex!

    Seriously, I keep re-reading the description of the older boy, and getting back to the description of Reker’s “expert” testimony, and I want to hit something. This man could have ruined those children beyond repair!

  • 4

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jeff Blanchard. Jeff Blanchard said: The Evil of George Rekers ~ from […]

  • 5
    David says:

    Great post. This story IS a big deal Rekers wasn’t just “another Evangelical Hypocrite” this scumbag is THE anti-gay Evangelical.

  • 6
    Kenny says:

    Thank you so much for publishing this info! I blog on a fairly conservative website based in Florida and whenever I let people know about the family behind this case, nobody supports the notion of blocking this adoption. However, if I just blog about the concept of gay adoption, then inevitably the trolls come out in droves. It’s critical that people know the stories about the folks impacted by Florida’s ban. Once the issue is humanized, people’s attitude changes.

    Between 800 and 1,000 children age out of Florida’s foster care system each year having NEVER found a permanent home. That puts them at greater risk of being imprisoned, becoming addicted to drugs, living on public assistance, etc. How many of those kids might have found a permanent home if the ban were lifted?

    Don’t let supporters of the ban hijack the issue and make it one of straight parents vs. gay parents, because that’s not the issue. In reality, it’s gay parents vs. NO parents.

    If you want to see what happens to kids who age out of foster care, I’d encourage you to watch the documentary “Aging Out”. Anyone who watches that documentary and can then advocate leaving kids in foster care rather than finding them permanent homes, whether it be with gay or straight parents, is not in touch with reality.

    My brother was adopted out of the Florida foster care system so I’ve seen first hand how it operates. I can’t imagine anything worse than languishing in Florida’s foster care system.

  • 7
    Fred says:

    Here is a different link to the decision, also from ACLU: Your link repeatedly caused my computer to crash~~somehow related to Acrobat Reader, I think.

  • 8
    Mike in San Diego says:

    Great piece. Thanks! What a monster this man is. I’ve been following this story very closely. Most of it has been humorous, but to see what he has REALLY done is disturbing. Rekers is sitting on a golden opportunity to do the right thing now by denouncing his previous work, but I’m not really expecting it. I’m sure he’ll go with something like the “possessed be demons” defense.

  • 9
    homer says:

    I have no sympathy for Rekers. Bill McCollum paid him $120,000 to state that homosexuals (and Native Americans!) should not be allowed to adopt because we are supposedly so fucked-up. I will admit that Rekers is certainly an expect at being fucked-up.

  • 10
    chris says:

    The PDF gets good on page 18. This is where you can really read Reker’s foaming-at-the-mouth testimony.

  • 11
    Brett says:

    Wow, I haven’t cried for a long time – but this really hit me hard. I hope these kids were able to overcome the grief of Rekers tearing their family apart.

  • 12
    Jay says:

    Keep in mind that at the time of the trial, these children had been in the petitioner’s care for FOUR YEARS. It was the only stable home environment they’d experienced. Rekers’ testimony implied that they should be taken out of their foster home, and that the children would get over being torn away from their foster parents within a year. How cruel.

  • 13
    Tony P says:

    I didn’t so much tear up but I understand that “Petitioner and Roe” are just like the ideal for parenting that I hear from my psychologist friend all the time.

    The sex of the parents doesn’t matter at all. Consistency and love are what matters.

    I hope Rekers is hung out to dry on this one. And for those who contend (Including Lucien) that it wasn’t sex, ah , you got him off. It’s sex.

  • 14

    […]  This man’s evil must be called out for what it is: Evil.  The below is cross-posted from Waking Up Now with an excerpt from the judge’s ruling describing how the boys thrived.  Thankfully, the […]

  • 15

    […] see, I used to be a leader in one 'o these organizations, preaching every day that homosexuality was a sinful choice that would lead to an afterlife spent in the fiery […]

  • 16

    […] see, I used to be a leader in one ‘o these organizations, preaching every day that homosexuality was a sinful choice that would lead to an afterlife spent in the fiery […]

  • 17
  • 18
    Lauren--NY says:

    Mr. Zlick, I hear you. The initial situation is heartbreaking, and then the concept that they could be torn away from such a beautiful home by pigs like Rekers and McCollum is even more so.

    Thanks for this, Rob. xoxo

  • 19

    […] me tell you about two little boys who weren’t as lucky as you, at least not at […]

  • 20

    […] me tell you about two little boys who weren’t as lucky as you, at least not at […]

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