George Rekers, who had made a lucrative career of anti-gay activism until discovered returning from a European vacation with a lovely young man he found on rentboy.com, was paid $120,000 in Florida taxpayers’ money to “deliver expert academic opinions” in support of the Florida law (since found unconstitutional) that prohibited gay people from adopting. What did the Florida attorney general who hired him (who now says Rekers “was the best available at the time”) get for that sum? From the resulting court ruling:
Dr. Rekers’ testimony was far from a neutral and unbiased recitation of the relevant scientific evidence. Dr. Rekers’ beliefs are motivated by his strong ideological and theological convictions that are not consistent with the science. Based on his testimony and demeanor at trial, the court can not consider his testimony to be credible nor worthy of forming the basis of public policy.
Previously, Rekers had provided “expert testimony” in a similar Arkansas case. Arkansas judges found his testimony “pointless” and “worthless as evidence because it was only his personal view.”
Equality Loudoun reported on the Florida case here, back in November 2008. As it happens, not only did Rekers co-found the execrable “Family Research Council” with James Dobson, he and and his good pal Paul Cameron (who is the fellow fake “expert” hired by the infamous former Loudoun delegate Dick Black to “deliver expert academic opinions” to the Virginia General Assembly in support of his 2005 bill, “Adoption; prohibited if homosexual” – for which he cited the Florida law as his model) once started a pay-to-play journal in which to publish their “research” – which of course real academic journals would have nothing to do with.
You can get a good idea of the George Rekers/Paul Cameron sideshow by listening to the interview with Dick Black by “Concerned Women for America” included in the aforementioned post. And this is a detail I had forgotten about, but is even more relevant to Virginia now:
Meanwhile, a thread germane to this case is currently unwinding over at Too Conservative; it seems that there is disagreement among local Republicans over whether state Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-Fairfax) is electable statewide (he’s one of three potential Republican nominees for Attorney General). His weakness, according to some, is that he’s too closely associated with idiocy exactly like this. Cuccinelli did indeed cast the lone dissenting vote against an apparent effort to kill Black’s dumb bill before it became even more of an embarrassment. It’s an encouraging sign that this sort of thing is being flagged as a liability for statewide office in Virginia.
That’s right, our current attorney general cast the lone vote to report Dick Black’s bill, one almost identical to the law later found unconstitutional in Florida, and well after the embarrassing performance by Paul Cameron. Given some of his behavior since he took office, maybe he would still find Rekers “expert academic opinions” convincing, too. Hold on to your wallets, Virginia.