Saturday, June 05, 2010

McCollum overruled staff warnings about Rekers

Just in case you missed this one, allow me to present it again. It would seem that Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum's staff tried to warn him against hiring the now disgraced George Rekers as an expert witness in the state's attempt to defend it's no-gays allowed adoption law.

And he overruled them.

One wonders what he will do should he win the governorship of Florida:

Disgraced psychologist George Rekers was labeled a ``right-wing, religious-based'' expert witness and rejected for months by state attorneys defending Florida's gay adoption ban.

But when they couldn't find anyone else to replace him on the witness stand, Attorney General Bill McCollum overruled his trial attorneys, quickly hired Rekers, and paid him twice his agreed upon contract with no questions asked, according to documents released this week by McCollum's office.

Rekers, a psychiatry professor at the University of South Carolina, has been stripped of his credibility after reports surfaced that he hired a gay male escort to give him nude ``sexual'' massages and accompany him on a recent European vacation.

The adoption ban case, in which the state paid Rekers more than $120,000 to testify on the ``negative effects'' of gay parenting, has been ruled unconstitutional and the state is appealing.

The Rekers fee was almost a third of what the state has spent on the gay adoption ban lawsuit to date -- $383,000. Half the cost has gone to attorneys fees; the rest to general expenses, including $120,000 to Rekers.

Meanwhile, records obtained by The Miami Herald and St. Petersburg Times, show that despite repeated objections from the Department of Children and Families, the attorney general agreed to advance Rekers $60,900 to get him to take the case and another $59,700 a year later as the case dragged on.

The article continues here.

Related posts:

Latest on Rekers scandal: Media allegedly listened in on phone conversation between him and escort

The George Rekers escort scandal goes on and on

George Rekers talks but avoids the BIG question as 'rentboy' scandal continues

Family Research Council founder travels with a 'rentboy' - scandal brewing in religious right circles

Bookmark and Share

Family Research Council evades regarding Ugandan anti-gay bill lobbying efforts

The Family Research Council yesterday released a statement denying that the organization lobbied to undermine a resolution which would have denounced the Ugandan anti-gay bill, otherwise known as the "kill the gays" bill:

Inaccurate internet reports have been circulating indicating that the Family Research Council lobbied "against" a congressional resolution condemning a bill proposed in Uganda. The Uganda bill would have provided for the death penalty for something called "aggravated homosexuality." Unfortunately, those spreading these false rumors deliberately failed to obtain the facts first.

FRC did not lobby against or oppose passage of the congressional resolution. FRC's efforts, at the request of Congressional offices, were limited to seeking changes in the language of proposed drafts of the resolution, in order to make it more factually accurate regarding the content of the Uganda bill, and to remove sweeping and inaccurate assertions that homosexual conduct is internationally recognized as a fundamental human right.

FRC does not support the Uganda bill, and does not support the death penalty for homosexuality -- nor any other penalty which would have the effect of inhibiting compassionate pastoral, psychological and medical care and treatment for those who experience same-sex attractions or who engage in homosexual conduct.

As far as it is known, this is the first time FRC has spoken out against the bill, which also penalizes lgbts with life imprisonment , not to mention friends, family members, and co-workers who don't "report" lgbts to the authorities.

And according to the website Box Turtle Bulletin, FRC head Tony Perkins actually defended the bill in a February radio broadcast:

Does civility require the acceptance of all behavior? Hello, I am Tony Perkins with the Family Research Council. At the recent National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama took the podium calling for greater civility in Washington, which in my opinion is a laudable goal. However, his comments quickly turned to his preoccupation with defending homosexuality. The President criticized Ugandan leaders for considering enhance penalties for crimes related to homosexuality. The press has widely mischaracterized the law which calls for the death penalty, not for homosexual behavior which is already a crime, but for acts such as intentionally spreading HIV/AIDS, or preying upon vulnerable individuals such as children, which has been a problem in Uganda for years because the large number of orphans. The President said that “We may disagree about gay marriage, “but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are.” Mr. President as long as you characterize efforts to uphold moral conduct that protects others and in particular the most vulnerable, as attacking people, civility will continue to evade us.

Box Turtle Bulletin contends that this "blame the gays" defense is the same one used by Uganda anti-gay bill supporter Martin Ssempa - a man who gives obscene demonstrations in churches of what he claims are gay sex acts.

Also, FRC's contention that "aggravated homosexuality" means the intentional spreading of HIV/AIDS is inaccurate if one reads the section of the bill defining "aggravated homosexuality." There is nothing written addressing intentional spreading of HIV:

3. Aggravated homosexuality.

(1) A person commits the offense of aggravated homosexuality where the

(a) person against whom the offence is committed is below the age of 18 years;

(b) offender is a person living with HIV;

(c) offender is a parent or guardian of the person against whom the offence is committed;

(d) offender is a person in authority over the person against whom the offence is committed;

(e) victim of the offence is a person with disability;

(f) offender is a serial offender, or

(g) offender applies, administers or causes to be used by any man or woman any drug, matter or thing with intent to stupefy overpower him or her so as to there by enable any person to have unlawful carnal connection with any person of the same sex,

(2) A person who commits the offence of aggravated homosexuality shall be liable on conviction to suffer death.

(3) Where a person is charged with the offence under this section, that person shall undergo a medical examination to ascertain his or her HIV status.

Even if FRC could adequately address these new concerns, there is one concern the group hasn't addressed and probably needs to.

Why did FRC label the resolution condemning the Ugandan anti-gay bill as "pro homosexual promotion" in its lobbying report?

Bookmark and Share