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Ryan Kendall: A Victim of Dr. George Rekers

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By Julia Rosen

Earlier today we sent a message to our email list from Aryel Reish — a 23-year old straight ally who strongly supports LGBT equality. Aryel is also a very good friend of Ryan Kendall, a key witness in the federal Prop 8 trial who testified about the years of abuse he suffered from “conversion therapy” — destructive junk science promoted by Dr. George Rekers.

Rekers has been all over the news recently, including a New York Times article yesterday exposing his ties as an “expert” to the Prop 8 trial and similar trials across the country. Rekers co-founded the anti-gay Family Research Council and sat on the board of National Association for Reparative Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH).

Rekers has destroyed countless lives with his advocacy for “conversion therapy”. It’s time we stop him. It’s time we stop him. Will you stand up for Ryan Kendall and so many others and sign this letter from Aryel and the Courage Campaign to Focus on the Family, NARTH and the Family Research Council?

For more on Rekers and his ties to Perry v. Schwarzengger and other trials check out this article in yesterday’s NYT. Another must read is Amanda Terkel’s piece on Think Progress titled: “How The Rekers ‘Rent Boy’ Scandal Could Undermine Prop. 8 Supporters’ Court Battle”.

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38 Comments

  • 1. Kathleen  |  May 20, 2010 at 10:41 am

    I don't see how this scandal has any bearing at all on the Perry case. First, allegations are just that — allegations. I don't think anyone with any sense ever afforded much weight to Rekers's opinion, or his status as an "expert."

    On another topic, I found the statements by Ted Haggard at the end of the NYT article interesting.

  • 2. JonT  |  May 20, 2010 at 10:50 am

    “He said same-sex couples were unable to raise healthy kids,” he added. “I would never say anything like that.”

    Interesting indeed Kathleen! :)

    PS: Julia Rosen – letter signed, but again, I doubt it really means much to these people.

  • 3. Ronnie  |  May 20, 2010 at 11:03 am

    I signed it earlier

    I just find it amusing that even the "ex-gays" are turning on him….there's this psycho "ex-gay" freak on FB named Serena Nino….this chick is certifiable….I quoted Harvey Milk and she basically said thank god he's dead while preaching about Jesus a shite….Homicidal Hypocrite…. >( ….Ronnie

  • 4. Richard A. Walter (s  |  May 20, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    A I truly hope this scandal does bring down the Prop H8 house of cards. Full Equality NOW!!!

  • 5. Straight Ally #3008  |  May 20, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    They will never disavow it – they will will do everything they can to delay their inevitable defeats on multiple fronts (DOMA, DADT, ENDA, marriage equality), and they will ramp up their rhetoric as time passes. Lashing out like a desperate cornered rat.

  • 6. allen  |  May 20, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    <cite>Rekers co-founded the anti-gay Family Research Council and sat on the board of National Association for Reparative Therapy of Homosexuality</cite>

    Rekers sat on a lot of other things too.

  • 7. Ronnie  |  May 20, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    no comment….. : "> ……Ronnie

  • 8. Richard A. Walter (s  |  May 20, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Yes, and he vehemently denies all of them. Lying POSLB!

  • 9. JonT  |  May 20, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    LOL! :)

  • 10. Dan Hess  |  May 20, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Enough with the rat comments already. They're great pets and love humans. Also, they're quite cuddly. Don't think you could say any of the above for these homophobes. Seriously, you're offending my poor little Merlin. T_T

  • 11. Richard A. Walter (s  |  May 20, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Thank you for reminding me of Natasha at Alternate Universes, a science fiction/fantasy/science fact bookseller I worked at over twenty years ago in Charleston, WV. She was such a sweet young lady, adn when things were slow I could talk to her, and if I were down, she would come over to the tube in her Habitrail so I could pick her up and put her on my shoulder. If I was having a really good day, she had the neatest little celebration dance she would do. Shame they only live to the age of three.

  • 12. Kathleen  |  May 20, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    I had a pet rat when I was 12 y.o. His name was Schooner. LOVED that rat. He had a great personality. He liked to ride around on our dog's back (also liked to hang out on my shoulder, poking his nose out through my hair). I suspected he might be gay; I brought home a female to care for over the summer break, and he wanted nothing to do with her. Of course, maybe he just didn't like that particular girl – you know, just hadn't met the right girl yet. :)

  • 13. Straight Ally #3008  |  May 20, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Please accept this as an apology:

    A young Michael Jackson singing "Ben."

  • 14. allen  |  May 20, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    I kid you not. I had two female rats named Patsy and George. George would frequently mount Patsy and Patsy would stay there sticking her fanny in the air.

  • 15. Ronnie  |  May 20, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Is that George Rekers' "wife's" name?….hmmm…interesting… >) …..Ronnie

  • 16. JonT  |  May 20, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    SA3008: "A young Michael Jackson singing “Ben.”"

    Nice, never seen that before – thanks! :)

  • 17. Bob  |  May 20, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    sorry to all the rat lovers, but Straight Ally #3008's comment simply states a fact, remember how we all like facts.

    A rat may be cute to some, but when one is cornered it becomes desperate and lashes out.

    That's a fact observed by me, when trapping rats who invaded my chiken coop. I finally won, by giving up my hens. The rats went to find another source of food, and I now have to live nowing the rat karma will return to me.

    Did you know there is a temple in India where they honor the rat god, it's true, when I think about it too much I have dreams of coming back as one, but in that temple, where people fill bowls with milk every day and rats crawl everywhere. YUKKKKK

    More scientific evidence there is no gay agenda, we're a divergent group when it comes to our affections about rats.

  • 18. Dan Hess  |  May 20, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    You could say the same for any animal, and most would be far more likely to than rats would. "Cornered skunk" would be a far more apt metaphor, in more ways than one.

  • 19. Fluffyskunk  |  May 20, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    What was that about us skunks? :-)

  • 20. Kathleen  |  May 20, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    LOL!!

    (btw, I love skunks)

  • 21. Marlene  |  May 20, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    I've seen stories in some of the papers where this is going to effect the appeal of the adoption ban in Florida, not to mention the governor's race there!

    Because the "good doctor" was the *only* one who could testify (at $122,000!) about the preconceived "fact" the AG wanted to produce!

    Because Reker's credibility has been utterly destroyed (and was questionable in many more cases!), it looks like the appeal is bound for the rubbish bin!

  • 22. John B.  |  May 20, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    Another important story is here–read what he and his cronies did to a child named Kraig: http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2010/05/be

  • 23. Sagesse  |  May 21, 2010 at 12:40 am

    When the going gets tough, crank up the rhetoric.
    http://wakingupnow.com/blog/no-homosexuals?utm_so

    It's serendipity. All the press about Rekers is drawing attention to the fact they're running out of 'expert' witnesses, even the godawful pathetic ones.
    http://wakingupnow.com/blog/why-our-foes-fear-the

  • 24. Sagesse  |  May 21, 2010 at 12:48 am

    When the going gets tough, crank up the rhetoric. There are no homosexuals, just homosexual behaviour.
    http://wakingupnow.com/blog/no-homosexuals?utm_so

  • 25. Sagesse  |  May 21, 2010 at 12:49 am

    This goes with the last post… one link at a time.

    It’s serendipity. All the press about Rekers is drawing attention to the fact they’re running out of ‘expert’ witnesses, even the godawful pathetic ones.
    http://wakingupnow.com/blog/why-our-foes-fear-the

  • 26. Sagesse  |  May 21, 2010 at 1:19 am

    Oh no. Phelps is at it again. They're picketing Constance McMillen's high school graduation.
    http://www.ontopmag.com/article.aspx?id=5752&amp;…

  • 27. Sagesse  |  May 21, 2010 at 1:25 am

    'Don't Ask' Discharges Underreported'
    http://www.ontopmag.com/article.aspx?id=5747&amp;…

    Not a big deal, objectively, but the optics aren't good.

  • 28. Straight Ally #3008  |  May 21, 2010 at 3:01 am

    What a beautiful irony it will be if Rekers helps sink both the Prop 8 proponent's case and Bill McCollum's campaign! He's a political Typhoid Mary – no wonder NARTH scrubbed him off the record so quickly. There hasn't been a more influential European vacation since National Lampoon's.

  • 29. Bob  |  May 21, 2010 at 3:05 am

    thanks sooo much for this story John B. it describes so much of my experience as a child in the 50's, I would like to explore it more but my mother wouldn't talk about it. I think she has selective memory loss.
    I do remember her telling me that the Dr. told her I needed a good spanking.
    I used to cross dress , even had a picture of me in high heels and my grandma's purse, wearing diapers, that's how young I was. The picture was the result of my aunts who where visiting and found it cute, my mother was probably pissed. cause she couldn't control the moment.
    That kind of attention could have been the start of the most fabulous drag gqueen in the fifties,
    I did man up though, and when I finally began to explore my sexuality I over exaggerated the butch thing to makei it okay.

    To this day my relaitonship with my mother is not close, I distanced myself from her , I guess the first thing was emotionally shutting down, so she could no longer have the poweer over me, we were never close,I suppose I was supposed to get my attention from my father but he was absent in that way due to alcoholism and I remember being slapped a lot.

    The riddle to my whole life is solved in the reading of this story, I e-mailed it to my mother hoping that something clicks for her too.

    We are struggling with having some form of communication, with e-mails, I've taken to spanking her, phone calls are rare, and when they do happen I have to be veryk careful to keep it shallow, it's a balancing act to say the least.

    Considering my health condition, and my mother's age, time is growing short, I told a friend the other day, due to my possibility of having a stroke, which is a common occurance in late stage AIDS, I would wish for the kind that affects that part of the brain in such a way that you forget anything that used to previously piss you off, I would actually become friends with my mother, my friend says don't count on it, I think you'd need a full frontal labotomy for that.
    Thanks again for the story, I love what I learn here , especially when things click like this story has.

  • 30. Bob  |  May 21, 2010 at 3:24 am

    footnote to my above (long) blog about self revelations, it manned me up to become the rat killer I am, there I can blame that behavior on my mother too.

    Really one cannot blame someone else for his own behavior, I'm working on forgiveness, and although I always struggled with forgiving my mother, I know find that easy, considering the real forgiveness is always in forgiving one's self. I work on forgiving myself for all thesee things, especially fo r believing the stories I was taught by religion, and some lame attempt at therapy.
    I forgive myself for engaging in those beliefs.and allowing them to have influenced me to such a degree, and for so long.
    Winning or losing a court case, is dependant at this time on one man's perception of all of this stuff, and the way he interprets it for the public.
    We must not loose sight of the individual wins, that these discussions have brought about, for many of us.

  • 31. Monty  |  May 21, 2010 at 5:40 am

    Gotta love that Leviticus quote.

    Let's for the moment ignore all the problems associated with that line of thinking. What does it say about lesbians? Nothing. How is that applicable?

  • 32. Kathleen  |  May 21, 2010 at 6:02 am

    Constance is no longer at IAHS.

  • 33. Rightthingtodo TX  |  May 21, 2010 at 7:59 am

    maybe there are no heterosexuals

    only homosexuals engaging in heterosexual behavior

  • 34. Lori  |  May 22, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Agreed. Has anyone looked in to what Haggard has said on the subject in the past? I'm curious as to whether he used to share Rekers's views and has changed his mind.

  • 35. Lora  |  May 24, 2010 at 3:30 am

    "UPDATE: The Associated Press is reporting that McMillen no longer is a student IAHS and is scheduled to graduate on June 2."

    I find that hilarious!

  • 36. K!r!lleXXI  |  May 29, 2010 at 4:41 am

    To this day my relationship with my mother is not close, I distanced myself from her, I guess the first thing was emotionally shutting down, so she could no longer have the power over me, we were never close, I suppose I was supposed to get my attention from my father, but he was absent in that way due to alcoholism.

    It's like I'm reading about my life today, here, in Russia, which is over 40 years behind on LGBT issues.

    Somehow I wanna scream. But I can't — there's no one to listen, really listen and understand…

  • 37. Bob  |  May 29, 2010 at 5:19 am

    KirilleXX1 the experiences I write about happened about forty years ago, they still play out in my mind, my mother realizes that she would do things differently today, this blog, and especially the story about this Dr.s therapy, unblocked some things for me, in my own life memories, it takes generations to undo these things.
    Just like our First Nations in Canada, taking generations to reclaim their heritage and spirituality which religion attempted to kill.
    We must have hope, I know about wanting to scream, I still do , please tell me more of your experience, I will listen

  • 38. Summer Marriage Equality &hellip  |  May 27, 2011 at 4:47 am

    […] Denver, we’ll be joined by Ryan Kendall, a witness in the Proposition 8 trial and a victim of Dr. George Rekers’ […]

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