Waymon Hudson

Your Tax Dollars at Work

Filed By Waymon Hudson | December 01, 2008 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Living, Politics, The Movement
Tags: Florida gay adoption ban, George Alan Rekers

It's very clear that the economy is in the toilet. The national crisis is trickling down (is that what they meant by "trickle-down economics"??) to the states- with education, healthcare, first responders and hundreds of other programs being slashed to make up for budget short falls. This would seem like a time to spend taxpayer dollars carefully, especially in states hit hard in the economic crisis and housing bubble burst.

Well, count on Florida to find a way to use your taxpayer dollars to push bogus bigotry and anti-gay laws. We all heard the great news of Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman declaring Florida's anti-gay adoption ban unconstitutional, a case expected to move up the court system and hopefully overturn the ban once and for all. What you might not have heard is that the state of Florida paid $60,000 to retain former University of South Carolina professor George A. Rekers to testify on behalf of the ban. Rekers was the state's "expert witness", even though he had been discredited in a similar case involving gay adoption in Arkansas.

Yes, ladies and gents, those are your tax dollars at work.

Rekers' Testimony

Rekers argued that lawmakers were justified in excluding gay people from adoption because "research shows that they are at greater risk of developing a host of impairments that can harm children, such as mental illness, alcohol or drug abuse, and the virus that causes AIDS." He also said he would be in favor banning anyone from adopting "who had more than 18 sex partners during a lifetime."

But don't worry, he doesn't just hate gays.

Rekers also oddly added that he would consider banning Native Americans from adopting because "research shows that they are also at much higher risk of mental illness and substance abuse."

Wow. That's a bucket of crazy. A $60,000 bucket of crazy.

Under cross-examination, Rekers' bias was laid bare. He also has a theology degree and acknowledged that he taught and practiced psychology from a "Christian perspective". He also said he condemns social science that doesn't recognize "the moral laws of God."

And it should be of no surprise to anyone that Rekers relies heavily on the debunked work of Paul Cameron, chairman of the Family Research Institute. Cameron was kicked out of the American Psychological Association in 1983 due to his distorted research on gay people.

That's some "expert"...

The Court wasn't buying it

The court obviously didn't take kindly to Reker's skewed "expert" testimony. Court documents state:

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.

And the state shouldn't be surprised at that court assessment. It's nearly identical to what the Arkansas court decided about Rekers:

Dr. Rekers' willingness to prioritize his personal beliefs over his functions as an expert provider of fact rendered his testimony extremely suspect and little, if any, assistance to the court. Dr. Rekers' personal agenda caused him to have inconsistent testimony on several issues.

So the state spent $60,000 dollars to bring in a discredited fundie "expert" just to try and keep discrimination enshrined in Florida law and keep kids out of loving homes.

Way to go, Florida. Once again you've proven that you truly are the most backwards state in the union.

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.

Great post, Waymon. Wow, this story needs to reach the masses. It is this kind of ridiculous, unfounded information that is being forced down the throats of vulnerable Americans who may not otherwise know any better. We MUST do a better job of educating the country about sexuality and we need to make sure that clowns like this Rekers guy are stripped of any credibility.

We must organize with integrity and intelligence.

Yes, Waymon, a fine post --- however, Terrance Heath brought our attention to Reker's testimony several days ago. But Terrance failed to mention the $60 grand that Rekers got for regurgitating this garbage.

By the way, was the fact that Rekers was paid $60K to say what he said part of his testimony, and/or did that fact make it into the official court record? People will say some pretty outrageous stuff if you pay them $60,000 to do so.

Yes, people will say almost anything for 60 grand. However, we know he actually believes it. And why would anyone pay him so much to sound ridiculous and unhinged?

More than 18 sex partners in a lifetime is bad? Scheech. I think I used most of my quota on my first trip Mexico.

bizzaroland, yet again.
Either that was the best they could do, which speaks volumes... or they are actually against the ban. lol

If he really believed what he was saying, then wouldn't he say it for free? I'm sure they could have found some bozo out there to say the same things in exchange for travel expenses.