Will Rekers Scandal Affect Prop 8?

Following up on the New York Times story about the legal implications of the Dr. George Rekers scandal, Amanda Terkel at Think Progress has found four instances of Rekers’ ties to the Perry Vs. Schwarzenegger trial to overturn Proposition 8. I don’t usually excerpt another blogger’s work so extensively, but this is a must-read.

1. Blankenhorn was the defendants’ star witness and was eviscerated on the stand by attorney David Boies, who was arguing against Prop. 8 for the American Foundation for Equal Rights. Blakenhorn has claimed that he is “not familiar” with Rekers’ work and didn’t “cite anyone named ‘Dr. Rekers’” in his “expert testimony submitted to the court.” However, Blankenhorn did reference Rekers’ work the bibliography of his “expert report” for the trial: This Rekers declaration that Blankenhorn references has statements such as “The inherent structure of households with one or more homosexually behaving members deprives children of vitally needed positive contributions to child adjustment and to the child’s preparation for successful adulthood adjustment that are present in heterosexual homes.” (View it here.) 2. One of the witnesses arguing against Prop. 8 was Ryan Kendall, a gay man who was forced to undergo “reparative therapy” as a teenager to make him straight. He “was first sent to see a Christian therapist and then the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH),” and the experiences left him contemplating suicide. Rekers was on the board of NARTH during the Prop. 8 trial and only recently stepped down after the “rent boy” scandal broke. 3. Rekers is a member of the American College of Pediatricians (ACP), which submitted an amicus brief to Chief Judge Walker in the Prop. 8 trial. ACP is a sham, right-wing group. When “the American Academy of Pediatrics passed its policy statement supporting second-parent adoptions by lesbian and gay parents in 2002, a fringe group of approximately 60 of the AAP’s more than 60,000 members” broke off and formed ACP. 4. The Prop. 8 defense had a witness named George Robinson who was going to testify about how being gay is a choice, although he was eventually withdrawn. He had also based some of his expert report on Rekers’ Prop. 22 declaration.

Excellent work by Amanda Terkels! Let’s hope that Judge Vaughn Walker takes notice of this during the upcoming closing arguments.