Rachel Maddow reports on the horrid case put forward by the proponents of Proposition 8 who relied on only two witnesses to testify to support their case, both of whom relied on the writings of George Reker for their testimony. If anyone has forgotten who George Rekers is, here's a little reminder.
A leading U.S. anti-gay campaigner has been photographed returning from a European holiday with a male prostitute.
Professor George Rekers, a Baptist minister who believes homosexuality is a sin that can be cured, hired a 20-year-old Puerto Rican as his travelling companion from a website called Rentboy.com.
The 61-year-old father-of-three took the escort, who is known on the gay networking site as 'Geo', on a ten-day trip to London and Madrid.
Stephen Colbert laid waste to George Rekers in that clip. Here's more from Rachel.
MADDOW: One amazing thing about the gay marriage ban that was overturned in California today was something I had known about the trial while it was happening. But I didn‘t really appreciate the importance of it until I read the ruling that came out this afternoon.
The anti-gay marriage people, the people defending the gay marriage ban in court, only called two experts in their whole case. They only called two witnesses.
The first one was this guy, David Blankenhorn. Mr. Blankenhorn is president of the Institute for American Values.
Now, Judge Walker spent the better part of 10 pages of his ruling just talking smack about David Blankenhorn. Think I‘m kidding? Consider this, quote, “The court now determine that‘s Mr. Blankenhorn‘s testimony constitutes inadmissible opinion testimony that should be given essentially no weight.” Wow.
Quote, “Blankenhorn lacks the qualifications to offer opinion testimony and, in any event, failed to provide cogent testimony in support of proponents‘ factual assertions.” Aw. Aw.
Here‘s another, “Blankenhorn‘s book, ‘The Future of Marriage,” lists numerous consequences of permitting same-sex couples to marry. Mr. Blankenhorn explained that the list of consequences arose from a—from a group thought experiment in which an idea was written down if someone suggested it.”
Quote, “None of Blankenhorn‘s opinions is reliable.” Aw. Aw. Aw.
Back in May, “New York Times” columnist Frank Rich tied the same Mr. Blankenhorn to this star of the anti-gay movement who you may recognize, George Rekers—George Rekers whose own paid testimony against gay families in Arkansas and Florida was so bad that judges in those states made special notice of how bad he was as a witness.
George Rekers is nationally famous outside legal circles because in between his quacking about how to cure the gays with his National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, George Rekers was spotted—that‘s him there on the left—coming home in April from a two-week European vacation with a rent boy—a young man hired from rentboy.com, the young man who‘d been giving the Reverend Rekers very, very specialized massages on that vacation—although Mr. Rekers maintains the comely young man was simply helping him with his baggage. And to the extent that baggage means a lot of other things, I suppose I can‘t complain.
After George Rekers got caught with the rent boy in the Miami airport, Mr. Rekers resigned his position in NARTH. He was gone. But his quacky scholarship lived on.
Mr. Blankenhorn telling the court in California, in the trial that was ruled on today, that it is bad for kids to be raised by two moms or two dads. In a May 19th letter to “The New York Times,” Mr. Blankenhorn wrote that he never met George Rekers or read any of his writings.
It turned out that wasn‘t true. Mr. Blankenhorn wrote his own correction letter to “The Times” on June 3rd, admitting that actually he had consulted George Rekers‘ work in preparing his testimony on behalf of Prop 8.
Mr. Rekers and his NARTH association thing for curing the gay people, he also turned up in the testimony of another anti-gay marriage guy who appeared at this trial. Now, this witness was actually called as an adverse witness. He was called by David Boies and Ted Olson. He was called by the side seeking to have the gay marriage ban overturned. He was called not as a friendly witness though.
His name is Hak-Shing William Tam. He identified himself to the court as secretary of the America Return to God Prayer Movement. And this is one of those things where the judge is so obviously disgusted by this witness that there‘s no way that I, as a TV host, can improve on what the judge just writes in the ruling about the witness.
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All right. We‘ll get this right. “Proponent Hak-Shing William Tam testified that he is the secretary of the America Return to God Prayer Movement” which operates the website ‘1man1woman.net.‘ ‘1man1woman.net.‘ encouraged voters to support Proposition 8 on grounds that homosexuals are 12 times more likely to molest children and because Proposition 8 will cause states one by one to fall into Satan‘s hands.”
Mr. Tam identifies NARTH, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality - it‘s the George Rekers thing - as the source of information about homosexuality because he, quote, “believes in what they say.”
“Mr. Tam identified the Internet as the source of information connecting same-sex marriage to polygamy and incest. Protect Marriage,” the pro-Proposition 8 campaign, “relied on Mr. Tam and, through Mr. Tam, used the Web site, ‘1Man1Woman.net‘ as part of the Protect Marriage campaign.”
So that‘s directly - that‘s directly from the ruling. So, in other words, dude learned from the Rent Boy guy that gays are bad and he knows that George Rekers must be right about that because the man believes George Rekers.
Also, he says, as backup, the Internet says so. This was the case for California‘s gay marriage ban. This was the case they put forward. The Hak-Shing William Tam transcript was actually so amazing you deserve to see part of it acted out by the Proposition 8 trial re-enactment theater.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: where did you get that idea?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It‘s on the internet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It‘s on the internet?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: You know what else is on the internet now? Judge Vaughn Walker‘s ruling in this case, which I kid you not, is better than whatever novel you are currently reading right now and you should print it out and curl up with it instead. You will not be disappointed. It‘s on the Internet.