Watching Christofascist George Rekers' Rentboy Scandal unfold has been providing me chemotherapy level doses of schadenfreude.
Reverend Rekers made his first appearance here at the crustybastard waaaay back in November of 2008. It was a post about the absolute lunacy of the expert testimony used in Florida's defense of its ban on gay adoption.
Florida's Attorney General (and fellow Christofascist) Bill McCollum now has some regrets about that.
I think our team’s done what it should do. We’ve been defending the constitution of the state and we’ve been representing the Department of Children and Families, who hired him and paid him and needed expert witnesses and he was available and credentialed.I wouldn’t do it again if I knew what I know today but I didn't know that then and neither did anybody else.
Here's his revised statement.
As hired counsel for the Florida Department of Children and Families, our office is committed to providing our client with the best possible legal representation in this matter.
Dr. Rekers, a professor emeritus from University of South Carolina and a neuropsychologist with a degree from UCLA, came to our attention by recommendation from another academic after an exhaustive search for potential expert witnesses who were willing to testify. Dr. Rekers had exceptional credentials and he had provided testimony in similar cases on two separate occasions, one of which was a Florida case in Federal Court.
The contract was executed at the direction of the Department of Children and Families, and the ACLU did not object to his position as an expert at the hearing. He has completed his testimony and is no longer involved in this case.
McCollum — ever the piece of shit — blames on the FDCF for Rekers. The department was indeed the state organ who wrote Rekers a check for more than $120,000 for his testimony, but McCollum neglects to mention that he was the one who insisted the department hire Rekers and negotiated his payment.
I love how McCollum is standing by Rekers' "exceptional credentials." Heh. Judge Cindy Lederman, presiding over the Florida Adoption Ban trial, wasn't quite so impressed:
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 cannot consider his testimony to be credible nor worthy of forming the basis of public policy.
So George "exceptional credentials" Rekers was recommended to McCollum by "another academic," was he? Hm. I wonder if the other "academic" was Walter Schumm, who also served as one of McCollum's "expert" witnesses at the Florida trial?
What does Judge Lederman have to say about Schumm?
The Department also tendered Dr. Walter Schumm, Associate Professor of Family Studies, Kansas State University, as an expert in family child development, empirical and theoretical family studies and research methodology. Dr. Schumm also integrates his religious and ideological beliefs into his research. In an article he published in the Journal of Psychology and Theology* he wrote, “With respect to the integration of faith and research, I have been trying to use statistics to highlight the truth of the Scripture.”In another paper that he co-authored with Dr. Rekers concerning the authors' disagreement with homosexual practices, he wrote: 'Within the limitations imposed by context, errors in translation and errors of individual interpretation, we prefer to accept the authority of the Bible as the best guide for sexual decision making...after reasoned study, we make the assumption that [Scripture] contain[s] the wisdom of the Creator...'Dr. Schumm is not a psychologist...He suggests that his re-analyses, mostly unpublished, should be accepted over the analyses of well respected researchers in peer reviewed journals. Dr. Schumm admitted that he applies statistical standards that depart from conventions in the field.In fact, Dr. Cochran and Dr. Lamb testified that Dr. Schumm's statistical re-analyses contained a number of fundamental errors. [emphasis mine]
Besides being admired by Attorney General McCollum for their great "expertise" on the all matters regarding teh gheys, Rekers and Schumm are both fans and colleagues of each other as well as discredited sex researcher and homophobic junk scientist Paul Cameron, Ph D.
Rekers and Schumm both cite Cameron's junk science approvingly in their articles and testimony, and Schumm is also a board member of the Empirical Journal of Same-Sex Behavior — which claims to be a "peer-reviewed journal" but is actually Paul Cameron's pay-to-publish website ($500 and up.) There's only one article available at the junk science Empirical Journal of Same-Sex Behavior. It's by — surprise! — Paul Cameron.
It's probably adequate to say that Cameron has actually advocated exterminating gays. Really.
So after an "exhaustive search" for anti-gay expert witnesses, the attorney general of Florida apparently couldn't find anyone who doesn't rely on Paul Cameron's "research"? And A.G. McCollum still won't distance himself from the junk science, but only from one junk scientist because he got busted with a gay hooker?
Well, I am Jack's total lack of surprise.
McCollum is the leading candidate for governor. Florida, seriously — you bring it on yourselves.
* The Journal of Psychology and Theology is a publication of Biola University, a private self-styled "Biblically Centered Education" institution.