Following call for sex work decriminalization, LGBT groups blast raid


The NLGBTQ Task Force and Transgender Law Center issued statements today blasting yesterday’s government raid on, calling it an affront to sex workers, including male escorts and masseurs.

Seven employees, including the CEO, were arrested and $1.4 million in assets seized during the raid. Authorities charge the site, which bills itself as the world’s largest male escort site, promotes prostitution and racketeering charges.

“There are so many other important investigations that federal resources should be focused on right now instead of sex workers. Take the appalling murders of trans women of color — now at epidemic proportions across our nation. Sex work is a fact of life — it has been, it is and it will be as long as human beings are around,” said Russell Roybal, deputy executive director of the task force said in a statement.

“Criminalization puts the livelihoods, health and lives of sex workers in jeopardy.  It’s time for our federal justice system to get its priorities straight and it’s time once and for all to decriminalize sex work.”

The Transgender Law Center, which advocates for global transgender rights and recognition, called the raid a human rights violation.

The statements follow a Aug. 20 statement issued by numerous LGBT groups, including the center and task force, calling for the decriminalization of sex work.

Advocates for sex worker’s rights argue laws criminalizing sexual exchange impede sex workers’ ability to negotiate condom use and other boundaries, and force many to work in hidden or remote places where they are more vulnerable to violence.

“Actions like the government’s raid contribute to the unjust and unacceptable systems and society we have today, from the disproportionate incarceration of Black transgender and gender non-conforming people to the epidemic of violence against transgender women of color,” according to the center’s statement.

On Aug. 11, human rights group Amnesty International issued a proclamation urging governments to “to respect, protect, and fulfill the human rights of sex workers.”

—  James Russell

Largest male escort and companion website’s headquarters raided

RBLogoFederal agents this morning (Tuesday, Aug. 25) raided the Manhattan headquarters of and arrested seven employees, including CEO Jeffrey Hurant, alleging the world’s largest male escort site promotes prostitution and engages in money laundering.

The site, founded in 1997, bills itself as “the world’s destination to meet the perfect male escort or masseur.” Escorts and masseurs pay to advertise on the site, sometimes shelling out several hundreds of dollars to find clients. For a minimum monthly fee, users can search for escorts, masseurs and rent boys based on location, as well as rates, age, talent and physical features.

While the site posts numerous disclaimers that ads are for companionship and not sexual services, prosecutors believe the site violates federal law against sex work.

“As alleged, attempted to present a veneer of legality, when in fact this internet brothel made millions of dollars from the promotion of illegal prostitution,” Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Kelly Curie said in a statement.

“The facilitation and promotion of prostitution offenses across state lines and international borders is a federal crime made even more egregious when it’s blatantly advertised by a global criminal enterprise,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Sorge of Homeland Security Investigations of New York. “HSI will use its unique authorities to disrupt and dismantle such organizations and seize the millions of dollars in illegal proceeds they generate.”

Along with seizing nearly $1.4 million from six bank accounts, the government was also taking steps to shut down the site.

Hurant is currently awaiting a court appearance in New York.

—  James Russell

Mainstream press uses Rekers case to prove homosexuality cannot be 'cured'

George Rekers
George Rekers

When a hypocrite like George Rekers gets caught with a prostitute, we delight in this homophobic crusaders’ downfall. But here’s how exposing bigots like this helps the side of equality.

First, Miami New Times, a sister publication of Dallas Observer, broke the story when a friend of the rentboy figured out who the john was and met them at the airport and took pictures.

Since then, Rekers’ hypocracy has been unraveling.

In an article in today’s Miami Herald entitled “Physician Heal Thyself,” Leonard Pitts used the case to prove that homosexuality cannot be “cured.” If it could, he would have “cured” himself.

To anger his mainstream audience, Pitts pointed out that Florida taxpayers paid for the rentboy. Rekers recently received $120,000 from the state for testifying as an “expert” witness in the on-going case defending Florida’s ban on adoptions by same-sex couples.

He called Rekers’ actions a “moral crime.”

Put yourself in the shoes of the teenager, bewildered and frightened by these feelings he or she is not “supposed” to have, feelings of sexual attraction to people of the same gender. You try to deny them, try to ignore them, try to suppress them, but they will not go away. You are all alone, isolated behind a secret that presses down on you like weights, a fear of rejection that haunts you like ghosts.

He called it hypocrisy preying on the most vulnerable. He called it sad and said, “ours is a culture that would encourage and reward such duplicity in the first place.”

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—  David Taffet

Male prostitute from confirms that anti-gay leader George Rekers is a homo

We’re on deadline here today, and we’re having a few hiccups with the site, but I wanted to make sure our faithful readers didn’t miss this follow-up from The Miami New Times about our good friend George Alan Rekers. Rekers, of course, is the anti-gay, “ex-gay” leader who was caught hiring a male prostitute from Rekers has thus far denied that he had a sexual relationship with the prostitute, saying he hired him to help carry his luggage on a recent 10-day trip to Europe. But now the escort has come forward to confirm what we already knew: that Rekers is completely full of shit. From the New Times:

Rekers allegedly named his favorite maneuver the “long stroke” — a complicated caress “across his penis, thigh… and his anus over the butt cheeks,” as the escort puts it. “Rekers liked to be rubbed down there,” he says.

In his first interview since New Times broke the story Tuesday, the 20-year old escort, who prefers to go by the name Lucien, contradicts Rekers’s contentions that he hired the escort to help carry his luggage and that he was trying to save the soul of a lost sinner.

Although Rekers does have physical ailments that make it difficult for him to haul suitcases, Lucien wasn’t hired to carry luggage on their European vacation, the escort says.

“It’s a situation where he’s going against homosexuality when he is a homosexual,” Lucien says.

Also, in case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s “The Colbert Report” on Rekers last night.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Alpha Dog of the Week – George Rekers
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Fox News

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—  John Wright

Anti-gay activist George Rekers outed after hiring male escort from

George Reker
George Rekers

George Alan Rekers, who co-founded the Family Research Council with James Dobson and is one of the nation’s leading anti-gay activists, has been outed by the alternative weekly newspaper Miami NewTimes.

Rekers, a Baptist minister who’s considered a top scholar for the Christian right, hired a gay escort from to accompany him on a recent trip to Europe, NewTimes has confirmed. Rekers is currently a board member for the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), a prominent “ex-gay” organization.

—  John Wright