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Jul 12th, 2011

What’s Going On At the Bachmann Clinic?

 Political Ticker …
July 12, 2011


Lake Elmo, MN — In her campaign for president, Michele Bachmann touts her background as a small business owner.

“A small business job creator,” is how the Minnesota Congresswoman and Republican Presidential candidate described herself in her first campaign ad in Iowa.

That business is Bachmann and Associates. It’s a Christian counseling service located outside Minneapolis. Bachmann started the center with her husband, Marcus who is the lead counselor at the clinic. …

For at least five years, Bachmann and Associates has faced accusations it uses a controversial therapy that encourages gay and lesbian patients to change their sexual orientation.

Andrew Ramirez, a former patient at Bachmann and Associates, said in an interview with CNN he witnessed the practice first-hand. In 2004, Ramirez turned to the clinic at the urging of his mother who wanted him to talk about his homosexuality.

Just 17 at the time, Ramirez said he was immediately skeptical of what one of the clinic’s counselors told him.

“It was therapy that would help me change from being homosexual to straight,” Ramirez said. “If I did this and worked his therapy program, God would perform a miracle and I could no longer be gay,” Ramirez added he was told.

Ramirez was assigned a therapy program consisting of prayer, reading Bible passages, and mentoring with an ex-lesbian minister. If none of that worked, Ramirez said the counselor had another suggestion.

“Not acting out on my same sex attractions and living a life of celibacy,” Ramirez said. …

The American Psychological Association is sharply critical of efforts by counselors to change a patient’s sexual orientation, what’s known in the mental health community as “reparative therapy.” …

In an interview last year with the “Point of View” talk radio program, Bachmann was asked how parents should deal with a teenager who thinks he or she is gay. …

“We have to understand barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined and just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn’t mean we’re supposed to go down that road,” [Bachmann said].

In 2006, Bachmann denied his clinic engaged in reparative therapy to “City Pages,” a Minneapolis newspaper. “That’s a false statement,” Bachmann said. “If someone is interested in talking to us about their homosexuality, we are open to talking about that. But if someone comes in a homosexual and they want to stay homosexual, I don’t have a problem with that,” he continued.

This week, a gay rights group called “Truth Wins Out” released to CNN a hidden camera video recorded by one of its activists who posed as a patient at Bachmann and Associates.

In the video reviewed by CNN, a counselor can be heard suggesting homosexuality can be treated at the center, to varying degrees of success.

“You can actually leave homosexuality completely and become heterosexual?” the undercover activist asked on the video. “Definitely,” the counselor responded. “It’s happened before. It really has,” the counselor added. …

Michele Bachmann has a long history of controversial views on homosexuality.

As a senator in the Minnesota legislature in 2004, Bachmann called for an amendment to the state constitution that would block gay marriages in other states from being recognized in Minnesota.

“If we allow this to happen, group marriage, polygamy, and much worse would not be far behind,” Bachmann said in a video to her supporters.

In an appeal to socially conservative Iowa voters earlier this month, she signed a “Marriage Vow” pledge that also equated same sex couples with polygamists.

Both Bachmann and her husband declined to discuss the clinic’s practices. A secretary at the clinic referred all questions to the Bachmann presidential campaign. …

The issue has followed Bachmann onto the campaign trail. Asked about the clinic’s practices at an event in Iowa Monday, Bachmann dodged the question. …

Read the full story at CNN Political Ticker


 Related video 

Did Bachmann’s clinic try to ‘cure’ homosexuality? (NBC “Today,” July 12, 2011) — NBC’s Michael Isikoff reports that undercover video taken from Michele Bachmann’s Christian counseling center reveals that her therapists are using prayer and Bible scriptures to help cure people of homosexual tendencies. (03:28)

Related video

Will Bachmann’s husband derail her campaign? (MSNBC “Martin Bashir,” July 12, 2011) — Rep. Michele Bachmann is known to have uncompromising views on gay rights, including leading the charge against same-sex marriage. Will secret tapes from her husband’s clinic, showing therapists coaching patients to “pray the gay away” do her any harm? The New York Daily News’ S.E. Cupp discusses. (04:34)

Related video

Marcus Bachmann defends clinic (MSNBC “The Last Word,” July 15, 2011) — The husband of Republican presidential contender Michele Bachmann has come forward to defend his Christian counseling center. Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out joins MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell to discuss. (05:06)

Related video

Off to the presidential races (MSNBC “Hardball,” July 15, 2011) — Politico’s Jonathan Martin and MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe discuss the most recent 2012 headlines, including whether the Bachmann campaign is more worried about the clinic controversy then it seems. (09:33)

Related video

Bachmann clinic glitter bombed (The Daily Beast, July 22, 2011) — It’s the year of the glitter bomb and the glitterati have struck again.  Watch a group of activists dressed as “gay barbarians” stage a sparkling intervention at Marcus Bachmann’s clinic. (01:43)


10/15/2012 Update

Bachmann Family Values

By Frank Bruni

October 14, 2012


THERE are many people who are hurt by Michele Bachmann’s divisive brand of politics, but perhaps none in quite the way that Helen LaFave is.

The two women once shared confidences. They’re family. …

Helen was at Michele’s wedding to Marcus Bachmann and got to know him. And Michele got to know Nia, the woman who has been Helen’s partner for almost 25 years.

Helen never had a conversation about her sexual orientation with Michele and knew that Michele’s evangelical Christianity was deeply felt. Still she couldn’t believe it when, about a decade ago, Michele began to use her position as a state senator in Minnesota to call out gays and lesbians as sick and evil and to push for an amendment to the Minnesota constitution that would prohibit same-sex marriage: precisely the kind of amendment that Minnesotans will vote on in a referendum on Election Day. …

And while she never doubted that Michele was being true to her private convictions, she couldn’t comprehend Michele’s need to make those convictions so public, to put them in the foreground of her political career, and to drive a wedge into their family….

But the imminent referendum, which she described as Michele’s “very, very sad legacy,” compelled her “to speak out for fairness for those of us who are being judged and told our lives and relationships are somehow less,” she said. …

[B]etween Michele’s election to the State Senate in 2000 and her upgrade to the United States House of Representatives in 2006, she nabbed attention and amassed a fan base among religious extremists with her homophobic pronouncements.

She publicly described homosexuality as “personal enslavement,” referred to the heartache of having “a member of our family” who was gay and suggested that gays and lesbians wanted to recruit impressionable youngsters, saying: “It is our children that is the prize for this community.” …

When Michele spoke at a State Senate hearing in 2006 about her desire for a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage, Helen showed up, along with several relatives who supported her. …

She hopes to marry Nia in Minnesota someday. I asked if she would invite Michele to the ceremony.

She fell silent a few seconds, then shook her head. “I don’t think it would be a very good fit,” she said.

Full story


Related reports on this site

Christians for Michele Bachmann is a satirical website.

Michele Bachmann Hiding Behind Bushes to Spy on Gay Rally
(May 14, 2009)

Bachmann in the Bushes
Click on image for larger view

Bachmann’s Anti-Gay Activist Record (Nov. 1, 2009)

Death Penalty for Homosexuals sign
Sign displayed at a rally Michele Bachmann keynoted at the Minnesota State Capitol in 2004.

Husband Marcus Bachmann Emerges from the Shadows (July 7, 2011)

Michele Bachmann dances on stage with her husband, Marcus, after speaking at a Tea Party Rally on July 2, 2011 outside the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines. Michele Bachmann’s rise as a GOP presidential hopeful has led to more attention on her husband and his role in her campaign. (Photo credit: Justin Hayworth / AP via Washington Post photo gallery)


03/29/2014 Related report

World of Extremes On Gay Rights

Click here to see where homosexual acts are punishable by death, where they are illegal, where homosexual acts are legal, and where same-sex marriage is allowed. (Washington Post, Jan. 14, 2013)


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — July 12, 2010

“Rise of the New Right” — Part 6

“How the New Right Exploits the Media” — The New Right uses talk radio, cable television, and the Internet to spread conspiracy theories and to create a climate of fear and anger. (10:36)

One year ago today, I featured Part 6 of “The Rise of the New Right: A Hardball Documentary with Chris Matthews,” titled “How the New Right Exploits the Media.”


FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — July 12, 2009

Christian Cleansing in Iraq

Image: Iraqi security forces stand guard outside one of several Christian churches that were bombed in Baghdad
Iraqi security forces stand guard outside one of several Christian churches that were bombed in Baghdad on Sunday, July 12, 2009. (Photo credit: Hadi Mizban / AP)

Two years ago today, on July 12, 2009, I reported that six Baghdad-area churches were bombed within 24 hours on July 11-12, 2009, killing at least four people and wounding 32. Iraq has lost more than half of the 1.4 million Christians who once called it home, mostly since the war began in 2003, and few who fled have plans to return.

4 Responses to “Bachmann “Pray Away the Gay””
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Catholics: Condemn Bachmann Says:

    […] Bachmann and Associates faced accusations that it uses a controversial therapy that encourages gay and lesbian patients to change their sexual orientation. […]

  2. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Michele Bachmann Leaves ‘Antichrist’ Church Says:

    […] Bachmann and Associates faced accusations that it uses a controversial therapy that encourages gay and lesbian patients to change their sexual orientation. […]

  3. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Rep. Michele Bachmann’s Campaign for President Says:

    […] Bachmann ‘Pray Away the Gay’ (July 12, 2011) […]

  4. Immelman vs. Bachmann » Blog Archive » Husband Marcus Bachmann Emerges from the Shadows Says:

    […] Bachmann “Pray Away the Gay” (July 12, 2011) […]

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