Proof Unearthed of ’Ex Gay’ Therapy at Bachmann Clinic
The Daily Beast reports that Marcus Bachmann, the husband of GOP presidential contender Michele Bachmann, may be unwilling to tell the world at large that "ex-gay" counseling goes on at his Christian counseling practice, but he was not so shy in 2005 when he gave a presentation called "The Truth About the Homosexual Agenda" to a gathering of anti-gay religious leaders at the Minnesota Pastors’ Summit -- a convocation built around efforts to get anti-gay laws on the books.
The July 10 article said that during the presentation, Marcus Bachmann made the claim that gays "choose" to be sexually and romantically attracted to people of the same sex. Bachmann also reportedly made the assertion -- challenged by reputable mental health professionals here and abroad -- that homosexuality can be "cured."
Marcus Bachmann declared that "homosexuality is both a choice and a threat," the article said. "As a finale, he brought up three people, including a prominent ex-gay activist named Janet Boynes, who testified about leaving homosexuality behind."
Since Michele Bachmann’s announcement that she will be seeking the GOP presidential nomination for next year’s election race, an array of troubling issues concerning the would-be candidate have surfaced, from the legal -- but ideologically inconsistent -- receipt of federal funds by Bachmann-affiliated business interests to Marcus Bachmann’s 2010 interview on a Christian radio broadcast in which he railed on patient-centered modalities of psychiatric care and declared that what gays need is "discipline" by "authority figures" such as himself because they are "barbarians" who threaten the sexual purity of America’s children.
But when he’s been asked directly about offering so-called "reparative therapy" at his practice, Marcus Bachmann has "denied it," the Daily Beast reported. "And over the years he has kept denying it, despite plenty of evidence that both he and Michele are deeply committed to the idea that homosexuality can be cured."
But Truth Wins Out -- an organization dedicated to countering the message of so-called "ex-gay" groups -- unearthed a young man named Andre Ramirez, who told The Nation that his stepfather forced him to seek "treatment" for being gay -- and that the treatment came from Marcus Bachmann’s clinic, which has received over $160,000 in state and federal funds.
"He said it was wrong, an abomination, that it was something he would not tolerate in his house," Ramirez recalled his father saying.
Something else Ramirez recalled was said to him: His counselor at Bachmann & Associates telling him that "being gay was not an acceptable lifestyle in God’s eyes," and insisting that the young man could be "cured."
By that, of course, the counselor meant that Ramirez could be "converted" into a heterosexual. The prescribed course of treatment? Bible study, worship at a church populated by so-called "ex gays," and "mentorship" from a woman who claimed once to have been a lesbian.
The question of whether or not sexual attraction can be altered is controversial, not least because it is a deeply personal issue that others cannot know in the same way that the individual does. Anti-gay evangelical churches take it as a matter of faith that gays are not born, but somehow result from early life trauma, a decision to be gay, or some combination of factors. Some even believe that homosexuality is the result of demonic possession.
All programs purporting to "cure" gays have one thing in common, however: They pathologize homosexuality, rather than acknowledging it as a consistent, and natural, variation in the realm of normal human sexuality.