Tag Archives: Marcus Bachmann

Group threatens to counter-sue Bachmann over ‘pray away the gay’ therapy

When LGBT activist John Becker visited Marcus Bachmann’s clinic undercover in July, it was to learn whether the Christian counselor and husband of presidential candidate Michele Bachmann offered patients so-called “reparative therapy.” Armed with a hidden camera, Becker indeed caught a counselor at the center offering the controversial treatment, which right-wing Christians claim can “cure” same-sex urges through prayer.

Becker’s visit to the clinic, staged on behalf of the LGBT advocacy group Truth Wins Out, made national headlines and refuted the Bachmanns’ claims that they never offered the treatment, which every major medical and psychological association has denounced as unethical and damaging.

But instead of trying to put the whole embarrassing episode behind him, Marcus Bachmann has revived it by demanding that Truth Wins Out pay him $150 for cancelled appointments. Bachmann himself called TWO this week to demand payment, threatening to sic a collection agency on the group.

If Bachmann, whose effeminate mannerisms have drawn ridicule and inspired parodies all over cyberspace and late-night television, hoped to intimidate TWO, he was disappointed. Bachmann had given TWO until Friday to pay up, but the group’s attorney Norm Kent responded by giving Bachmann 72 hours to back down or face legal action from his side.  

“We consider your therapy and practices fraudulent,” Kent wrote in response, adding that Becker followed the official cancellation policy.

The lawyer went on to state that any claim by the Bachmanns to offer “therapeutic” services for “curing homosexuality” equates to false advertising.

“We will be interested in the civil discovery process,” Kent wrote, implying the group would put Marcus Bachmann under oath. “Please do not embarrass yourself or your firm further by attempting to collect a debt that you are not owed for a point you cannot make.”

Is Marcus Bachmann gay? Ask Google

Here’s an interesting Internet feature: If you ask Google whether someone is gay, you might get an answer in the form of a “best guess.”

But whether Google’s best guess is accurate or not is anyone’s guess.

For instance, type in: “Is Marcus Bachmann gay,” and you’ll get the answer, “Best guess for Marcus Bachmann Sexual orientation is Straight.”

But ask about Rachel Maddow or Ellen DeGeneres, and you’ll get the correct answer.

Gawker.com appears to be the first to report on this latest Google feat.

“Finally getting hip to the fact that it is the world’s sexual barometer, Google has introduced its own sort of gaydar, which will tell you which celebrities are gay and which are straight. But how reliable is it?” Gawker posted earlier today.

As Gawker notes, Google’s gaydar only works for people who have publicly disclosed their sexual orientation, such as Ricky Martin, Jodie Foster, Rosie O’Donnell and Neil Patrick Harris.

Many of those who’ve been beset by gay rumors, such as Oprah Winfrey, Hugh Jackman and Katy Perry, are indexed as straight. Some presumed closet cases, such as John Travolta, Queen Latifah, Anderson Cooper and Kevin Spacey, elicit no response at all, although some searches will direct googlers to an article on the subject.  

And many celebrities return no results at all, including Lady Gaga, who is openly bisexual, and baseball player Mike Piazza, who held a press conference to come out as straight.

It appears Google has some fine-tuning to do.

Bachmann practice prompts pledge push

Video showing the use of long-discredited “ex-gay” therapy at a Minnesota counseling center owned by Michele and Marcus Bachmann has led to a pledge drive: Republican presidential aspirants are being asked to repudiate reparative therapy.

Since her declaration of candidacy earlier this summer, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has become a focus of LGBT groups who want to make sure voters know her record as a conservative social warrior. The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights group, now issues regular “Better Know Bachmann” reports, part of the group’s “Call It Out” campaign against homophobia and transphobia.

Bachmann, a star with Tea Party voters, opposed the repeal of the policy banning gays from the military and passage of hate crimes reform. She supports both the federal Defense of Marriage Act and constitutional amendments banning same-sex couples from marrying.

In 2004, Bachmann, then a state lawmaker, told a Minnesota radio audience that “the immediate consequence, if gay marriage goes through, is that K-12 little children will be forced to learn that homosexuality is normal, natural and perhaps they should try it.” She also has referred to her step-sister’s lesbianism as “part of Satan.” And a gay state representative in Minnesota said he once found Bachmann praying over his desk.

In 2009, in a floor speech against a bill reforming hate crimes law, Bachmann said people “who are practicing pedophiles would be considered protected under this legislation, but not, I understand, veterans, not, I understand, pregnant women, not, I understand, 85-year-old grandmothers would be protected under this law. But who would be protected? A pedophile, someone who considers themselves gay, someone who considers themselves transgender, someone who considers themselves a cross-dresser? That is who is protected.”

Earlier this summer, video was released of a gay client at a Bachmann and Associates Christian clinic being told that with reparative therapy he could be cured of his homosexuality.

The video resulted from an investigation by Truth Wins Out, a nonprofit organization founded by Wayne Besen that fights anti-LGBT religious extremism.

“Taking a client’s hard-earned money for a ‘cure’ that is not possible is unethical and a form of consumer fraud,” Besen said.

Marcus Bachmann, a therapist, has said his clinics are not anti-gay, but if a client wants to talk about “ex-gay” therapy “certainly we’ll talk about it.”

But Besen said, “Our investigation clearly shows that his clinic has great antipathy towards gay and lesbian people, and his therapists work to convert clients from gay to straight.”

The TWO video from the clinic shows a prominent sales display for “Called Out: A Former Lesbian’s Discovery of Freedom,” by Janet Boynes. In the book, the minister writes that the effects of “living a homosexual lifestyle” are “Hurt. Despair. Frustration. Loneliness. Depression. Restlessness. Shame.”

TWO’s investigation was not the first revelation that the Bachmanns have endorsed ex-gay therapy, which has been discredited by the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association and American Medical Association. Michele Bachmann, at a conference seven years ago, said gays suffer “deep emotional wounds,” but she offered the “message of healing that is possible.”

HRC and other LGBT groups now want Bachmann and other candidates for the GOP presidential nomination to pledge to “take a public stand against ‘ex-gay’ therapy and the insidious anti-gay ideology behind it.”

The groups also are encouraging people to sign a petition at www.hrc.org/callitout urging support for the pledge.

As of WiG press time, more than 22,000 people had signed the petition. However, no GOP presidential candidates had taken the pledge.

Glitter barbarians

A horde of gay “barbarian” activists, armed with glitter, descended on a clinic owned by GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and her husband Marcus. Describing themselves as barbarians in need of discipline, the group demanded to see Marcus Bachmann, an unlicensed “Christian counselor” who practices “pray away the gay” therapy. Marcus Bachmann described gays as “barbarians” in need of “discipline” on a Christian radio show. The group of about 10 protesters showered Marcus Bachmann’s waiting room with glitter while chanting, “You can’t pray away the gay, baby I was born this way.”

Bachmann mockery is misguided

I know it’s a holiday weekend but I need to share some disappointment I have with members of the LGBT and ally community because it reached a tipping point this morning.

In the past week I’ve had several people, including some from the LGBT activist community, make comments mocking the perceived sexuality of Marcus Bachmann. I find this completely unacceptable. Think about the terrible example being set for kids who overhear such intimations about Marcus Bachmann.

We oppose this exact kind of mockery and bullying in the schools because kids commit suicide over these exact same jokes and perceptions.

If, by some chance, Marcus Bachmann is living a lie we should have compassion and understanding. We know what it’s like to live each day hiding truth and fearing discovery by others.

I respect your right to free speech, but I must speak out when I see injustice even when the injustice is levied against those who oppose all that I am.

So please, in the future, don’t spout any of this crap in my presence because I don’t want to feel the need to exercise my freedom of association and walk away.

Have a happy Independence Day and keep fighting for liberty and justice for all.

David Joseph DeGrioChairman, Minnesota Stonewall DFL

Gaydar woes

Gaydar, an international gay dating website that offers members “what you want, when you want it,” is offering Marcus Bachmann a complimentary lifetime membership. Bachmann, a “Christian counselor” who tries to turn gay people straight, has come under increasing ridicule on the Web for his overtly effeminate mannerisms. His wife, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, has made opposition to LGBT equality a cornerstone of her GOP presidential campaign.

“Marcus Bachmann is popping up on everyone else’s gaydar, we figure he might want to be on the real Gaydar!” a rep at Gaydar headquarters blogged.

Gaydar offers Marcus Bachmann free membership as his wife signs anti-gay pledge

Gaydar, an international gay dating website that offers members “what you want, when you want it” is offering Marcus Bachmann “a complimentary lifetime membership.”

“In light of Marcus Bachmann’s spike in popularity on gay and gay-friendly blogs across the U.S., Internet dating megasite Gaydar.net is offering the husband of Tea Party presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., a complimentary lifetime membership,” Gaydar’s blog stated this morning.

“Marcus Bachmann is popping up on everyone else’s gaydar, we figure he might want to be on the real Gaydar!” a rep at Gaydar headquarters blogged. “With over six million members, we like to think Gaydar is the picture of inclusivity – from swarthy barbarians to piggy politicos – all are welcome!” 

The Bachmanns are vehement anti-gay activists. Marcus Bachmann operates a “Christian counseling” clinic where he reportedly tries to save gays from “sin” through biblical teachings. He has referred to gays as “barbarians” in need of “discipline.”

Michele Bachmann has suggested that her fear and contempt of gays helped to inspire her political career, which has focused on efforts to enact policies preventing gays from achieving social equality. She has called gays as being “of Satan” and warned “it is our children who are the prize for this community.”

The Advocate reported that Bachmann was “first in line to sign” today to sign a new pledge called “The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence upon Marriage and Family.” The pledge, circulated by the anti-gay group Family Leader asks candidates to affirm that gay men are a public health risk, that gay parents are inferior to straight parents and that homosexuality is a choice.

The Family Leader is headed by Bob Vander Plaats, who has compared gay marriage to the dangers of second-hand smoke. He led the successful campaign to unseat three Iowa Supreme Court justices who legalized gay marriage in the state.

But despite the Bachmanns’ anti-gay stance, Marcus Bachmann’s strikingly effeminate personality has come to light amid the publicity surrounding his wife’s presidential campaign. With that attention has come ridicule from both the left and the right.

Gay conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan labeled Bachmann a “ssuper-sserial hunter of gays.” Kids in the Hall’s Dave Foley tweeted, “How can Michele Bachman be opposed to gay marriage when she is married to gay man.”

Many LGBT advocates have condemned the ridicule of Marcus Bachmann as unseemly and counterproductive.

“I don’t view saying that someone’s gay is a negative thing, but I believe that perceived sexuality was being used as an attack on Marcus Bachmann, and I find it unacceptable to use perceived sexuality as an attack on anybody,” Stonewall DFL chair David Joseph DeGrio told the Minnesota Independent.

 “The message I see it sending is a bit hypocritical because we’re advocating for policies in schools to stop this exact thing, saying someone’s effeminate or someone speaks with a high-pitched voice or even (saying) someone is gay because this a gay characteristic,” DeGrio said.

The unwanted attention of Marcus Bachmann has also led to scrutiny of the Bachmanns’ marriage. Michele Bachmann provided a clue about the marriage in a 2006 speech to the Living Word Christian Center in which she suggested the marriage was based on “divine inspiration” rather than passion.

“And the Lord then led me to this man,” she said, pausing to identify her husband in the audience. “That my calling was to marry this man. And I tell you that, because, I hate to disappoint you, darling, but it wasn’t a big romantic surge that led us to each other. It was His word.”

Poll shows surge for Michele Bachmann in New Hampshire

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., is surging in the New Hampshire primary according to multiple polls. The growing consensus is that the congressional Tea Party leader is becoming a credible contender for the GOP presidential nomination.

According to a poll released today by the Democratic Public Policy Polling, Bachmann currently has 18 percent of the vote among Republicans, second only to Mitt Romney’s 25 percent. But Romney, the former governor of neighboring Massachusetts and a frequent visitor to the state, has home-court advantage.

Bachmann has gained 14 points in PPP’s polling over the last three months, partly due to a surprisingly strong debate performance in the state.

Sarah Palin is polling third in N.H. at 11 percent, suggesting Bachmann may have more far-right votes available to her campaign. The rest of the GOP field is polling single digits: Ron Paul is at 9 percent, Rick Perry and Herman Cain are each at 7 percent, Jon Huntsman and Tim Pawlenty are at 6 percent, and Newt Gingrich is at 4 percent.

Bachmann is a fundamentalist Christian who opposes the teaching of evolution as well as reproductive choice and gay rights. Her husband Marcus Bachmann runs a “Christian counseling” practice that tries to “save” gay people from homosexuality.

Marcus Bachmann, who has unusually effeminate mannerisms, has come under ridicule in recent days after a candid video of him was posted on gay websites. Michele Bachmann is frequently lambasted by the fact-checkers at PolitiFact for her glaring misstatements on everything from basic American history to the economy.

When she announced her candidacy in Waterloo, Iowa, Bachmann said she was filled with the spirit of its native son John Wayne. The city is actually home to serial killer John Wayne Gacy.

Bachmann is expected to easily win the Iowa Republican caucuses, which are dominated by right-wing church groups. According to most scenarios, the win will give Bachmann momentum going into New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary next February.

Democrats are delighted by Bachmann’s sudden political ascendency and mainstream Republicans are terrified.

Photo: Michele McGaughey

Gays call Bachmann’s husband a flaming queen

The gay blogosphere has been buzzing in recent days about a candid video posted online that shows the husband of Michele Bachmann sashaying down a hallway with a drag queen’s strut and an audio of him speaking out against gays in a high-pitched, almost lisping voice.

“He’s a flamer,” commented a visitor at Truth Wins Out.

“Come out, Mary,” exhorted another.

“Who’ll be running the country if Bachmann gets elected? The queen of the Tea Party? Or the old queen she married?” asked a writer at The Stranger.

But some charge that the assault on Marcus Bachmann’s effeminate mannerisms is an unseemly display of internalized gay self-loathing. They content that it’s hypocritical for gays to level comments at Bachmann that would be labeled “gay bashing” if they were expressed by non-gays.

The motivation behind the animus is Bachmann’s own hateful statements about gay people. A so-called “Christian” psychotherapist, he uses the Bible to try turning gay people straight. His attitude toward LGBT people stands in sharp contrast to what many would consider his stereotypically gay behavior. 

In an interview Bachmann gave last year to a syndicated Christian radio program, he compared gays to barbarians and said they need to be disciplined:

“We have to understand: Barbarians need to be educated,” he said. “They need to be disciplined. Just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn’t mean that we are supposed to go down that road. That’s what is called the sinful nature. We have a responsibility as parents and as authority figures not to encourage such thoughts and feelings from moving into the action steps.

“And let’s face it: what is our culture, what is our public education system doing today? They are giving full, wide-open doors to children, not only giving encouragement to think it but to encourage action steps. That’s why when we understand what truly is the percentage of homosexuals in this country, it is small. But by these open doors, I can see and we are experiencing, that it is starting to increase.”

Bachmann’s statements are consistent with those of his wife, who represents a right-wing district of Minnesota in Congress and recently announced that she’s seeking the GOP presidential nomination. In fact, Michele Bachmann has made her opposition to equality a cornerstone of her political career. She has said that homosexuality is “from Satan” and that encouraging young people to be tolerant of gays amounts to “child abuse.”

The founder of the congressional Tea Party caucus, Bachmann has also made her opposition to government spending a key issue in her public life. She’s come under fire in recent days for hypocrisy on that front amid revelations that her husband’s clinic accepts payments from Medicaid.

The Bachmanns, who met and married in college, have produced five children and have been foster parents to an additional 23, mostly troubled teens. Perhaps they believe such a display of heterosexuality puts Marcus Bachmann’s sexual orientation above suspicion.

But many LGBT people are understandably wary. They’ve watched one married fundamentalist Christian family man after another caught up in a same-sex extramarital scandal. For them, a right-wing leader’s level of animus toward gay people has become an indicator of how much he’s trying to hide about his private life.

As long as the Bachmanns continue to display traits that seem to be at odds with their positions on the issues, they’re sure to inspire more ridicule. Whether that ridicule is justified or unseemly is a debate within itself.

Photo: Michele McGaughey

Michele Bachmann’s husband ridiculed for effeminate mannerisms

The gay blogosphere has been buzzing in recent days about a candid video posted online that shows the husband of Michele Bachmann sashaying down a hallway with a drag queen’s strut and an audio of him speaking out against gays in a high-pitched, almost lisping voice.

“He’s a flamer,” commented a visitor at Truth Wins Out.

“Come out, Mary,” exhorted another.

Some charge that the assault on Marcus Bachmann’s effeminate mannerisms is an unseemly display of internalized gay self-loathing. Others say it’s hypocritical for gays to level comments at Bachmann that would be labeled “gay bashing” if they were expressed by non-gays.

But the motivation behind the animus is Bachmann’s own hateful statements about gay people. A so-called “Christian” psychotherapist who uses the Bible to treat his patients, Bachmann’s attitude toward LGBT people stands in sharp contrast to what many would consider his stereotypically gay behavior.

In an interview Bachmann gave last year to a syndicated Christian radio program, he compared gays to barbarians and said they need to be disciplined:

“We have to understand: Barbarians need to be educated,” he said. “They need to be disciplined. Just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn’t mean that we are supposed to go down that road. That’s what is called the sinful nature. We have a responsibility as parents and as authority figures not to encourage such thoughts and feelings from moving into the action steps.

“And let’s face it: what is our culture, what is our public education system doing today? They are giving full, wide-open doors to children, not only giving encouragement to think it but to encourage action steps. That’s why when we understand what truly is the percentage of homosexuals in this country, it is small. But by these open doors, I can see and we are experiencing, that it is starting to increase.”

Bachmann’s statements are consistent with those of his wife, who represents a right-wing district of Minnesota in Congress and recently announced that she’s seeking the GOP presidential nomination. In fact, Michele Bachmann has made her opposition to equality a cornerstone of her political career. She has said that homosexuality is “from Satan” and that encouraging young people to be tolerant of gays amounts to “child abuse.”

The founder of the congressional Tea Party caucus, Bachmann has also made her opposition to government spending a key issue in her public life. She’s come under fire in recent days for hypocrisy on that front amid revelations that her husband’s clinic accepts payments from Medicaid.

The Bachmanns, who met and married in college, have produced five children and have been foster parents to an additional 23, mostly troubled teens. Perhaps they believe such a display of heterosexuality puts Marcus Bachmann’s sexual orientation above suspicion.

But many LGBT people are understandably wary. They’ve watched one married fundamentalist Christian family man after another caught up in a same-sex extramarital scandal. For them, a right-wing leader’s level of animus toward gay people has become an indicator of how much he’s trying to hide about his private life.

As long as the Bachmanns continue to display traits that seem to be at odds with their positions on the issues, they’re sure to inspire more ridicule. Whether that ridicule is justified or unseemly is a debate within itself.

Photo: Michele McGaughey