Sunday, July 10, 2011

Truth Wins Out Maintains Michelle Bachmann's Husband Practices "Ex-Gay" Therapy

And, speaking of the powerful role that religion continues to play in the public sphere in the U.S., particularly vis-a-vis human rights issues for LGBT human beings, Truth Wins Out has just released an important report showing that there's solid evidence that Republican presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann's husband Marcus Bachmann practices "ex-gay" conversion therapy.  Marcus Bachmann maintains a psychotherapeutic clinic in Minnesota, which receives significant funding both from the federal government and the state.  

Marcus Bachmann has sought to deny that his clinic engages in conversion therapy for gay clients.  To discover whether Bachmann's claim was credible, Truth Wins Out did a week-long undercover investigation which leads to the conclusion that there's compelling evidence that Bachmann's clinic does, in fact, promote "ex-gay" therapy.  

This week, Michelle Bachmann was the first Republican presidential candidate to sign an anti-gay marriage pledge.  The statement was crafted by Bob Vander Plaats, head of a Christian conservative organization in Iowa called the Family Leader.  During the 2008 election cycle, Vander Plaats led the Iowa arm of the presidential campaign of Mike Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister.  

Catholic Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has followed Bachmann (who's a Lutheran) in signing the pledge.  Bachmann has stated in interviews that she and her husband have a "biblical" marital arrangement in which he is head of the household and she submits to him per biblical injunction.  An anti-gay rant of Bachmann's husband Marcus in 2010 characterizing gay folks as barbarians has become a point of debate in her run for the Republican nomination, and is eliciting commentary, such as this discussion at the Young Turks site, asking whether Marcus Bachmann's apparently heavy investment in conversion therapy reflects a certain . . . personal . . . preoccupation with the issue.

The question of what our society should think about bogus "Christian" "ex-gay" therapy for gay and lesbian folks is apparently going to become part of the debates of this presidential campaign season, due to the Bachmanns' interest in that question.  Whether the American public will be savvy enough to make the necessary distinctions between what's bogus and real in psychotherapy, in this area--to my mind, that remains a very open question whose answer is yet to be determined, the campaign  continues.

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