Marcus Bachmann is finally speaking out about allegations that his Christian counseling clinics, Bachmann & Associates, perform “pray away the gay” therapy that instructs gay clients that they can change their sexual orientation through prayer and therapy. Last week, an undercover investigation by Truth Wins Out and a testimonial from one of the center's patients confirmed long-standing rumors that Bachmann’s centers did practice so-called “ex-gay” or reparative therapy all while receiving federal Medicaid funds.
But rather than deny the charges, Bachmann admitted that the clinic would perform reparative therapy upon request:
“This individual came to us under a false pretense,” Bachmann said. “The truth of the matter is he specifically asked for help.” […] He didn't deny that he or other counselors at Bachmann & Associates have attempted to convert gay patients, but he said it is not a special interest of the business and would only be attempted at the client's request. “Will I address it? Certainly we'll talk about it,” Bachmann said. “Is it a remedy form that I typically would use? … It is at the client’s discretion.”
In the interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Bachmann also claimed that a much-publicized recording from a 2010 radio interview in which he said gays were “barbarians” who needed to be “disciplined” was doctored. “I was talking in reference to children. Nothing, nothing to do with homosexuality. That's not my mindset. That's not my belief system. That's not the way I would talk,” Bachmann said. But listen to the 2010 interview and judge for yourself:
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Michele Bachmann has repeatedly refused to address the reports, saying only that she is “very proud of our business” and “proud of all job creators in the United States.” In 2004, however, she spoke before an ex-gay group in Minnesota, claiming that they will “present the truth about homosexuality.”
Both the American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association — among other groups — have ruled that efforts to change sexual orientation have no scientific credibility and can cause psychological harm to patients. As a recent revelations about Dr. George Rekers' efforts to change the sexual orientation of a 7-year-old boy reveal, sometimes that therapy can lead to deadly consequences.