Posts Tagged ‘michele’

Michele Bachmann’s Gay Step-Sister Discusses Rep’s ‘Sad Legacy’

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

Michele Bachmann’s political future looks perilous as the Minnesota U.S. Rep. faces insurgent Democratic challenger Jim Graves. Regardless of whether she wins reelection next month, Bachmann will always be known for the anti-gay initiatives she helped initiate in DC as well as her home state, where voters will also decide in November whether to pass a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality.

That referendum, says Bachmann’s openly gay step-sister Helen LaFave, is the Republican congresswoman’s “very, very sad legacy.”

In a rare interview, LaFave describes to the New York Times‘ Frank Bruni how she and her partner of nearly 25 years, Nia, have been hurt by Bachmann’s Jekyll and Hyde attitudes. On the one hand, Bachmann is always respectful of LaFave and Nia’s love, but then turns around and calls homosexuality “personal enslavement.”

[LaFave] 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.

“It felt so divorced from having known me, from having known somebody who’s gay,” said Helen, a soft-spoken woman with a gentle air. “I was just stunned.”

[The women] never hid their relationship from their families, Nia said, though they also didn’t force long-winded discussions about homosexuality. Their philosophy, she said, was simply to “put it out there, show ’em who we are and love ’em where they’re at, and everything will fall into place.” Their goal was one of “killing them with kindness.”

They thought that was happening. At get-togethers, Nia received hugs from Michele, who traded an “I love you” with Helen, as the two always had.

LaFave, a Democrat who voted for President Obama in 2008, also describes how in 2003 she wrote a letter asking Bachmann to back off her homophobic platform. “You’ve taken aim at me. You’ve taken aim at my family,” she wrote. Bachmann never responded to the letter, either in ink or in person. The divide is simply ignored, she says.

Report: Bachmann Clinic Performs Ex-Gay Therapy

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

Mother Jones

I wrote on Wednesday about one potential spoiler in Rep. Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign: her husband, Marcus. Marcus is a non-certified Christian therapist who operates a clinic called Bachmann & Associates, which has been accused of practicing “reparative” therapy to supposedly turn gay people straight. It’s a practice that’s been rejected by every major psychologial and psychiatric organization, but given Marcus Bachmann’s assertions that gays need to be “educated” like ”barbarians,” that doesn’t seem like a deal-breaker. Marcus has previously denied that the clinic is involved in “reparative” therapy while conceding that his clinic would, hypothetically, be open to that kind of thing, but only if a patient specifically asked to be cured.

Now, writing at The Nation, Mariah Blake offers an account that seems to refute Bachmann’s previous denials and shed new light on the family’s ties to the “ex-gay” movement:

In the summer of 2004, Andrew Ramirez, who was just about to enter his senior year of high school, worked up the nerve to tell his family he was gay. His mother took the news in stride, but his stepfather, a conservative Christian, was outraged. “He said it was wrong, an abomination, that it was something he would not tolerate in his house,” Ramirez recalls. A few weeks later, his parents marched him into the office of Bachmann & Associates, a Christian counseling center in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, which is owned by Michele Bachmann’s husband, Marcus. From the outset, Ramirez says, his therapist—one of roughly twenty employed at the Lake Elmo clinic—made it clear that renouncing his sexual orientation was the only moral choice. “He basically said being gay was not an acceptable lifestyle in God’s eyes,” Ramirez recalls. According to Ramirez, his therapist then set about trying to “cure” him. Among other things, he urged Ramirez to pray and read the Bible, particularly verses that cast homosexuality as an abomination, and referred him to a local church for people who had given up the “gay lifestyle.” He even offered to set Ramirez up with an ex-lesbian mentor.

The gay rights group Truth Wins Out, meanwhile, just released the results of their own hidden-camera investigation into Bachmann & Associates. That report is cited in Blake’s piece, and tells a similar story—the Truth Wins Out operative, John M. Becker, asked the clinic to cure his homosexuality and then described in detail the ensuing therapy sessions.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t just a story about a campaign spouse. When Michele Bachmann brags about starting a family business on the campaign trail, this is the business she’s talking about; it’s very much her clinic too—she lists it as an asset on her financial disclosure forms. Marcus, meanwhile, has said that he is his wife’s top political ”strategist.” So what does this all mean? For one thing, it suggests that Marcus Bachmann lied about his clinic’s activities. It’s possible, I suppose, that he really didn’t know what was going on at the clinic, but if that was the case, it seems odd that, as Blake notes, he’d hawk the memoir of a noted “ex-gay” activist at the clinic.

It also raises some serious questions. Reparative therapy isn’t covered under most insurance plans. How did Bachmann & Associates describe the treatment when they billed insurance companies? Or did patients just pay out of pocket? And what does this mean for Bachmann and Associates’ government funding? As the Minnesota Independent‘s Andy Birkey has noted, Bachmann & Associates has received $30,000 in state funds.

Bachmann signs socially conservative pledge on homosexuality, marriage

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

post politics

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is the first presidential candidate to sign a pledge written by a socially- conservative advocacy group in Iowa that, among other things, endorses the view that homosexuality is a choice rather than a biological trait.

The pledge, titled “The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and Family,” originated with a group led by Bob Vander Plaats, an unsuccessful GOP gubernatorial candidate and evangelical Christian leader in Iowa. The group, the Family Leader, is asking all the 2012 presidential hopefuls to sign it.


The pledge asks signatories to vow that they will be faithful to their spouses and to the U.S. Constitution. It condemns adultery, “quickie divorce,” infidelity, pornography, cohabitation and Islamic sharia law. It also suggests that more African-American children are born out of wedlock now than they were under slavery.

The two-page document also warns that the institution of marriage is “in great crisis,” citing as one reason the “anti-scientific bias which holds, in complete absence of empirical proof, that non-heterosexual inclinations are genetically determined, irresistible and akin to innate traits like race, gender and eye color.” It also suggests that homosexuality may have a negative impact on public health.

Since announcing her presidential candidacy last month, Bachmann has largely sidestepped questions about her views on homosexuality. While she has said she opposes same-sex marriage, she has demurred when asked if she believes homosexuality is a choice or poses a health hazard.

“I’m running for the presidency of the United States,” she said when asked recently. “I am not running to be anyone’s judge.”

Her decision to sign the pledge Thursday, however, suggests that her concerns about homosexuality do extend beyond simply opposing the right of same-sex couples to marry. She and her husband, Marcus Bachmann, made such views a centerpiece of their earlier careers, prompting the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign to launch a petition of its own Friday.

“We’re calling on all of the Republican presidential candidates to speak out against the Bachmanns’ dangerous views and activities before more damage is done,” the group’s Web site states.

The debate is likely to continue as Bachmann seeks to move past her history focusing on social issues and demonstrate her expertise on national security and the economy. On CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Friday morning, Bachmann said her campaign for the presidency would be about reviving the economy and not about gay issues.

Asked on Friday about Bachmann’s signing of the pledge, a spokeswoman reiterated that she was the first presidential hopeful to sign it.

Of the 2012 GOP presidential candidates, the only other one to have signed the pledge is Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.). A spokesman for Tim Pawlenty said the former Minnesota governor is reviewing it. A spokeswoman for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

La porno, l’homosexualité et l’esclavage, selon Michele Bachmann

Saturday, July 9th, 2011


La représentante du Minnesota Michele Bachmann est devenue hier soir la première candidate présidentielle du Parti républicain à signer la promesse d’engagement d’un groupe religieux d’Iowa qui appelle à l’interdiction de «toute forme de pornographie» et présente l’homosexualité comme un choix réversible.

Le document, intitulé «Le voeu de mariage», laisse entendre, d’autre part, que la situation des familles afro-américaines était, en quelque sorte, préférable au temps de l’esclavage. J’en cite un extrait :

«L’esclavage a eu un impact désastreux sur les familles afro-américaines mais, hélas, un enfant né en esclavage en 1860 avait plus de chances d’être élevé par sa mère et son père dans un foyer avec deux parents qu’un bébé afro-américain né après l’élection du premier président afro-américain des États-Unis.»

Y a-t-il jamais eu une référence à l’esclavage plus gratuite et stupide?

L’ancien gouverneur du Minnesota Tim Pawlenty, comme tous les autres candidats républicains, a reçu la promesse d’engagement de l’organisation The Family Leader, mais il n’a pas encore décidé s’il la signerait. En revanche, il a confié mercredi qu’il aimait bien la chanson Born this Way de Lady Gaga, dont les paroles ne lui sont peut-être pas toutes familières :

No matter gay, straight or bi
lesbian, transgendered life
I’m on the right track baby
I was born to survive