Anti-Gay Pol’s Husband: Gays are the ’Barbarians’ at America’s Gates

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Friday July 1, 2011

Anti-gay politician Michele Bachmann's homophobia seems to be a family affair. Her husband and self-described political "strategist," Dr. Marcus Bachmann, who media sources suggest may practice so-called "reparative therapy," told a radio program last year that gays are the "barbarians" that turn school kids queer, the Los Angeles Times reported on June 30.

Moreover, Bachmann claimed that the only way to address the "barbarian" gay threat was through "discipline" and anti-gay "action steps."

Michele Bachmann has been making an impression on conservatives in recent debates among the field of conservative hopefuls looking for the nod from the GOP to run in next year's presidential election. Among other things, Bachmann says that states should decide for themselves on social questions like marriage equality -- but that if she were president, she would push for an anti-gay amendment to the United States Constitution to limit the right of marriage to heterosexual couples only.

Her husband Marcus, who is reportedly part of Michele Bachmann's "brain trust," appeared on a Christian radio broadcast last year, declaring himself an "authority figure" and laying out his vision for how to treat "sinful" GLBTs.

"We have to understand: Barbarians need to be educated," Marcus Bachmann said on the May 12, 2010 broadcast of "Point of View," a radio show that purports to promote a "biblical Christian worldview."

"They need to be disciplined," Bachmann continued. "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."

The Los Angeles Times noted that Marcus Bachmann apparently believes that it's possible for gayness to be spread like a contagion, and has suggested that children are at risk of being converted into gays and lesbians at school.

"What is our culture, what is our public education system doing today?" Bachmann said. "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 the percentage of homosexuals in this country is, it is small. But by these open doors, I can see and we are experiencing, that it is starting to increase."

Marcus Bachmann is a clinical therapist with what he has called "A Christian counseling agency that has 26 Christian, pro-life, pro-family, pro-marriage counselors," who believes that "when you get a counselor asking the confused, 'How do you feel?" we are really making a mistake." Rather, Bachmann believes that counselors should take control of their patients:

"That's not what should drive the car, the ship, or whatever," Bachmann said of the feelings of counseling clients during his "Point of View" appearance. "What should drive us is the undeniable truth and the Godly principles of truth in God's word... I think we really need to call sin, sin. And too often we find counselors and friend that will absolutely excuse a person and allow their feelings to take charge... "

The question of whether Bachmann translates his anti-gay stance into attempts to "cure" gays is unclear, but Ex-Gay Watch noted in a July 1 article that, "In an MSNBC report, The Daily Beast's David Graham alleges that Bachmann has practiced reparative therapy. When asked whether Bachmann believed in a 'gay cure,' Graham said he hadn't explicitly admitted it, but 'that appears to be his attitude.' "

"In the past, he's allegedly participated in gay-to-straight therapy," Graham said of Bachmann, during his MSNBC appearance. "He's talked about a homosexual agenda.' And at the same time, his therapy is focused on telling people what to do and instilling authority, rather than giving people an opportunity to talk."

Graham also "noted that [Bachmann's] rant is 'very consistent with his views, both on counseling and on homosexuality' and Rep. Michele Bachmann's anti-gay legislative record," reported ThinkProgress.

The Los Angeles Times reported on June 26 that business interests belonging to the Bachmann family had received considerable government funds, a state of affairs that runs contrary to Michele Bachmann's purported belief in small government.

It also reported that Michele Bachmann "and her family have benefited personally from government aid," with her husband's clinic taking in Medicaid money and a "family farm in Wisconsin, in which the congresswoman is a partner, receiv[ing] nearly $260,000 in federal farm subsidies."

Though none of the funds from the government was obtained illegally, MSNBC anchor "Thomas Roberts also notes that Marcus Bachmann received over $130,000 in US public money last year to fund therapy, and he questions whether government money has been paying for gay-to-straight treatment," the Ex-Gay Watch posting said.

A June 28 MSNBC article also noted that Marcus Bachmann had been collecting Medicaid money since 2005, totaling over $137,000 -- even as his wife has made a point of attacking Medicaid for doling out cash.

"The previously unreported payments are on top of the $24,000 in federal and state funds that Bachmann & Associates, the clinic founded by Marcus Bachmann... received in recent years under a state grant to train its employees, state records show," the MSNBC article said.

"The $161,000 in payments from the Minnesota Department of Human Services to her husband's clinic appear to contradict some of Michelle Bachmann's public accounts this week when she was first asked about the extent to which her family has benefited from government aid," the MSNBC article noted.

"She's giving hypocrisy a bad name," the head of Families USA, Ron Pollock, told MSNBC. "It's clear when it feathers her nest she's happy for Medicaid expenditures. But people that really need it -- folks with disabilities and seniors -- she's turning their backs on them."

As for just what "action steps" Dr. Marcus Bachmann might prescribe to a wife in the White House to turn "barbarian" gays away from their "sinful" natures, media sources had no information.

Photo credit: Michele McGaughey (C) 2006. To use contact [email protected]

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.