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Two witnesses said over the weekend that a counseling clinic founded by Michele and Marcus Bachmann performs a controversial “ex-gay” therapy. A former client of Bachmann’s clinic told The Nation that he was counseled to become straight when he was in high school. And the group Truth Wins Out sent a staffer undercover and was treated for his homosexuality. Bachmann’s clinic has taken in thousands in state and federal money despite its overt Christian conservative message.
Andrew Ramirez was sent to Bachmann & Associates after he told his parents he was gay. A high school senior at the time, he told The Nation that an employee of Bachmann’s told him that his only choice was to renounce homosexuality.
“He basically said being gay was not an acceptable lifestyle in God’s eyes,” Ramirez recalled in the interview.
Bachmann & Associates also referred Ramirez to a church for “ex-gays” and offered to connect him with an “ex-lesbian” mentor, he said.
While that was 2004, according to an undercover report by the LGBT equality group Truth Wins Out (TWO), the clinic is still doing the same kind of therapy. John Becker of TWO spent a week in late June undergoing the therapy.
“Based on my experiences at Bachmann & Associates, there can no longer be any doubt that Marcus Bachmann’s state- and federally-funded clinic endorses and practices reparative therapy aimed at changing a gay person’s sexual orientation, despite the fact that such ‘therapy’ is widely discredited by the scientific and medical communities,” wrote Becker in a report of his findings. “It’s time for Michele and Marcus Bachmann to stop denying, dodging and stonewalling. They owe it to all Americans to provide a full and honest explanation for their embrace of these dangerous and fraudulent practices.”
Like Ramirez, Becker was referred to an “ex-gay” ministry and told that God wants all gays and lesbians to be heterosexual.
Most major medical association have condemned “ex-gay” therapy, and some even warn that it could cause harm to patients and clients.
Bachmann’s clinic, which is steeped in conservative Christianity, has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in state and federal funding over the last several years. The clinic has taken $137,000 in Medicaid funds and another $30,000 in state funds.
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