Marcus Bachmann: My Clinics Aren't Anti-Gay
He hits back at critics who slammed his 'reparative therapy'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2011 11:05 AM CDT
Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and her husband Marcus wave to the crowd after her formal announcement to seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, Monday, June 27, 2011, in Waterloo, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

(Newser) – Despite the fact that an ex-patient says Marcus Bachmann's Christian counseling clinic urged him to "pray the gay away," Bachmann says that turning people straight is not the focus of his business. "We don't have an agenda or a philosophy of trying to change someone,'' he tells the Minneapolis Star Tribune, adding that the people who go through "reparative therapy" have specifically asked for it: "It is at the client's discretion."

In particular, he notes that the gay rights activist who secretly filmed his therapy sessions "came to us under a false pretense. The truth of the matter is he specifically asked for help.'' Bachmann also says a widely-circulated recording where he refers to gay people as "barbarians" who "need to be disciplined" has been doctored, and insists that during the interview in question, he was talking about child discipline. Last but not least, he hits back at critics who aren't happy that his business has benefited from state and federal subsidies, noting that the money flows in because the clinics help low-income patients and it would actually be "evil not to" take it.