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Gay GOP candidate scorns Bachmann for anti-gay therapy

By Kase Wickman
Wednesday, July 13, 2011 11:43 EDT
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The field of Republicans vying for their party’s nomination for the 2012 presidential race is very broad, so it should come as no surprise that there’s room for plenty of room for odd happenings.

Over the weekend, undercover investigations showed that Bachmann & Associates, the Minnesota Christian clinic owned by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and her husband Marcus, practiced “reparative therapy,” counseling intended to change the sexual orientation of homosexuals. Plenty of scorn is being passed Bachmann’s way by activists, but a fellow GOP presidential candidate is now chastising Bachmann in the media.

“She’s a liar and now that she’s been busted, she’s trying to divert attention away from her lies,” Fred Karger told the Michigan Messenger. “She is just another hypocrite and bigot.”

Karger is one of the lowest-profile official Republican candidates, but he’s actually the candidate with the longest — and arguably most atypical — campaign. Karger was the first to officially join the race, and is pro-pot, pro-choice and pro-same-sex marriage. He’s also the first openly gay presidential candidate.

Karger said early on that he didn’t anticipate being invited to Republican debates, and Jimmy LaSalvia, executive director of gay Republican group GOProud, dismissed Karger’s candidacy as “a bad joke” in May.

Bachmann has refused to comment on the practices at the clinic, and whether the allegations in the undercover reports were true. Anti-gay therapy has been proven unethical and disowned by all the major medical groups in the U.S., including the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association.

In a radio interview last year, Marcus Bachmann said that “barbarians need to be educated” in response to a question about how parents should deal with gay kids.

“They need to be disciplined,” he said. “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.”

Karger, on the other hand, demanded answers from Bachmann, whose poll numbers are surging, according to the latest Quinnipiac data. Bachmann is polling at 14 percent, trailing only former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s 25 percent.

“She needs to own up to it and tell the truth,” Karger told the Messenger. “What is going on in that counseling center? I am telling you I am very concerned about that.”

He also called the controversial conservative “marriage vow” pledge “a painful read,” and said Bachmann should retract her signature from it.

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
 
 
 
 
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