As The Minnesota Independent previously reported, ABC News recently released an undercover video of Bachmann & Associates, a Christian counseling clinic run
Image has not been found. URL: http://images.americanindependent.com/2010/08/MahurinElephant_Thumb.jpgAs The Minnesota Independent previously reported, ABC News recently released an undercover video of Bachmann & Associates, a Christian counseling clinic run by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and husband Marcus, made by the LGBT advocacy group Truth Wins Out (TWO). In the video, one of the Bachmanns’ employees is conducting “reparative therapy” on the undercover patient, who tells the therapist he is gay but wants to be straight.
The ABC story has caused controversy in the Bachmann camp — not just because of the divisive statements Marcus Bachmann has made about gay men and lesbians (such as calling them “barbarians”) and not just because he has denied allegations that the Minnesota-based clinic has conducted so-called “ex-gay therapy.” What is really making LGBT groups and fume over this inside look into the Bachmanns’ treatment center is the fact that GOP presidential nominee contender Michele Bachmann refuses to comment on the matter, instead stating that a patient-doctor confidentiality agreement precludes her from discussing the type of therapy conducted at her family clinic.
The realities of Bachmann’s family business is not just of interest to gay and lesbian voters, but to all Americans, said Darlene Nipper, deputy executive director at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, noting that Bachmann’s response to media over this controversy has been to say that the matter is irrelevant to her push for the presidency. But it isn’t, Nipper said.
“She owes it to the American voters,” Nipper told The American Independent. “People need to know who they’re voting for.”
Organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association have dismissed reparative therapy as unscientific and harmful for many years.
“It’s sad and shameful that anyone would be practicing reparative therapy at this point,” Nipper said.
In response to the new Bachmann controversy, National LGBT advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) recently started a “Call it Out” campaign, which will specifically track “the homophobic activities and positions of Bachmann and her husband.” HRC issued a statement Tuesday, calling on all GOP presidential candidates to “disavow the dangerous ‘ex-gay’ or ‘reparative’ therapies endorsed by Michele Bachmann and her husband Marcus.”
HRC’s call to candidates is not just in response to the TWO investigation but to a pledge created by Iowa’s Christian policy group the Family Leader called “The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence upon Marriage and Family.” Bachmann has signed this pledge, along with presidential hopeful Rick Santorum.
“Michele Bachmann’s homophobic views are out of step with mainstream America, and it’s time for her fellow GOP presidential contenders to publicly denounce them,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese in the statement. “The past few years we’ve seen a surge in support for equality and have made important legislative progress. Bachmann’s support for things like reparative therapy signals just how fringe a candidate she really is.”
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) on Tuesday released a report about the science community’s assessment of “ex-gay” and reparative therapy.
It is important to remember that the political and pseudoscientific groups that promote this idea do not rely on – and have long been discredited by — credible social science research. There are no modern, peer-reviewed studies that support so-called “ex-gay” groups or lend credibility to their outdated and long-abandoned theories about the nature of sexual orientation.
So many of these programs create guilt, shame, anxiety and fear in parents who have gay kids – or who may be questioning whether their child is gay. Such attempts to turn parents against their children can lead to resentment, ugliness, distrust and divided families. And in the end it’s the child who is put in harm’s way.
GLAAD cites the negative views on the type of therapy Bachmann & Associates is accused of promoting from the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, the American Counseling Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of Social Workers.
Patrick McAlvey, of Ann Arbor, Mich., underwent such “ex-gay” therapy as a teenager and recently spoke about his situation with Truth Wins Out.
McAlvey spoke to the Michigan Messenger about his concerns that the Bachmanns’ clinic has received federal and state funds — $137,000 in Medicaid funds and another $30,000 in state funds, NBC News has reported.
McAlvey told Michigan Messenger:
“For years, Minnesotan taxpayers and the federal government have been footing the bill as Dr. Marcus Bachmann and his clinic have engaged patients in dangerous and unethical ‘ex-gay’ therapy. It’s time for the Bachmanns to answer for their actions and explain exactly what they’ve been doing with tax-payer money all this time. If Michele Bachmann is going to use her husband’s clinic as part of her qualification for the highest office in our country, it is shocking and more than a little damning that she has not been willing to discuss the details of what goes on at this clinic.”
EPA Administrator Addresses Concerns About Oil Spill Waste Management
At a hearing of the national oil spill commission today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson addressed concerns about waste disposal from
EPA administrator defends allowing Florida to write its own water pollution rules
The EPA seal (Pic via sentryjournal.com) The Environmental Protection Agency has come under fire for its decision to allow the state of Florida to write its own water pollution rules (known as “numeric nutrient criteria”). EPA Regional Administrator Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming is now firing back, writing that the Agency commends the state Department of Environmental Protection for its draft of a proposed standard. A host of environmental groups filed suit in 2008, seeking to compel the EPA to implement a strict set of water pollution standards in Florida, arguing that the state was in violation of the Clean Water Act.
EPA administrator says federal nutrient criteria is a ‘myth’
In testimony given late last week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said that false accusations about her agency’s numeric nutrient criteria to govern Florida waterways are proving to be a detriment to their implementation. # Testifying before the House Agriculture Committee, Jackson said her agency’s work was often “mischaracterized” and addressed several myths surrounding its work
E-Verify Mandate Begins Today
The Obama administration today begins implementation of a new mandate to require all federal contractors to check the legal status of their employees to confirm
EPA administrator fires back at critics in op-ed
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (Pic by USACEpublicaffairs, via Flickr) EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson penned a new op-ed for the Los Angeles Times , criticizing House Republicans desperately seeking to undermine the authority of the agency they have dubbed a “job killer.” Arguing that the environment affects red states and blue states alike, Jackson writes that “it is time for House Republicans to stop politicizing our air and water.” As head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Jackson has faced harsh criticism from House Republicans and GOP presidential candidates who say the agency’s regulations are an undue burden on businesses that have to cut jobs simply to comply with clean water and air rules. Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann has pledged to end the EPA if she takes office. “Since the beginning of this year, Republicans in the House have averaged roughly a vote every day the chamber has been in session to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency and our nation’s environmental laws,” writes Jackson.
EPA and California Near Deal on Fuel Efficiency Standards
Two weeks ago, the Obama administration raised fuel efficiency standards by an average of two miles per gallon -- a modest change that disappointed some
EPA announces hold on nutrient standards if Florida can come up with own criteria
The EPA announced today that it is now prepared to withdraw a portion of its proposed numeric nutrient criteria (a set of standards governing water pollution in inland waters) and delay the portion related to estuarine waters, to allow the state Department of Environmental Protection to develop its own criteria. # From a statement released by the EPA earlier today: # EPA recognizes that states have the primary role in establishing and implementing water quality standards for their waters. Therefore, EPA is prepared to withdraw the federal inland standards and delay the estuarine standards if FDEP adopts, and EPA approves, their own protective and scientifically sound numeric standards
EPA biologist says fracking may be partly to blame for West Virginia fish kill
New documents obtained by an environmental news service show that an EPA analyst believes that wastewater from fracking may be partly responsible for a fish kill in a West Virginia river. Scientific American reports : U.S
EPA Chief Overruled Calif. Waiver, Too
The Washington Post reported in March that EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson was overruled by the White House in setting an ozone standard. Now, documents