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Religious right sticks up for Bachmann amid ‘ex-gay’ reports

Several religious right groups — including those listed as anti-gay hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center — rushed to Michele Bachmann’s defense following reports that she and her husband Marcus’ Christian counseling clinic performs therapy intended to cure homosexuality. The groups argued that the controversial therapy is successful and that media reports of the practices of Bachmann’s clinic amount to anti-Christian bias.

Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council, which has been listed as a “hate group” by the SPLC, appeared on MSNBC alongside Log Cabin Republicans executive director R. Clarke Cooper.

“If this is indeed a Christian counseling center then is should not be surprising that the counselors help clients live their lives constituent with Christian values,” Sprigg said.

But Cooper thought the news could spell trouble for Bachmann’s presidential campaign.

“It will hurt her… If voters see the Republican Party, if they see us as intolerant and attacking a certain population of fellow Americans, it’s not a winning combination. I’m not the only one who says this. There are many other strategists that, regardless of their orientation, are concerned that we could lose the voters that we gained in the 2010 election cycle.”

The head of FRC, Tony Perkins, also defended Bachmann in a press release on Tuesday.

“Apart from Washington, D.C., and homosexual interest groups, the majority of the country will view Marcus’s work for what it is, a ministry of hope,” he said. “Pointing men and women who struggle with same-sex attractions to God isn’t ‘a discredited form of therapy,’ it’s the path to sexual healing. And it’s capable of bringing thousands of people out of bondage and into healthy behavior and a fuller relationship with Christ.”

Peter LaBarbera of Americans for the Truth about Homosexuality [blasted]( : http://americansfortruth.com/2011/07/12/abc-hit-piece-targets-michele-bachmann-and-ex-gays/) ABC News’ report, which featured undercover video from Truth Wins Out, a group that opposes such “ex-gay” therapy. AFTAH, too, is considered an anti-gay hate group by the SPLC.

“Folks, it sure didn’t take long for the liberal media to go into Christian-bashing mode against GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.),” LaBarbera said in a statement. He called ABC’s report, a “comically biased hit-piece by ABC’s Brian Ross — featuring the militantly anti-Christian homosexual organization Truth Wins Out.”

The conservative Accuracy in the Media calls Ross’ piece a “pathetic hit job” and characterizes homosexuality as a “disease-ridden lifestyle.”

In AIM’s piece, LaBarbera is quoted, likening being gay or lesbian to drug addiction: “We don’t mock the idea of leaving drug addiction or alcoholism with God’s help. Why is it acceptable to mock faith in God to overcome unwanted behaviors like homosexuality in their lives?”

David Brody of Pat Robertson’s CBN News — a part of Robertson’s 700 Club empire — also spoke out against the news reports.

“[ABC's] crew decided to do an ‘undercover investigation’ about the use of reparative therapy at the Christian clinic owned by Michele and Marcus Bachmann. It is designed to convert gays back to heterosexuality through prayer and a therapeutic clinical process,” he wrote. “First of all, you’re kidding me right? They did an undercover investigation to make the point that the healing power of Jesus Christ can transform lives? That’s what passes for an undercover investigation nowadays? Oy-gevalt.”

Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, a group that encourages gays to attempt to become straight, criticized the reports as well.

“The Bachmann incident demonstrates that as homosexuals gain more civil rights, heterosexuals are losing theirs,” wrote Greg Quinlan, the group’s head. “Because gays are a wealthy and politically powerful minority, they claim access to media attention, political power and corporate influence that middle America does not have.”

He continued, “Wayne Besen of the hate group Truth Wins Out, and other modern day Sauls, stalk and expose ‘out’ ex-gays in a negative light to ensure that they retreat back into the closet. Lambda Legal supports the establishment of GLBT Centers at public universities but blocks any attempt at ex-gay equal access. Corporate shareholder resolutions to include ex-gays in anti-discrimination policies are repeatedly defeated by the gay community.”

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