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Presidential candidate Karger asks Marcus Bachmann to ‘come out of the closet’

Political strategist and 2012 GOP presidential candidate Fred Karger has challenged Marcus Bachmann, husband of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, to a debate on gay conversion therapy.

Image has not been found. URL: http://media.iowaindependent.com/MarcusBachmann_130.jpgMarcus Bachmann

“As the first out gay candidate for president, I have first-hand knowledge about a subject in which you claim expertise,” Karger wrote in an email to Marcus issuing the challenge.

The controversial practice was shown to be used at Christian counseling clinics co-owned by the Bachmanns when undercover video was released by Vermont-based Truth Wins Out, a gay-rights advocacy group that opposes such therapy. (The American Medical Association and other professional medical and psychological groups also oppose the therapy.) To compound the issue, Bachmann & Associates has taken in thousands of dollars in state and federal funding over the past several years. The undercover video confirmed rumors that had swirled for years — rumors that Marcus had denied in 2006.

Since the video surfaced, the Bachmann campaign has gone into lock-down mode. Media calls to the clinics regarding the therapy were redirected to Bachmann’s campaign spokeswoman.

That changed Friday when Marcus provided an interview to the Star Tribune:

… Marcus Bachmann said counselors at his clinics follow the wishes of patients and don’t force any treatment.

“This individual came to us under a false pretense,” Bachmann said. “The truth of the matter is he specifically asked for help.” …

Bachmann didn’t deny that he or other counselors at Bachmann & Associates have attempted to convert gay patients, but he said it is not a special interest of the business and would only be attempted at the client’s request.

“Will I address it? Certainly we’ll talk about it,” Bachmann said. “Is it a remedy form that I typically would use? … It is at the client’s discretion.” …

“We don’t have an agenda or a philosophy of trying to change someone,” Bachmann said. …

Karger’s email challenge to Marcus Bachmann is reprinted below:

Marcus Bachmann you are convinced that someone can “pray away the gay” and actually own two clinics in Minnesota where you and your 27 therapists actually practice this falsehood. Just last year you referred to gays and lesbian teenagers as “Barbarians, who need to be educated.”

Michele links the acceptance of gays and lesbians to Satan.

There is no place for this type of hate-speak and 19th Century thinking in the current presidential campaign. Michele and you refuse to comment about your past statements and beliefs. America needs to hear directly about where both of you stand on this issue which affects millions of lives.

Marcus Bachmann come out of the closet and debate me.

I will meet you anywhere, any place at any time, even at one of your clinics in Minnesota.

As the first out gay candidate for president, I have first-hand knowledge about a subject which you claim expertise. Let me know if you accept this challenge.

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