ThinkProgress filed this report from the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, CO.
For weeks, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and her husband Marcus have been dogged by accusations that their Minnesota clinics, Bachmann & Associates, engage in ex-gay therapy to ?convert? homosexuals into heterosexuals. This revelation comes on the heels of audio that emerged where Marcus Bachmann is caught explaining that gays are ?barbarians? who need to be ?educated? and ?disciplined.?
Two weeks ago, gay activists used the controversy to stage a humorous protest where a dozen people dressed up as barbarians and walked into Bachmann & Associates, asking for Marcus to come ?discipline? them. Watch the video here:
One man did not see the humor in the matter: Focus on the Family founder James Dobson.
ThinkProgress spoke with Dobson this weekend at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver and tried to get his reaction to the controversy, but Dobson interjected. Instead, he instructed that what we ought to be asking about is the ?attack on Dr. Bachmann by gay activists.? Dobson went on to say that the ?thirty homosexual activists? actually “harassed” Marcus and ?scared his patients to death?:
KEYES: Obviously we saw in the news in the last week or two, Michele Bachmann and her husband?s clinic, they?re business that they run, is being accused of practicing homosexual reparative therapy. They obviously were afraid to really answer that.
DOBSON: Your question really should deal with the attack on Dr. Bachmann by gay activists. Thirty homosexual activists put on the garb of cavemen and came into his clinic with cameras and scared his patients to death and have harassed that man, who has a right to do what he is doing because that?s what he believes. I think it?s unconscionable that people like you guys don?t report it.
Contrary to Dobson’s assertion that Bachmann’s patients were “scared to death,” the waiting room where the activists congregated was, as the video shows, empty. Bachmann was also not even present at the clinic at the time, despite Dobson’s claim of an “attack” on him.
Though it is unsurprising that Dobson has little sympathy for gays and lesbians, the extent to which he was willing to distort the truth in order to defend Marcus Bachmann shows that ex-gay therapy is a practice still very-much accepted among social conservatives. Indeed, Focus on the Family sponsored its own ex-gay therapy program — “Love Won Out” — until 2009. Michele Bachmann spoke before the group during its 2004 convention in Minnesota, claiming that it will ?present the truth about homosexuality.?