Bachmann Rumor Grows Louder
The chatter about Michele Bachmann’s husband’s sexuality is spreading. Michelle Cottle on how it could affect a candidate whose Christian beliefs are central to her campaign.
By Michelle Cottle
July 16, 2011
Hear that snickering? That’s the sound of the 2012 mudslinging starting in earnest.
If you aren’t yet familiar with the growing whispers about Michele Bachmann’s campaign—the uncorroborated speculation that the candidate’s profoundly antigay hubby, Marcus, is a closeted gay man—you will be. The chatter has already made its way from the blogs and Twitter (Cher tweeted that Marcus has tripped her exquisitely tuned gaydar) to the alternative press to The Daily Show, where Jon Stewart and Jerry Seinfeld left each other in stitches this week taking shots at Marcus Bachmann’s effeminate manner and “center-square gay” voice. (Anyone out there old enough to remember Paul Lynde?) As Stewart joked, the guy is “an Izod shirt away from being the gay character on Modern Family.” Clips of the comedians’ faux “comedy repression” session promptly popped up on the websites of such stodgy outlets as The Washington Post and The Atlantic.
The wringing of hands about whether it’s fair for the respectable media to promote this sort of salacious chatter is as inevitable as the chatter itself. But this particular assault on Marcus is about more than critics lobbing generic bombs at a fiercely conservative presidential combatant. Michele Bachmann has long been one of the most aggressive anti-gay-marriage crusaders in politics, while Marcus runs a Christian-based therapy clinic accused of dabbling in “reparative therapy,” a controversial counseling technique premised on the notion that you can “pray away the gay.” (One clip making the rounds from an undercover video shows a potential clinic patient being assured that, among other things, God had made men’s eyes to appreciate the form of a woman.)The Minnesota congresswoman has lamented that involvement in “the gay and lesbian lifestyle” is a life of “personal bondage, personal despair, and personal enslavement,” while her husband has charmingly likened bi-curious youth to “barbarians” who must be “educated” and “disciplined”—parenting advice that manages at once to sound both draconian and pervy.
Pat Robertson’s Regent University: Ex-Gays Can Act The Part, But Orientation Doesn’t Change
By Zack Ford
Jul 21, 2011
Revelations that Marcus Bachmann’s clinics administer ex-gay therapy have thrust the “controversial” treatment into the media spotlight. There is no controversy among scientists, however, who continue to agree that the therapy is not effective and should not be recommended because it can be harmful. A new study from a surprising source confirms this reality; researchers at Pat Robertson’s Regent University found that “ex-gays” in opposite-sex marriages continued to have a same-sex orientation.
The study (PDF) looked at “mixed-orientation” marriages in which at least one member of the couple is not heterosexual. One of the items on the questionnaire asked participants to rank themselves using the Kinsey Scale (a 1-7 continuum representing identities between exclusively heterosexual and exclusively homosexual) on four criteria: sexual behavior, attractions, emotional attachment, and sexual fantasy. This chart shows how participants identified before and after marriage on behavior and on the “expanded version” (the average of all four criteria):
“Barbarians” Glitter-Bomb Bachmann Clinic