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Is Michelle Bachmann A Homophobe?

AARGH! 2011/07/12 14:38:22
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As we learn more and more about Michelle Bachmann's stance and record on gay rights does she appear to be homophobic?



Michele Bachmann: homophobe-in-chief?

As she moves from Tea Party fringe to Republican presidential contender, her horrible anti-gay record deserves exposure




Michele Bachmann
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann speaking during the first 2012 Republican presidential candidates' debate in Manchester, New Hampshire, earlier this month. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images


Given the explosive excitement surrounding congresswoman Michele Bachmann's White House bid, it was perhaps no surprise that organisers of a Minneapolis conservative bloggers' conference, Right Online, over the weekend chose to introduce her with the infuriatingly catchy Katy Perry song "Firework".


Bachmann is now a real rock star of the hardcore Republican right and the Tea Party faithful. But the song choice showed a profound misunderstanding of popular culture. For Firework – whatever one thinks of its musical merits – is a gay anthem. The video Perry filmed to go with it preaches a message of universal tolerance and includes a young man coming to happy terms with his sexuality and kissing another man. Which, to put it mildly, is ironic for Bachmann and her legion of supporters.


For Bachmann is surely one of the most anti-gay mainstream candidates to run for the White House in recent years. A glance at Bachmann's record on gay issues shows a good part of her political philosophy and personal beliefs are based on preaching prejudice against a vulnerable minority of the American people. (One member of that community made her protest by "glitter-bombing" Bachmann as she left Right Online.) America has come a long way since segregationist George Wallace first ran for president in 1964. But swap blacks for gays in some Bachmann comments and it becomes clear that some politicians have come less far than others.


Bachmann has spearheaded fights to get a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in Minnesota. That, in itself, is not too unusual. But what is unusual is the fervency of Bachmann's anti-gay agenda. Her stance does not seem cynical politicking to her base. It seems rooted in her core beliefs and evangelical religious outlook. Bachmann, after all, once hid behind some bushes to keep an eye on a gay rally in St Paul, Minnesota. In another notorious incident, when two lesbians once approached Bachmann in a bathroom to talk about her anti-gay opinions, the congresswoman claimed she was being kidnapped and fled to police to try and press charges (the authorities took a dim view of the complaint and declined to pursue the matter). In 2004, she called being gay "part of Satan". In the same year, she also compared it to slavery, saying:



"If you're involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it's bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement."


She's said teaching young children about gay people is akin to child abuse and has claimed that gays have a "sexual dysfunction". She believes gays specifically target children and has said repeatedly that she believes America is on a path that will eventually see young people forced to "try" being gay.


Of course, for Bachmann, this is close to home. Her husband Marcus Bachmann – who is a major influence in his wife's political career and beliefs – runs a Christian counselling business in Minnesota. He has referred to gays as "barbarians":



"We have to understand that barbarians need to be educated, need to be disciplined. And just because someone thinks (they're gay) or feels it doesn't mean we need to go down that road. That's what is called the sinful nature."


Marcus Bachmann has denied that he runs courses seeking to "cure" people of their homosexuality. But in 2005, he spoke at a conference and, according to a gay activist present, ended his presentation with testimony from three people who claimed to have been "cured" of their gayness and were now straight. His speech was called "The Truth About the Homosexual Agenda".


But what is really scary about Bachmann's anti-gay beliefs are how they have run roughshod over her own family life. Some high-profile conservatives, such as former Vice President Dick Cheney, have softened their stances or embraced gay rights because they have out and proud members of their own family. Just this week, New York Post columnist Andrea Peyser shed her normally strident conservatism to write a moving tribute to the lesbian marriage of a favourite niece. But Bachmann stays rigid even when her own family members are gay.


Bachmann's step-sister, Helen LeFave, is a lesbian. The two were close as they grew up together in their teens. Not surprisingly Bachmann's anti-gay comments have not gone down well with her, or several other relatives. They have written letters to newspapers opposing Bachmann's stance or appeared at political hearings on attempts to ban gay marriage. Yet, even in the face of having gay relatives in her own family, Bachmann is unwavering. No doubt, that is what many of her fans love about her.


She is a real conviction politician in an era where most presidential aspirants love their focus groups first and foremost. But what a shame one of Bachmann's core convictions is naked prejudice against some of her fellow citizens and a wish to deny them the basic rights afforded to everyone else.


• Editor's note: this article originally gave the location of the gay rally on which Bachmann spied as Washington, DC; the incident took place in St Paul, Minnesota. The article was amended at 4.45pm (BST) on 22 June 2011

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Top Opinion

  • outlaw 2011/07/12 15:08:21
    Yes...
    outlaw
    +13
    Yes, unfortunately she (like most) Republicans are not necessarily afraid of gay people, but their perceived ramifications of the gay lifestyle on the fabric of America.
    Because all gays are after little boys and are godless, this could lead to all our children being in danger and God being blasphemed if they dare enter a church.
    And since gay marriage (civil unions) leads to the destruction of the principles of marriage (as we know it), we will all suddenly become unmarried by proxy.
    Yes they are afraid of anything that does not align to their holier than thou Christian stance as an affront on America and society as a whole.
    This is why they are considered extremists, obstructionists, the fringe, the minority, homophobes, racists, etc.



    affront america society extremists obstructionists fringe minority homophobes racists obama 2012

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  • Beanybudd 2011/08/28 22:10:09
    Yes...
    Beanybudd
    It's pretty obvious. Using taxes payers money to "cure" homosexuals.. It doesn't matter what party you're for, she makes herself quite clear.
    pretty obvious taxes payers money cure homosexuals party clear smack face
  • luke 2011/08/20 08:15:44 (edited)
    Yes...
    luke
    Like all superchristians (also some normal christians) and tea partiers, they believe that love and tolerance is something satan cooked up to turn us all into "heathens" This is why I turned my back on religion. Praying the gay away won't work since in reality, which you religious numbnuts like to pretend doesn't exist, that your prayers won't be heard. Philosophy > religion.
  • SmithBandit 2011/08/10 19:04:12
    No...
    SmithBandit
    She isn't a homophobe because she hasn't shown fear or hatred of gays.
  • Wayne 2011/08/06 18:33:32
    Yes...
    Wayne
    +1
    What the hell do you think? Gee, I guess her 'Pray away the Gay' clinics are just for fun

    gee guess pray gay clinics fun duh
  • iloveathensnz 2011/07/28 07:06:22
    Yes...
    iloveathensnz
    That's like asking if the Queen likes corgi's!!!
  • Aspect of B 2011/07/22 16:20:35
    Yes...
    Aspect of B
    I rarely say this, but...no sh*t.
  • ILuvMonkeys 2011/07/14 17:15:02
  • Yes...
    ✩Batman's✩Epic✩Understudy✩
    +1
    I think the leader of our country should be open minded.
  • Dawn 2011/07/13 20:19:06
    None Of The Above...
    Dawn
    +1
    i hate the word homophobe - they aren't afraid of gays - they outright hate them

    in fairness to her - i might start hating gays too if i was stupid enough to marry one - condemning myself to a life of "gettin none"
  • hyrulien 2011/07/13 17:56:23
    Yes...
    hyrulien
    +1
    Little does she know. Shes actually rather gay.
  • Not Einstein 2011/07/13 04:42:49
    Yes...
    Not Einstein
    +3
    The only reason she is a homophobe is because her husband has homosexual tendencies, which he is trying to keep at bay with his Christian counseling. He believes that as long as one does not act on one's sinful and barbaric urges, one will be free of them. So he married her to get straight! My God, that would turn a straight man gay!
  • iamthemob ~ the 444th Guru ~ 2011/07/13 02:40:26
    Yes...
    iamthemob ~ the 444th Guru ~
    +1
    She's the definition, seeing all this add up.
  • Queen B 2011/07/12 22:11:36
    None Of The Above...
    Queen B
    +2
    How inconvenient for her to be married to a "formerly gay" husband. What does that make her? Hmmm.......wait till he can't repress his natural urges anymore and see what happens then.
  • Wilde~MoonChild ™ 2011/07/12 18:24:26
    Yes...
    Wilde~MoonChild ™
    +6
    Yes, shes a homophobe married to someone whose CLEARLY a homosexual.
  • AARGH! Wilde~M... 2011/07/12 18:26:37
  • Wilde~M... AARGH! 2011/07/12 18:33:46
    Wilde~MoonChild ™
    +6
    OMG yes.... Thats why they try so hard to change people from gay to straight. Theyre hoping it will work for him one day..
  • AARGH! Wilde~M... 2011/07/12 18:34:59
  • Crewshal 2011/07/12 17:35:43
    Yes...
    Crewshal
    +2
    Yes,Most Tea Partiers,Birthers,Christians,... Republicans and most of the right along with Muslims and Islamic Terrorist are Homophobic,and big time hypocrites to boot.

    Michele Bachmann's Husband's Clinics Practiced Ex-Gay Therapy (While Pocketing $161,000 of Your Tax Money)
    Michele Bachmann's husband, Marcus, denies that his Christian counseling center offers "ex-gay" therapy. But a former client says he was brought there for that "cure".


    http://www.alternet.org/story...
  • AARGH! Crewshal 2011/07/12 18:25:43
  • Crewshal AARGH! 2011/07/12 18:37:32 (edited)
    Crewshal
    +4
    Good,i also feel that her Husband is a closet Gay himself
  • AARGH! Crewshal 2011/07/12 18:41:03
  • Crewshal AARGH! 2011/07/12 18:56:19
    Crewshal
    +2
    ha ha ha ,yes.Most christian conservative and Tea partiers are uptight
  • rand 2011/07/12 17:04:05
    None Of The Above...
    rand
    +1
    I think it's a mistake to impute motives and fears to others. She may just be pandering to her Evangelical supporters. I can only hope that she thinks more clearly than they do.
  • scblues... rand 2011/07/12 21:01:16
    scbluesman13
    +3
    She was like this long before she ever became popular. If you watch some of her old c-span footage you can see the crazy take form years ago.
  • Dawn scblues... 2011/07/13 20:17:34
    Dawn
    +1
    actually, she's toned it down quite a bit
  • scblues... Dawn 2011/07/13 20:53:46
    scbluesman13
    +3
    Toning it down so you look less crazy for the press doesn't mean you're still not crazy. It just means you have a good publicist.
  • Dawn scblues... 2011/07/14 14:33:08
    Dawn
    +1
    i'm sorry - you must have me confused with a nutcase.

    i was contradicting you but only to say that she actually is much much crazier than she appears now. and contradicting rand to say that the crazy is all her not something she is turning on for the evangelicals.

    that wasn't a defense of her - it was meant as a further indictment.
  • scblues... Dawn 2011/07/14 19:59:41
    scbluesman13
    +1
    Ahh, gotcha.
  • Dawn scblues... 2011/07/15 15:21:52
    Dawn
    +1
    i guess i fell into a branch of poe's law :)
  • Sandy 2011/07/12 16:49:11
    Yes...
    Sandy
    +3
    She must think it is catching, like a cold or something.
  • explorer1618 2011/07/12 16:27:33
    Yes...
    explorer1618
    +1
    She looks as if she is constipated just like Palin !
  • leslie davis 2011/07/12 16:22:19 (edited)
    Yes...
    leslie davis
    +1
    I think she protests too much against gays because rumor has it that her own husband swings both ways. Just saying.
  • Ramon 2011/07/12 15:56:37
    Undecided...
    Ramon
    I don't know. I do know that the Republicans, not just Bachmann, have made it a major issue. It's an issue, however, that I really don't care about. What I care more about is the debt we're incurring and runaway spending by our government. The Republicans are on the correct side of that issue.
  • sjalan 2011/07/12 15:48:58
    Yes...
    sjalan
    +4
    YES!!! and a bigot, and prejudiced and a liar and a few other words that apply but cannot be printed here.
  • rustyshackelford 2011/07/12 15:41:56
  • Tori 2011/07/12 15:25:33
    Yes...
    Tori
    +4
    I do believe she is and I believe that she's a "homophobe" in the truest sense of the word inasmuch as I think she feels personally threatened by the whole idea of homosexuality.

    Of course, we all know what that means, right? I wonder if Bachmann's terror that children are going to be forced to "try" homosexuality is based on some personal experience. And, I'll eat my hat if her husband doesn't have a few secrets in his past as well.
  • stevegutch 2011/07/12 15:11:44
    Yes...
    stevegutch
    +2
    Clearly
  • outlaw 2011/07/12 15:08:21
    Yes...
    outlaw
    +13
    Yes, unfortunately she (like most) Republicans are not necessarily afraid of gay people, but their perceived ramifications of the gay lifestyle on the fabric of America.
    Because all gays are after little boys and are godless, this could lead to all our children being in danger and God being blasphemed if they dare enter a church.
    And since gay marriage (civil unions) leads to the destruction of the principles of marriage (as we know it), we will all suddenly become unmarried by proxy.
    Yes they are afraid of anything that does not align to their holier than thou Christian stance as an affront on America and society as a whole.
    This is why they are considered extremists, obstructionists, the fringe, the minority, homophobes, racists, etc.



    affront america society extremists obstructionists fringe minority homophobes racists obama 2012
  • AARGH! outlaw 2011/07/12 15:11:21
  • Ron the Realist 2011/07/12 14:47:57
    None Of The Above...
    Ron the Realist
    Folks who use the word homophobe seriously, are senseless dolts who don't consider their own personhood beyond how they behave in bed in private.

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