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Posts for August, 2011

GOP Candidates On Same-Sex Marriage

Jim Burroway

August 12th, 2011

Think Progress has a handy compilation clip from Thursday night’s GOP debate in Iowa of candidates discussing same-sex marriage. One of my favorite reactions comes from across the Pond, with The Guardian’s Richard Adams responding to Romney’s argument that “marriage is a status“:

Looking back through some clips, there’s Romney saying: “Marriage is a status, it’s not an activity.” Who says romance is dead, eh? Calling marriage a “status” makes it sound like a Facebook update.

The emerging consensus, albeit a snarky one,  is that the debate’s real winner was Rick Perry, who doesn’t officially declare his candidacy until tomorrow.

Here’s the clip and transcript.

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Mitt Romney: Marriage should be decided at the federal level. … Marriage is a status. It’s not an activity that goes on within the walls of a state and as a result, our marriage status relationship should be constant across the country. I believe we should have a federal amendment to the Constitution that defines marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman because I believe the ideal place to raise a child is in a home with a mom and a dad.

Jon Huntsman: I also believe in civil unions, because I think this nation can do a better job when it comes to equality. And I think this nation can do a better job when it comes to reciprocal beneficiary rights rights. And I believe that this is something that ought to be discussed among the various states. I don’t have any problem with the states having this discussion. But as for me, I support civil unions.

Ron Paul: (About whether polygamy would “be okay too”) It’s sort of like asking the question if the states wanted to legalize slavery or something like that, that is so past reality that no state is going to do that. But on the issue of marriage, I think marriage should be between a single man and a single woman and that the federal government shouldn’t be involved. I want less government involvement. I don’t want the federal government having a marriage police.

Rick Santorum: It sounds to me like Rep. Paul would actually say polygamous marriages are okay. If the state has the right to do it, they have the right to do it.

Michele Bachmann: I support the Federal Marriage Amendment because I believe that we will see this issue at the Supreme Court someday, and as president I would not nominate activist judges who legislate from the bench. I also want to say that when I was in Minnesota, I was the chief author of the Constitutional amendment to define marriage as one-man, one-woman. I have an absolutely unblemished record when it comes to this issue of man-woman marriage.

Maybe There’s A Theory of Ex-Gay Relativity

Jim Burroway

August 8th, 2011

The way the Bachmans have been ditching questions about Marcus Bachmann’s counselling clinic providing ex-gay therapy in direct conflict with the position of every major medical and mental health organization, you’d think they would be extra careful to avoid anything which would invite further scrutiny in that particular area. And if you thought that, you’d be wrong. Yesterday, Michele and Marcus Bachman attended an Iowa church in which the main point of the sermon was the promotion of the ex-gay movement.

[Point of Grace Church Pastor Jeff] Mullen’s sermon concluded with video testimonial from a man named Adam Hood, who claims to have been gay before experiencing a conversation with God. “I am so happy God has given me natural affection for a woman,” Hood said in the video, adding that his wife is nine months pregnant.

“We need to have compassion for people that are bound by that sin,” Hood added. “And it is a sin. Call a spade a spade.”

Yes, that Adam Hood, a.k.a Scarfboi. And if Hood is now accepted as being completely, totally, believe-you-him straight, then I guess you can see how Marcus Bachmann might start to look a little butch. If you squint.

Mitt Romney declares anti-gay litmus test for judicial appointments

Timothy Kincaid

August 4th, 2011



NOTE: The header, which originally said “Mitt Romney declares anti-gay litmus test for Supreme Court nominees”, was revised for accuracy.

The National Organization for Marriage is bragging that Republican presidential candidates Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Mitt Romney have signed their pledge:

I, ______________, pledge to the American people that if elected President, I will:

One, support sending a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the states for ratification.

Two, nominate to the U.S. Supreme Court and federal bench judges who are committed to restraint and to applying the original meaning of the Constitution, appoint an attorney general similarly committed, and thus reject the idea our Founding Fathers inserted a right to gay marriage into our Constitution.

Three, defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act vigorously in court.

Four, establish a presidential commission on religious liberty to investigate and document reports of Americans who have been harassed or threatened for exercising key civil rights to organize, to speak, to donate or to vote for marriage and to propose new protections, if needed.

Five, advance legislation to return to the people of the District of Columbia their right to vote on marriage.

Most of this is just a declaration of personal anti-gay animus and is neither a pledge of intent or likelihood.

There is almost no chance at all that two-thirds of each house of Congress would vote for a Federal Marriage Amendment and that likelihood decreases significantly with each passing year. By the time that the 2013-2017 Presidential term begins, it doesn’t matter what a President might “support”, it isn’t going to happen.

Also by that time, it is likely that the constitutionality of DOMA3 will have progressed out of the initial federal court hearings and on to appeal. And having declined to defend the law, the Justice Department cannot decide to step in and resume authority once a new Attorney General is in the office. At most, the Attorney General could file an amicus brief, which any of these nominees could do on their own today.

As for establishing a presidential commission to look at how gays are harassing and threatening homophobes, that would be political suicide. Not only would it appear to oh, just about anyone, as homophobic and an abuse of power, but it would be embarrassing to NOM when the commission released its report. The boycott of El Coyote may sound like a “threat” to NOM’s target audience, but “the gays didn’t eat there after the owner gave to Prop 8″ is going to sound like a statement of the obvious to the rest of the country.

Equally stupid would be an effort on the part of the federal government to interfere with the District’s Human Rights Act so as to exclude gay people. That is the only mechanism by which legislation could “return to the people of the District of Columbia their right to vote” on limiting any of the District’s provisions based on sexual orientation. Only two Senators and 37 members of the House were willing to sign on to an amicus brief arguing that the Human Rights Act didn’t cover gay marriage. Even fewer would sign on to legislation to amend the “The Human Rights Act” specifically to exclude gay people from coverage.

Now none of this is to say that Michele Bachman and Rick Santorum would not try to do all of the above. They live in a bubble in which the things that they say actually make sense and where people admire them and their values. But both are wackadoodles with no chance of winning the Presidency.

Mitt Romney, however, is a credible candidate. And he should have thought a bit more before signing onto this pledge. Because he just made a declaration that has potential to negatively impact his campaign.

No, it was not the wacky appeal to ancestor-worship that has our “Founding Fathers” writing the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868. Palinist history is about symbolism, not fact, so this is not much of a liability to Romney at this stage.

Nor is it unusual for Republican nominees to declare their support for a commitment to constraint and to oppose those who “legislate from the bench.”

But this pledge goes way beyond such language. And by signing, Mitt Romney took the unusual step of declaring that his judicial nominees must reject the idea that the US Constitution protects the marriage rights of gay people. Mitt Romney announced that he has a litmus test.

In practice, litmus tests for judicial nominees are complicated.

An administration makes judicial appointments that it believes share its ideology. But the nominees themselves are bound by professional ethics from declaring their position on matters that are expected to appear before them. And most aren’t much favorable of the notion that your whim is to be followed rather than their consideration of the facts, weight of precedent, or argument of the litigants.

But regardless of whether or not litmus test questioning occurs in private, declaring a litmus test for judicial nominees, especially this early in a political campaign, is not wise. And at some point, a reporter is going to ask Romney the unanswerable question, “Considering Ted Olson’s legal stature and established conservative credentials, would his support for same-sex marriage disqualify him from an appointment to the federal bench?”

Bachmann Blacklists TV Station Over Interview About Ex-Gay Therapy

Jim Burroway

July 26th, 2011

Earlier this month when it was revealed that the clinic operated by Michele Bachmann’s husband was providing ex-gay therapy to clients, Bachmann appeared on a Davenport television station to defend her husband’s practice, calling it “jobs creation.”

Since then, that station, WQAD, had been placed on a campaign blacklist, barred from interviewing the candidate. Last night, Bachmann was in the Quad Cities area on a campaign stop, and despite despite promises to WQAD for a one-on-one interview, the Bachmann’s handlers “aggressively denied News 8 access to the Iowa Republican front-runner.” WQAD’s Chuck McClurg describes the scene:

“I followed them outside hoping to get the interview I was promised,” said McClurg

McClurg began rolling his camera as another local Quad Cities news station started asking their questions.

“I started to tape something off of that interview and a staffer pushed me aside and stood in front of my camera and said that this was for the other station only.”

The reporter asked a question about Bachmann’s clinic and her husband. At that point, McClurg says the staffer took the microphone off of Bachmann, tossed it to the reporter and said their interview was over. McClurg said he thought he would then get his turn after he was respectful of the campaign staffer’s wishes.

“I was standing (there) and I brought up my camera and that’s when all of the staffers pushed her on,” said McClurg. “I’ve been a photojournalist since 1988 and I have logged some 3,000 items. I’ve never been snubbed like I was (here) yesterday.”

Here is video of the encounter:

WQAD reveals that during the original interview two weeks ago when Bachmann was asked about her husband’s offering of ex-gay therapy, there was considerable drama taking place behind the scenes:

During the satellite interview, behind the scenes, it got ugly. In the News 8 control room, campaign staffers threatened WQAD producers that they would cut off the feed if Rae Chelle repeated the question. A follow-up question was asked on the issue. The Congresswoman’s answers were aired nationally on ABC World News Tonight and Nightline.

Hardball Confirms Bachmann’s Barbarian Comments Weren’t “Doctored”

Jim Burroway

July 15th, 2011
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Meanwhile, there has been considerable controversy over whether Bachmann called gay kids “barbarians” needing discipline, or if he was talking about children in general. Given the context of the interview — which was about gay kids and not kids generally — I think the transcript speaks for itself. Others see it differently, including Ken Avidor, who posted the audio originally:

Avidor does, however, somewhat defend Bachmann against the accusation that he explicitly called gays “barbarians.” Avidor says he’s listened to “a lot of Marcus Bachmann audio,” and he’s heard him say before that “children are barbarians, and somehow they have this innate desire to do, I think in his point of view, wild and crazy things, very un-Christian things in his point of view,” and these things need to be “civilized out of them.” So Bachmann wasn’t really calling gay children barbarians, necessarily — he was merely calling homosexuality one of the many barbaric traits children sometimes exhibit. Not much better.

Marcus Bachmann Defends His Ex-Gay Practice

Jim Burroway

July 15th, 2011

In an interview with The Minneapolis Star Tribune, Marcus Bachmann, husband of GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, defended his psychological clinics, saying they are not focused on ex-gay conversion therapy. He also denied calling gay people barbarians in a 2010 radio interview.

Late last week, John Becker of Truth Wins Out revealed that he attended Bachmann’s clinic in Minnesota, where he was counseled over the course of five treatment sessions that he could change his sexuality. Counselor Timothy Wiertzema told Becker:

“…it’s possible to be totally free of [same-sex attraction]. For sure.” and that “It’s happened! It really has happened to people.” In the fifth session, Wiertzema says, “…obviously your goal is not to have any feelings of attraction for men…And I really am going to recommend that we start working on how you can develop your attractions towards women.”

…During session 5, Wiertzema advised Becker to “further develop your own sense of masculinity.” Reparative therapy reinforces strict gender roles and works to erase outward appearances of femininity in men and masculinity in women. Because these programs do not genuinely change sexual orientation, much focus is placed on changing behavior so an individual can “pass” as heterosexual, even if the gay person has not changed on the inside.

According 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.”

…He 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.”

TWO’s John Becker responds:

Marcus Bachmann wants Americans to believe that giving me reparative therapy was acceptable because I specifically asked for it. This is patently absurd. Responsible counselors refuse to provide ex-gay “therapy” because it is scientifically baseless and morally bankrupt. Bachmann & Associates, though, was more than happy to hold out false promises of change with one hand and collect the cash with the other.

Wayne Besen adds:

The notion that a counselor is required harm a client just because he or she asks is patently absurd, asserts TWO. Similarly, if a bodybuilder had asked a doctor to help him or her inject steroids, the practitioner could refuse. If an African American asked a doctor for a skin bleaching, he or she could decline. If a physician is urged to help manage a model’s anorexia, he or she could turn the model away and instead offer real medical help.

Every major mental health and medical organization opposes therapies intended to change sexual orientation. In an exhaustive review of the professional peer-reviewed literature, the American Psychological Association concluded (PDF: 816KB/138 pages) that “enduring change to an individual’s sexual orientation is uncommon” and that “there was some evidence to indicate that individuals experienced harm” from such therapies.

Bachmann also claimed that the tape of his 2010 interview with a Christian talk radio program “must have been doctored“:

“I was talking in reference to children. Nothing, nothing to do with homosexuality. That’s not my mindset. That’s not my belief system. That’s not the way I would talk,” Bachmann said.

…”I think the strongest myth. … is the myth that I have ever called a homosexual a barbarian,” Bachmann said.

The audio, provided by the Dump Bachmann Blog, includes annoyingly loud sound-effects where edit points occur. Beginning at around the two-minute mark, there is one such edit point, after which the program returns from a commercial break. At that point, the interviewer begins asking Bachmann — “since you pay attention to the culture wars” — about a a letter from the anti-gay front group calling themselves the “American College of Pediatricians” (not to be confused with the legitimate and mainstream American Association of Pediatrics) and a then-recent Wall Street Journal article titled, “What do you say when your teenager says she’s gay?” The interviewer asks Bachmann:

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Interviewer: (at 2:45) What do you say to Christian parents that come up with this?

Bachmann: Well I think you clearly say, what is the understanding of God’s Word on homosexuality? And I think that this is no mystery that a child or pre-adolescent, particularly an adolescent, will question and wonder about sexuality. That’s nothing new under the sun since the beginning of time.

Inteviewer: (laughs) yeah…

Bachmann: But I don’t think we should take that, as because we wonder or we  think or we question, does that take us down the road of homosexuality?

Interviewer: Could you add the word “experiment” to that?

Bachmann: Well certainly, there’s that curiosity. But again, we, like… It is as if we have to understand barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined. Just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn’t mean that we are supposed to go down that road. That’s what is called the sinful nature. We have a responsibility as parents and as authority figures not to encourage such thoughts and feelings from moving into the action steps.

And let’s face it: what is our culture, what is our public education system doing today? They are giving full, wide-open doors to children, not only giving encouragement to think it, but to actually encourage action steps. That’s why when we understand what truly is the percentage of homosexuals in this country, it is small. But by these open doors, I can see and we are experiencing, that it is starting to increase.

There does not appear to be any edit points or tampering with this portion of the interview. Bachmann told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he was speaking of children generally, but it appears that in the full context of the interview the focus very specifically on gay children when Bachmann uttered his “barbarians” remark.

On Monday, Michele Bachman refused to comment on her husband’s clinic, except to characterize his business as “jobs creation.”

Michele Bachmann’s Lesbian Sister at Obama’s Inauguration

Jim Burroway

July 15th, 2011

This video shows Helen LaFave, Rep. Michele Bachmann’s lesbian stepsister at Obama’s 2010 Inauguration in Washington, D.C. talking about what Obama’s presidency means for her. It certainly is a sharp contrast to Bachmann’s view of Obama:

In the 2006 City Pages profile of the Bachmanns, G.R. Anderson, Jr., wrote about how Michele Bachmann’s anti-gay obsessions drove a split in her family (via archive.org):

But Michele Bachmann’s Christian testimony has not endeared her to everyone in her family. When Bachmann held a hearing on the gay marriage ban at the Capitol last April, she got a rude surprise: Sitting just a few feet away was her stepsister, Helen LaFave, who chose the occasion to come out publicly for the first time, with her partner of 20 years in attendance. “This issue has been very hurtful to me personally, and divisive for our family,” LaFave told the Star Tribune at the time. Bachmann said at the time that she had taken a family vote on the gay marriage ban, and that family members favored it by a 6-3 margin. But both Michael and Helen LaFave insist she never spoke to them about it. Helen LaFave added that Bachmann ignored letters LaFave had sent her about the matter.

(Helen LaFave, 46, declined to be interviewed for this story, saying, “My dad is in his 80s now, and it’s too much to have all of this out there for him.”)

“I’ve got to be clear that I’ve always been kind of proud of Michele,” Michael LaFave says cautiously. That all went sour, though, as Bachmann increasingly became the face of the efforts to ban gay marriage at the Capitol. LaFave had no choice but to take things personally: “I wrote her an e-mail, and asked very nicely why she had to carry the water on this, knowing that my father has a gay daughter. How could she discriminate against Helen?

“She’s out there courting a family values agenda, but she’s saying things about her own family that’s not true,” he claims. “She could have been talking to the voters the whole time about having a gay sister,” he says. “That at least would have been honest. Dick Cheney had the good sense to do that with his daughter. He had the good sense to know not to engage the base, to not get involved in the debate, because he knew how much it would hurt his daughter. If anyone spent the most time together between the LaFaves and the Ambles,” LaFave concludes, “it was Michele and Helen.

“What I’d say to Michele is that you’ve got a situation here that you didn’t have to create. You didn’t have to go about it this way,” he says, and pauses before announcing he’ll likely vote for Patty Wetterling. “I’d say, ‘Michele, for all of this, you’ve lost your family. You’ve lost my vote.’”

Bachmann: Being Gay Is “A Part Of Satan”

Jim Burroway

July 12th, 2011

Minnesota Representative and GOP candidate Michelle Bachmann spoke in 2004 at a National Education Leadership Conference:

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And I think something that was meant for evil was meant for good, and I think we can see that again today. Well there’s something that’s happening in our schools, and one of the reasons why I felt I was called to take up this issue, of bringing a constitutional amendment to the state of Minnesota before our people—I was the chief author in the MN state senate—is because of the profound impact this would have on every man, every woman, every child in the state of Minnesota. Because everyone thought this would only impact the 1.3 percent of our population that is a same-sex individual — and again, don’t misunderstand. I am not here bashing people who are homosexuals, who are lesbians, who are bisexual, who are transgendered. We need to have profound compassion for the people who are dealing with the very real issue of sexual dysfunction in their life, and sexual identity disorders. This is a very real issue. It’s not funny, it’s sad. Any of you who have members of your family that are in the lifestyle—we have a member of our family that is. This is not funny. It’s a very sad life. It’s part of Satan, I think, to say this is gay. It’s anything but gay. And so we are not here tonight — in fact, I wish this whole room was filled with the gay community, because we’d reach our hand out in love.

The Love Won Out conference was here not too long ago in the Twin Cities, and it’s profoundly sad to recognize that almost all, if not all, individuals who have gone into the lifestyle have been abused at one time in their life, either by a male or by a female. There’s been profound hurt and profound things that have happened in almost all of their lives. And this gives us great compassion. So this is not to talk about gay bashing — do we understand that? That is not what this is about. But it’s to say that this new legal enforcement of a new status—homosexuality, lesbianism, bringing it into the mainstream, if you will, giving it a legitimacy if you will — that will impact not only the gay community, but every man, woman and child, particularly the schools.

Oh no, calling gay people, including one’s step-sister, a ”part of Satan” isn’t bashing anyone at all. No siree…

In 2004, Michele Bachmann, who was then a Minnesota State Senator, gave a few opening remarks at the Love Won Out conference in the Twin Cities. According to this Christian Post press release, Bachmann said, “I know that Love Won Out will present the truth about homosexuality. I look forward to welcoming Minnesotans and residents of surrounding states to hear the message of healing that is possible.” The so-called “truth” would have included a line from Focus On the Family’s Melissa Fryrear, who claimed never to have met a lesbian or a gay man who had not been abused. As far as I have been able to determine, Fryrear uttered that line at every single LWO event she has ever spoken at. It was part of her standard stump speech. (She has since left Focus and is working at a church in Prescott, Arizona, and is no longer is part of the ex-gay roadshow.) When I heard her give that talk in Phoenix in 2007, I witnessed first hand the devastating impact it had on parents who were there:

The audience sat in stunned silence as Fryrear, her voice shaking, went on to talk about sexual abuse in greater detail. She later described her own sexual abuse as a child, and her talk had just followed a testimony by Mike Haley in which he described having sex with another older man beginning at the age of eleven. As far as this audience knew, there were no exceptions.

…It’s not fair to say that the parents and relatives were rife with suspicions, but I was surprised at the number of suspicions that did come up — and the circumstantial nature of the “evidence” which prompted many of them. I heard ex-boyfriends and babysitters suddenly come under suspicion where there had been none before. It seemed as if many of these relatives, taking Melissa Fryrear at her word, turned several possibilities over in their minds — dismissing some, but holding others for future consideration.

Sometimes, these suspicions got the better of them. Before that day, it had never even occurred to one mother that her son might have been molested. Now after Fryrear’s talk, she was momentarily certain of it. “There’s no other explanation!” she exclaimed. But as she thought about it, she remembered that she had no reason to suspect this, and that the only “evidence” she had was Fryrear’s statement. She was finally able to calm herself down after those around her reassured her that it probably didn’t happen.

Michele Bachmann Says Ex-Gay Therapy Is “Jobs Creation”

Jim Burroway

July 12th, 2011

Last Friday, we learned that Truth Wins Out’s John Becker had gone undercover as an patient in Marcus Bachmann’s clinic in Minnesota, where he was given at least five sessions of ex-gay therapy. Shortly after, The Nation revealed that a former patient, Andrew Ramirez, had come forward to reveal that he had undergone ex-gay therapy at Bachmann’s clinic in 2004. That would be two years before Bachmann denied offering ex-gay therapy. Marcus’s wife, GOP presidential candidate and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachman spoke to a locak Iowa reporter and described her husband’s ex-gay therapy as “a business that deals with job creation,” adding, “I’m very proud of the business that we created.”

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Last June, NBC reported that Bachmann had taken $137,000 in taxpayer-provided Medicaid funds, despite the Bachmann’s opposition to governmental programs. ABC News and NBC News has covered TWO’s undercover investigation of Bachmann’s clinic.  Fox has also covered the story in their own inimitable way:

Just so we’re clear on who the victims are.

Nobody Pays Attention To Preambles Anyway

Jim Burroway

July 11th, 2011

When the Iowa-based Family Leader began asking GOP presidential candidates to sign its anti-gay “Marriage Vow,” it originally contained this statement in the pledge’s preamble:

Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.

Never mind the abject ignorance of that statement — slave marriages weren’t legally recognized in the south and families were routinely split up and sold, making the likelihood of actually being raised by a mother and a father rather shaky — that part of the preamble was criticized by the left and right alike for its suggestion that African-American children were better off under slavery. Late Saturday night, Family Leader bowed to criticism and quietly removed that statement from its preamble. But by then, Rep. Michele Bachmann had already raced to put her signature on the document, only to be followed a very short time later in a photo finish by Sen. Rick Santorum.

Bachmann’s campaign has been fending off criticisms for signing the racially-offensive document ever since.

A Bachmann spokeswoman said earlier Saturday that reports the congresswoman had signed a vow that contained the slavery language was wrong, noting it was not in the “vow” portion.

“She signed the ‘candidate vow,’ ” campaign spokeswoman Alice Stewart said, and distanced Bachmann from the preamble language, saying, “In no uncertain terms, Congresswoman Bachmann believes that slavery was horrible and economic enslavement is also horrible.”

Totally understandable when you think about it. I bet almost none of our founding fathers like John Quincy Adams paid much attention to the Preamble to the Constitution before they signed it either.

More Confirmation: Bachmann’s Clinic Offered Ex-Gay Therapy in 2004

Jim Burroway

July 9th, 2011

The Nation has the details:

In the summer of 2004, Andrew Ramirez, who was just about to enter his senior year of high school, worked up the nerve to tell his family he was gay. His mother took the news in stride, but his stepfather, a conservative Christian, was outraged. … A few weeks later, his parents marched him into the office of Bachmann & Associates, a Christian counseling center in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, which is owned by Michele Bachmann’s husband, Marcus. From the outset, Ramirez says, his therapist—one of roughly twenty employed at the Lake Elmo clinic—made it clear that renouncing his sexual orientation was the only moral choice. “He basically said being gay was not an acceptable lifestyle in God’s eyes,” Ramirez recalls. According to Ramirez, his therapist then set about trying to “cure” him. Among other things, he urged Ramirez to pray and read the Bible, particularly verses that cast homosexuality as an abomination, and referred him to a local church for people who had given up the “gay lifestyle.” He even offered to set Ramirez up with an ex-lesbian mentor.

This comes on the heels of yesterday’s Truth Wins Out’s exposé in which TWO’s Director of Communications and Development John Becker went undercover and received several sessions of ex-gay counseling.

It’s Confirmed: Marcus Bachmann’s Clinic Practices Ex-Gay Therapy

Jim Burroway

July 8th, 2011

Michele and Marcus Bachmann on the campaign trail.

Rep. Michele Bachmann’s political adviser and “Godly husband,” Dr. Marcus Bachman, denied in 2006 that his Minnesota clinic, Bachmann and Associates, practices ex-gay therapy — even though he promoted the ex-gay movement at a pastoral conference the year before, and in 2010 he spoke of gay children as “barbarians” that “need to be disciplined.” That last bit of advice — disciplining gay children — is eerily familiar after BTB’s original investigation last month revealing that ex-gay therapist George Rekers’s most famous patient, four-year-old “Kraig”, was actually Kirk Andrew Murphy, who remained gay and committed suicide in 2003. Kirk was also “disciplined” as a very young boy while under Rekers’s direction.

Now we have confirmation that Bachmann and Associates does, in fact, offer ex-gay therapy. John Becker, Truth Wins Out’s Director of Communications and Development, attended five private sessions with Bachmann & Associates counselor Timothy Wiertzema:

During the sessions, Wiertzema claimed that it was possible to change from gay to straight through prayer and therapy. During the third session Wiertzema  said, “…it’s possible to be totally free of [same-sex attraction]. For sure.” and that “It’s happened! It really has happened to people.” In the fifth session, Wiertzema says, “…obviously your goal is not to have any feelings of attraction for men…And I really am going to recommend that we start working on how you can develop your attractions towards women.”

…During session 5, Wiertzema advised Becker to “further develop your own sense of masculinity.” Reparative therapy reinforces strict gender roles and works to erase outward appearances of femininity in men and masculinity in women. Because these programs do not genuinely change sexual orientation, much focus is placed on changing behavior so an individual can “pass” as heterosexual, even if the gay person has not changed on the inside.

“Passing” is all that a substantial number ex-gay programs really care about, simply because it is the best-case scenario anyone can truly hope for. Exodus International president Alan Chambers often says that he struggles daily to keep from doing “what comes naturally to me.” But constantly struggling to pass can carry with it enormous consequences. Again, Kirk Murphy’s case is illustrative. As a very young boy, he was taught that revealing who he really was would have dangerous physical consequences for him, and so as he got older he continued to suppress his emerging sexuality, fully aware that “I can’t act that way or people will know that I’m different.” He suppressed it so successfully that his doctors at UCLA did not notice that Kirk not only wasn’t straight, but also was under tremendous emotional duress.

Today, all major medical, mental health, and counseling organizations oppose ex-gay therapy. In an exhaustive review of the professional peer-reviewed literature, the American Psychological Association concluded (PDF: 816KB/138 pages) that “enduring change to an individual’s sexual orientation is uncommon” and that “there was some evidence to indicate that individuals experienced harm” from such therapies. But of course, patients going into clinics like Bachmann’s will never know it. There is no such thing as informed consent in those kinds of settings:

[Becker] was never informed about possible alternative treatment options such as gay-affirmative therapy. Nobody ever told Becker about the potential for harmful side effects like depression and suicidal thoughts. And although he was asked to sign a treatment plan outlining his problem, desired outcome, and treatment strategy, he was never given nor asked to sign any kind of informed consent document that disclosed the above information about “ex-gay” therapy. As such, we believe Bachmann & Associates to be practicing unethically, even by the standards of the American Association of Christian Counselors. This is particularly disconcerting given the fact that Marcus Bachmann’s clinic has received significant funding from the State of Minnesota and the federal government.

You can read Becker’s first hand account here.

Bachmann Is First To Sign Iowa Anti-Gay Pledge

Jim Burroway

July 8th, 2011

Michele and Marcus Bachmann

GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) was the very first out of the gate to sign a new Anti-Gay pledge drafted by Bob Vander Plaats and Iowa’s Family Leader. Titled, “The Marriage Vow – A Declaration of Dependence upon Marriage and Family” (PDF: 1.02MB/8 pages), its points include (page 3):

Social protections, especially for women and children, have been evaporating as we have collectively “debased the currency” of marriage. This debasement continues as a function of adultery; “quickie divorce;” physical and verbal spousal abuse; non-committal co-habitation; exemplary infidelity and “unwed cheating” among celebrities, sports figures and politicians; anti-scientific bias which holds, in complete absence of empirical proof, that non-heterosexual inclinations are genetically determined, irresistible and akin to innate traits like race, gender and eye color; as well as anti-scientific bias which holds, against all empirical evidence, that homosexual behavior in particular, and sexual promiscuity in general, optimizes individual or public health.

Under “The Candidate Vows,” candidates are required to affirm that they will perform “Vigorous opposition to any redefinition of the Institution of Marriage — faithful monogamy between one man and one woman — through statutory-, bureaucratic-, or court-imposed recognition of intimate unions which are bigamous, polygamous, polyandrous, same-sex, etc.” The vow also requires the “Steadfast embrace of a federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which protects the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman in all of the United States.”

Michele Bachman at the New Hampshire debate

During last month’s GOP debate in New Hampshire, Bachmann reaffirmed her support for the federal marriage amendment.

Footnote 8 of the document includes an explicitly pro- ex-gay plank, indicating the political utility that social conservatives find in the movement: “No peer-reviewed empirical science or rational demonstration has ever definitively proven, nor even has shown an overwhelming probability, that homosexual preference or behavior is irresistible as a function of genetic determinism or other forms of fatalism.”

The footnote also claims that LGBT people have an average life expectancy of about 40 years, and cites a 1997 report by Robert S. Hogg et al., from the International Journal of Epidemiology. That study, which has become a favorite study for anti-gay extremists to distort, was based on research performed in Vancouver from 1987 through 1992, at the very height of the AIDS crissis The question that they were trying to answer was not about the mortality of gay men overall, but rather the impact that HIV might have on the Vancouver’s gay population. Vancouver was one of the epicenters of the epidemic in the early 1990s. When anti-gay extremists misrepresented that study to claim that the average lifespan was forty years, Hogg and his colleagues responded in a 2001 letter to that same journal, saying:

The aim of our research was never to spread more homophobia… [I]f we were to repeat this analysis today the life expectancy of gay and bisexual men would be greatly improved. Deaths from HIV infection have declined dramatically in this population since 1996. As we have previously reported there has been a threefold decrease in mortality in Vancouver as well as in other parts of British Columbia .

In fact, several recent studies have shown that people with HIV have near-normal life expectancies, and there is no peer-reviewed data showing that gay people overall have a life expectancy that is any different from anyone else’s.

The same vow also requires candidates’ “rejection of Sharia Islam and all other anti-woman, anti-human rights forms of totalitarian control.” Because, you know, the imminent imposition of sharia law is the pressing issue right now in the U.S.

Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has declined to sign the pledge, saying that he has a policy of not signing any pledges. Rep. Rom Paul (R-TX) has said he has reservations. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said last night he was reviewing the pledge. The agreement to “personal fidelity” to his or her wife could be a thorn to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and retired Georgia businessman Herman Cain have not yet responded to the pledge. Vander Plaats has set a deadline of August 1.

Marcus Bachmann’s Ex-Gay Problem

Jim Burroway

July 7th, 2011

This is very old news, but it certainly is worth bringing up again now that Rep. Michele Bachmann is mounting a serious campaign to capture the GOP nomination for the presidency. In 2006, the Minneapolis alt-weekly City Pages ran an extensive profile of Michele Bachmann (via archive.org) just as she was about to be elected to Congress for the first time. The profile delved into Bachmann’s extremist religious and political background, and how her use of anti-gay politics as a wedge issue drove a wedge between Bachmann and her own family — which includes a gay stepsister.

The profile also revealed that her husband, Marcus Bachmann has played an important part in her political and religious development. In the Bachmann’s worldview, the man is the head of the household, and the wife is subservient to her husband. As Marcus Bachmann’s older brother explains it, “He is her godly husband… The husband is to be the head of the wife, according to God.” Michele told one church congregation in 2006 that she pursued her degree in tax law only because her husband had told her to. “The Lord says: Be submissive, wives. You are to be submissive to your husbands,” she is quoted as saying. All of which makes Dr. Bachmann’s views all the more relevant, and the 2006 City Pages report (via archive.org) pertinent:

While Michele Bachmann was rising through the political ranks, her husband Marcus—a lumbering, soft-featured man—was working toward a psychology doctorate and a practice in Lake Elmo. There is an overt Christian theme attached to the practice. “Bachmann and Associates believes in providing all clients with quality counseling in a Christian environment,” reads the mission statement on the business’s website. Some of the listed specialties of the clinic and its counselors include “abuse issues,” “co-dependency,” “men’s and women’s issues,” “shame,” and “spiritual issues.”

But some observers claim that the mission of the practice includes counseling homosexuals in an effort to “ungay” them. “It is absolutely sincere,” adds former school board member (Mary) Cecconi. “They specialize in ‘reparation’ regarding sexual orientation.”

Marcus Bachmann, who is also 50, denies that is part of his clinic’s practice. “That’s a false statement,” he says, refusing to answer any questions that don’t have to do with Bachmann and Associates. “Am I aware that the perception is out there? I can’t comment on that.” Still, Bachmann offers, “If someone is interested in talking to us about their homosexuality, we are open to talking about that. But if someone comes in a homosexual and they want to stay homosexual, I don’t have a problem with that.”

City Pages found evidence that Dr. Bachmann has more than a passing interest in the ex-gay movement:

Last November (2005), the Bachmanns attended a “Minnesota Pastors’ Summit” at Grace Church in Eden Prairie. Some 300 religious leaders participated in the event, which was organized by the conservative, antigay Minnesota Family Council. Michele Bachmann was there to lead a session on the gay marriage amendment, while Marcus offered a presentation titled “The Truth About the Homosexual Agenda.”

Curt Prins, a 35-year-old marketing executive from Minneapolis, attended. Prins, who is gay, says he went because he was “curious” and wanted to “understand the language” of the antigay movement. “There was so much bile, I nearly had to leave,” Prins recalls. For Marcus Bachmann’s session, Prins says there were more than 100 people crammed in a room at Grace, and most of the presentation involved stereotypes of gays. “He was saying how homosexuality was a choice, that it was not genetics,” Prins says. “He was claiming there was a high predominance of sexual abuse in the GLBT community. There was no research to back any of this up.” (Marcus Bachmann refused to answer questions about the seminar.)

The climax of the presentation was when, according to Prins, Bachmann brought up “three ex-gays, like part of a PowerPoint presentation.” The trio, two white men and a black woman, all testified that they had renounced their homosexuality. “One of them said, ‘If I was born gay, then I’ll have to be born again,’” Prins recalls. “The crowd went crazy.”

While Bachmann claims that charges that he engages in ex-gay therapy are “a false statement,” he clearly has an interest in the ex-gay movement. In a radio interview last year, he discussed what kind of advice he would give to parents who came into his practice with a child who they feared might be gay. Speaking specifically of those children, Bachmann said:

We have to understand: barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined. Just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn’t mean that we are supposed to go down that road. That’s what is called the sinful nature. We have a responsibility as parents and as authority figures not to encourage such thoughts and feelings from moving into the action steps.

Likening gay kids to barbarians who “need to be disciplined” raises all sorts of red flags for the kind of treatment those children might experience based on Bachmann’s advice. Just last month, we revealed the story of five year old Kirk Andrew Murphy who was treated to a draconian disciplining program under the direction of George Rekers. Rekers would go on to hold Kirk up as his most dramatic success story throughout his career. That career, like the Bachmann’s, took a turn towards anti-gay politics in the 1980s when he co-founded the Family Research Council, and then further in the 1990s and 2000s with the ex-gay movement when he served on the Board of Directors and the Scientific Advisory Committee for the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). Bachmann’s statement indicates that he would favor an approach to gender-variant children that would share similarities to Rekers’s, with all of the potential that has for further suffering and tragedy.

Questions about Bachmann’s practice go beyond the ethical. There are also legal considerations as well,  specifically the reported $100,000 in Medicaid payments his practice has taken in over the years. Did U.S. tax dollars go towards financing that scientifically discredited and dangerous practice to “cure” something that is not an illness? Again, we are reminded that Kirk Murphy’s “treatment” by George Rekerswas also paid for by taxpayer dollars through grants from the National Institute of Mental Health. And we also know that, according to Rekers, at least one hundred other children endured similar therapy at UCLA in the 1970s and 1980s, much of it on the government dime.

Today, all major medical, mental health, and counseling organizations oppose ex-gay therapy. In an exhaustive review of the professional peer-reviewed literature, the American Psychological Association concluded (PDF: 816KB/138 pages) that “enduring change to an individual’s sexual orientation is uncommon” and that “there was some evidence to indicate that individuals experienced harm” from such therapies. If Bachmannis performing ex-gay therapy, either directly or indirectly through the advice he is giving parents, then an investigation into what those Medicaid payments goes for is warranted.

Marcus Bachmann: Gays are Barbarians Who “Need To Be Disciplined”

Jim Burroway

June 30th, 2011

Last Summer, Marcus Bachmann, husband and political strategist to GOP Presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) appeared on a conservative radio talk show to explain his views of gay people:

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(at 3:36) We have to understand: barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined. Just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn’t mean that we are supposed to go down that road. That’s what is called the sinful nature. We have a responsibility as parents and as authority figures not to encourage such thoughts and feelings from moving into the action steps.

And let’s face it: what is our culture, what is our public education system doing today? They are giving full, wide-open doors to children, not only giving encouragement to think it, but to actually encourage action steps. That’s why when we understand what truly is the percentage of homosexuals in this country, it is small. But by these open doors, I can see and we are experiencing, that it is starting to increase.

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that Bachmann reportedly operates an ex-gay therapy program in Minnesota (via archive.org).

Michele Bachmann isn’t insane

Timothy Kincaid

June 15th, 2011

I mean, not as in literally incapable of perceiving reality. She’s not actually mentally challenged.

Right?

I mean, surely it would be obvious. Surely someone in the Republican leadership would say, “hey, she’s not just opinionated, she’s actually certifiably nuts!”

Right?

But I just have no other way of explaining this story:

In April 2005, Pamela Arnold wanted to talk to her state senator, Michele Bachmann, who was then running for Congress. A 46-year-old who worked at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Arnold lived with her partner, the famed Arctic explorer Ann Bancroft, on a farm in Scandia, Minnesota. Bachmann was then leading the fight against gay marriage in the state. She’d recently been in the news for hiding in the bushes to observe a gay-rights rally at the Capitol. So when members of the Scandia gay community decided to attend one of Bachmann’s constituent forums, Arnold, wanting to make herself visible to her representative, joined them.

A few dozen people showed up at the town hall for the April 9 event, and Bachmann greeted them warmly. But when, during the question and answer session, the topic turned to same-sex marriage, Bachmann ended the meeting 20 minutes early and rushed to the bathroom. Hoping to speak to her, Arnold and another middle-aged woman, a former nun, followed her. As Bachmann washed her hands and Arnold looked on, the ex-nun tried to talk to her about theology. Suddenly, after less than a minute, Bachmann let out a shriek. “Help!” she screamed. “Help! I’m being held against my will!”

Arnold, who is just over 5 feet tall, was stunned, and hurried to open the door. Bachmann bolted out and fled, crying, to an SUV outside. Then she called the police, saying, according to the police report, that she was “absolutely terrified and has never been that terrorized before as she had no idea what those two women were going to do to her.” The Washington County attorney, however, declined to press charges, writing in a memo, “It seems clear from the statements given by both women that they simply wanted to discuss certain issues further with Ms. Bachmann.”

Ya know, you can be a little eccentric and still be elected to Congress. It might even help. And you can be, shall we say, less than fully informed about the minutia of American History (okay, you may not have the faintest clue about much of anything including where Russia is located and what Paul Revere’s ride was all about) and still have many Americans give you the benefit of the doubt.

But while we like Aww Shucks home folk and Good ‘ol People like us, Americans aren’t so fond of crazy. And we really don’t like it when you demonstrate irrational fears of little ol’ nuns (or killer rabbits). We want our presidents to have irrational bravery instead. We expect our presidents to take a bullet and walk to the hospital. We want them to stare into the cameras and demand that African presidents resign. We like them best when they take on the Challenges of The Day in a bigger, grander, and definitely braver way than we would. It’s gravitas.

So if Michele Bachmann hopes to win the Republican nomination for 2012 Loser to Obama, she’d best be reeling in the crazy, especially the paranoid fear of tiny women. It just doesn’t seem… presidential.

(Read the entire Daily Beast article here. Go on. Read it.)

GOP Presidential Candidates Debate Marriage, DADT

Jim Burroway

June 14th, 2011

Last night, seven candidates for the GOP presidential nomination appeared in a debate in New Hampshire, home to the nation’s first primay. Participating were Godfather Pizza magnate Herman Cain, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachman, and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. And of course, LGBT issues came up in the debate.

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Only Herman Cain and Ron Paul opposed a Federal Marriage Amendment to ban marriage equality in the states.

Herman Cain said that he didn’t support repealing DADT, but he didn’t want the distractions that it would take to put it back into effect. Pawlenty says that he would seek the advice of “combatant commanders.” This wiggle room leaves open the likelihood that he would re-instate DADT. Ron Paul appeared to say the would keep it in place. He talked about punishing behavior, without specifying whether a consensual relationship between two people of the same gender would be punishable. Romney dodged the question altogether, saying that DADT should not have been repealed “until this conflict is over.” Gingrich answered by building a case for its reinstatement, an indication that he would work to restore the discriminatory policy. Bachmann said she “would keep the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.” When asked to clarify, she indicated that she would reinstate the policy after sufficiently cloaking it with “advice” from the military. Santorum took a lot of words to more or less repeat what Ron Paul said, but given the context of Santorum’s overall policies and attitudes toward gay people, I don’t think his eagerness to reimpose the policy would be much in doubt.

Not one candidate spoke about gay people as though they were taxpayers, patriots, or fellow citizens.

Newt Gingrich Promises To “Slow Down” Gay Rights Progress

Jim Burroway

March 30th, 2011

New Gingrich is running for President like it’s 1996.

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Gingrich is the third major GOP figure running for president to appear on American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer’s radio program. Fischer has said that LGBT people should be legally disqualified from holding public office because “gay sex is a form of domestic terrorism” and should be declared a felony. And he is attracting a line of GOP presidential hopefuls to his microphone. Warren Throckmorton asks, “Is Bryan Fischer the new GOP Kingmaker?

Far Right gathers for Value Voters weekend

Timothy Kincaid

September 17th, 2010

Earlier this month we discussed the wackadoodle extravaganza which was the Taking America Back convention. But this weekend, that seminar’s cousin the 2010 Value Voters Summit is meeting for roughly the same purpose: rallying the troops to impose their religious beliefs on non-believers by use of governmental force. And while Taking America Back consisted primarily of the delusional, the excitable, and the social misfits, the Family Research Council’s Value Voters Summit draws “respectable” activists and recognizable politicians.

But make no mistake, the agenda of the Voter Voters Summit is no less radical or unAmerican than that of its low-rent cousin. And no small part of their obsession is on the extent to which gay people should be disallowed from participating in society.

The plenary session presentations consist of:

* We Still Hold These Truths: Rediscovering Our Principles, Reclaiming Our Future
* ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Panel
* We the People: The Tea Party’s Place in American Politics
* Parental Choice Education: Beyond One-Size-Fits-All Schools
* Hollywood Panel

Although only one of the five plenary discussions focuses solely on gay issues, it is without question that much of the other sessions will also be dedicated to “opposing the homosexual agenda”. That is, after all, the number one complaint that social conservatives have with the schools and Hollywood. And for those who really want to spend their weekend on nothing but “evil sodomites”, they can attend Saturday’s 3:30 breakout session entitled The falsehood of the inevitability of same-sex “marriage”.

The entire event will be filled with speeches and presentations by familiar names in the anti-gay movement. But unlike Taking America Back, most of these have social grace and appearance of sanity. With one notable exception: the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer will be speaking tomorrow morning and is likely to spout things that are so irrational as to confuse even that sympathetic audience.

These conferences are useful; they help us separate political opponents from those who truly are devoted enemies of our lives, freedoms and liberties. Many conservative Republicans hold positions that are unfavorable to us, but do so more from ignorance or distorted principle than out of zealous animus. But those who participate at these conferences do so because the believe that they are authorized by God to destroy our cause and our lives.

This year, perhaps even more than most, participation at the Value Voters Summit is a clear indication of animus towards the gay community. And by going there this year, politicians are making a visible statement that they are not just in disagreement with some of our cause but rather that they see us as a threat and an enemy and that they will do whatever they can to harm us.

Most of these names will not surprise us:

Governor Mike Huckabee
Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK)
Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.)
Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.)
Representative Mike Pence (R-Ind.)
Governor Mitt Romney
Senator Rick Santorum
Christine O’Donnell
Newt Gingrich
Governor Bob McDonnell (R-Va.)
Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) (via video)
Representative Gregg Harper (R-Miss.)

A Wackadoodle extravaganza

Timothy Kincaid

September 7th, 2010

In times past it hasn’t been always easy to distinguish between the garden variety of conservative activist, and the wackadoodles. You had to pay attention; both held conservative positions, but some did so because of logic or principles or tradition or even hesitancy towards change while others came across as obsessed, irrational, or frankly (in some cases) insane.

For example a conservative may oppose President Obama’s healthcare policies, but yet not believe that the President really was born in Kenya. He may favor controlled immigration policies without thinking that Hispanics are seeking to take over the Southwest and make it part of Mexico. She may oppose marriage equality and yet not declare that opposing the rights of gay people is the last best hope of saving Western Civilization from utter and immediate destruction.

But lately its becoming ever easier to distinguish between conservatives and raving loons on the right (and, yes, the left has their raving loons as well). In a somewhat unexpected move the conservatives and the wackadoodles seem to be sorting themselves out for our convenience and gay rights seems to be the determining factor.

Some conservatives have either dropped or repackaged their positions on gay issues, now stating objections to nomenclature or timing rather than just displaying animus towards gay people in general. Now it isn’t gay people serving in the military that is concerning, but just waiting for reports and analysis and opinions. It isn’t gay couples that are destroying society, but just the words used to describe them. Policies may not have moved significantly for all (but certainly have for some) but the language and the attitude has markedly changed.

Even gay and gay-supportive Republicans are not enemies seeking to destroy from within, but good Republicans with whom we disagree on some issues. In fact, rather than be RINOs, they may even be wives of Republican Presidents or nominees.

But while some conservatives have had a change of heart (or figured out which way the wind is blowing), others have abandoned all pretense of reasonableness and have run shrieking into crazyville. They see those who have moderated their position as traitors, and with each new act of treason they lash out at their newfound enemies and band closer with the purists, the true conservatives… oh what am I saying… the raging loons.

And now, in a display of what can only be seen as total meltdown, the wackadoodles have now broken from CPAC, the convention of very conservative ideologues, to form their very own extra-special-uber-conservative convention, the Taking America Back National Conference sponsored by World Net Daily. And I certainly hope there are enough red noses and clown shoes to go around.

Not just anyone is quite wackadoodle enough for this convention. They booted Ann Coulter for daring to speak to GOProud – a very conservative gay group which endorses politicians that Log Cabin would never get near. Although I think GOProud verges on loony themselves, they have Teh Gey!!

You see, hating Teh Gey is a very very important distinction for this wackadoodle extravaganza, and they aren’t going to forgive anyone who does it by half. To get a sense of WND’s purpose and criteria,

WND’s “Taking America Back National Conference” in Miami, Sept. 16-18, was conceived and organized, in part, because of the conservative movement’s capitulation to the radical homosexual agenda:

* The Conservative Political Action Conference welcomed GOProud as a co-sponsor of the largest annual gathering of conservatives this year. CPAC has already gleefully announced the return of GOProud as a sponsor next year – even though GOProud’s inclusion cost the conference Sarah Palin and other top-notch speakers and some long-time co-sponsors.

* The executive director of CPAC is actively promoting GOProud’s “Homocon” conference in New York later this month.

* Conservative leader Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform, serves on the board of GOProud.

* One of the most well-established conservative media companies in America is run by a homosexual activist.

* Conservative celebrity Glenn Beck announced on Fox News that he doesn’t believe same-sex marriage will hurt America.

* Conservative celebrity Ann Coulter agreed to deliver the keynote speech to GOProud’s “Homocon” event in New York later this month – an engagement being shamelessly exploited by the group as further affirmation of its conservative bona fides.

While all of this was happening, there was no more than an undercurrent of conservative protest.

And why is this important? Remember that whole Western Civilization thing I mentioned? I wasn’t kidding.

Because I don’t believe there is any development that could more quickly destroy America’s ability to remain a self-governing society and the very fabric of western civilization than the tacit acceptance of [pro-gay] ideas – ideas that are steamrolling over our political and media culture.

There is no compromising with radical ideas like this. They need to be soundly rejected, repudiated, exposed and discarded.

Yes, my friends, there is a growing separation between the conservatives and the true-blue wackadoodles. And they are ever so gracious as to let us know exactly where they stand. True most conservatives are not going to start championing our rights any time soon, but as this divide grows I believe that we will find fewer and fewer rational conservatives willing to be seen as part of the coalition of birthers and the conspiracy theorists and the wild-eyed loons.

In addition to the WND staff and few obscure politicians, the wackadoodle extravaganza includes:

Michele Bachmann – US House of Representatives
Alan Keyes – political gadfly and onetime presidential candidate
Tom Tancredo – Former Congressman and illegal immigrant opponent
Chuck Missler – Koinonia House (post-prison) Ministry
Rusty Humphries – The Rusty Humphries Show
Matt Barber – Liberty Counsel
Gary DeMar – American Vision
Michael Farris – Home School Legal Defense Association
Robert Knight – Coral Ridge Ministries
Jerry Newcombe – Coral Ridge Ministries
William Federer – American Minute
William Murray – Religious Freedom Coalition
Doug Giles – Clash Radio
Gary Cass – Christian Anti-Defamation Commission
Judith Reisman – Freud revisionist
Victoria Jackson – Conservative Activist/Celebrity
RC Sproul, Jr. – Biblical Economics
Tim Daughtry – Patriot Coaching
Floyd Brown – ExposeObama.com
Mark Graham – First Founders Financial

And that, my friends, is a whole lotta crazy. I wonder if Brian Brown is going to join them.

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