A gay activist's undercover video is drawing unwanted attention to a counseling clinic co-owned by GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann, with footage apparently showing a counselor offering to help the activist overcome his homosexual urges.
Both Bachmann and her husband Marcus, who runs the clinic, refused Tuesday to answer questions about the video from Truth Wins Out, a gay advocacy group that has worked to discredit so-called "ex-gay therapy."
In it, a counselor is seen saying that sessions could help build up the patient's desire for women.
"I believe twice over the course of the first session he made reference to his belief that we are all created heterosexual, and that some of us just have different challenges with that," the activist, John Becker said in an interview with The Associated Press. "God created us all for heterosexuality — he said that twice."
The undercover video, first aired Monday by ABC News, comes at a time when Bachmann has emerged as a top GOP contender with a message that favors economic issues over the conservative social stands that marked her early rise in Minnesota. Bachmann often touts the family clinic as evidence of her business know-how.
She drew questions last weekend for signing a conservative Iowa group's "marriage vow" that contained controversial language comparing the home life of black children during the days of slavery and in today's society. The group, the Family Leader, has since revised its pledge to remove the slavery mention.
The pledge, coupled with unflattering attention to the clinic, isn't sitting well among Republicans who worry about a party nominee who could struggle to connect with swing voters.
"Those are fringe positions that will turn off currently registered Republicans or voters in that independent, movable middle," said R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of the pro-gay rights Log Cabin Republicans. "Politics is about numbers. It's about addition. Having fringe positions, we're going to lose voters." (emphasis mine)
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