There is No Excuse For Bachmann & Associates to Offer Fringe ‘Pray Away the Gay’ Therapy Rejected By Mainstream Mental Health Organizations

NEW YORK – Truth Wins Out vigorously disputed Marcus Bachmann’s statement to the  Star Tribune today where he falsely claimed that his clinic was not anti-gay and had no “agenda or a philosophy of trying to change anyone.” His untruthful assertions contradict the evidence that clearly shows his clinic is disdainful towards LGBT people and practices a discredited and harmful brand of therapy designed to “cure” gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

“Marcus Bachmann is not telling the truth when he dishonestly claims that his clinic is not anti-gay,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen, responding to Bachmann’s new statement in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “Our investigation clearly shows that his clinic has great antipathy towards gay and lesbian people and his therapists work to convert clients from gay to straight.”

“Marcus Bachmann is willfully and wantonly misrepresenting what I experienced during my five therapy sessions at his clinic,” said John Becker, TWO’s Director of Communications and Development, who led an undercover operation at Bachmann’s clinic. “We urge Bachmann & Associates to stop misleading the public and commit to ending the harmful and discredited practice of ‘ex-gay’ therapy.”

According to The Star Tribune article, Bachmann explained that he only offered “ex-gay” therapy at a 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…We don’t have an agenda or a philosophy of trying to change someone.”

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.”

“Bachmann & Associates was under no obligation to offer a quack therapy treatment that is rejected by every mainstream medical and mental health association in America,” said TWO’s Wayne Besen. “Taking a clients hard-earned money for a ‘cure’ that is not possible is unethical and a form of consumer fraud.”

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.

While Bachmann claims that his clinic is not anti-gay, nor invested in “ex-gay” therapy, his office sells a book written by a viciously homophobic minister named Janet Boynes who calls homosexuality a “dirty and shameful life.” In her tome, Called Out: A Former Lesbian’s Discovery of Freedom, she says:

“What are the effects of living a homosexual lifestyle? The list is long: Hurt. Despair. Frustration. Loneliness. Depression. Restlessness. Shame….Hollywood would have you believe gays and lesbians are happy, humorous, well adjusted people, but very rarely do they show the other side – the ugly side. They don’t show the tears behind the mask. They don’t show the desperate ache to be loved beneath all the jokes, clever comebacks and playful remarks.” (pg. 184)

“If Marcus Bachmann’s clinic is not anti-gay, than why is he selling homophobic trash like Janet Boynes’ hateful and deceptive book in his office?” asked Besen.

Truth Wins Out is a non-profit organization that fights anti-LGBT religious extremism. TWO specializes in turning information into action by organizing, advocating and fighting for LGBT equality.