Although she is hesitant to discuss same-sex marriage in her campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, as a state senator from Minnesota, Michele Bachmann railed against it to curry favor with social conservatives and win her congressional seat, the New York Times’ Sheryl Gay Solberg reported over the weekend. In fact, “same-sex marriage was not much of an issue” in the state before the Massachusetts Supreme Court declared that denying marriage rights to gay people was unconstitutional in 2003 and Bachmann “sprang into action,” holding press conferences declaring that allowing gay people to marry represented the number one threat to the state.
Bachmann was routinely “trotting out junk science and debunked claims that being gay is a choice” and embraced the same kind of ex-gay reparative therapy her husband Marcus Bachmann is practicing in the couple’s Christian counseling clinics:
When Out Front Minnesota, a gay rights group, conducted lobbying days at the Statehouse, Mrs. Bachmann made clear she was opposed to its agenda, which included legal recognition of domestic partnerships and nondiscrimination initiatives. Sometimes she would meet gay constituents with guests of her own, said Monica Meyer, the group’s executive director. “She had ex-gay people,” Ms. Meyer said, “who would tell her constituents that being gay was wrong and immoral.” [...]
“We’re seeing the fulfillment of the Book of Judges here in our own time — every man doing that which is right in his own eyes,” she warned the hosts of one radio show, “Prophetic Views Behind the News.” She went on: “They aren’t interested in being Ward and June Cleaver, that’s not what it’s about. They want legitimization, and they want to force us to shut up about our opposition to the gay lifestyle.”
Bachmann describes her decision to take up the same-sex marriage issue in 2003 as a call from God, saying that when Massachusetts’ marriage equality decision came down, “I heard the news on my local Christian radio station in Minneapolis, St. Paul and I was devastated.” Additionally, “I took a walk and I just went to prayer and I said Lord, what would you have me do in the Minnesota state senate? And just through prayer I knew that I was to introduce the marriage amendment in Minnesota,” she said during an April appearance before the FAMiLY LEADER.
In 2004, she even attended an ex-gay conference in Minnesota and commended the group for spreading the “truth” about people who have “deep emotional wounds” from homosexuality. Last week, Organizers for Exodus International, an “ex-gay” organization, announced that they will hold the national “Exodus Freedom” conference in St. Paul, Minnesota in July 2012. It’s unclear if Bachmann will again be “called” to endorse the event.