LGBT rights advocates who’ve argued that conservatives’ anti-gay policies and positions are driven by a refusal to accept that people don’t choose to be gay must have felt vindicated earlier this week when mainstream “pro family groups” and even some media outlets jumped to defend the Bachmanns and their ex-gay therapy clinics. Rather than condemning these dangerous and discredited techniques, conservative groups either questioned the integrity of the under investigation — which revealed that therapists were telling gay patients they could become straight through prayer and therapy — or defended the practice:
— FOX NEWS: “This undercover video is just a hit piece. They’re in there trying to get him to say something or to say or to screw him.” [The Five, 7/12/2011]
— CHRISTIAN BROADCASTING NETWORK: “If you’ve watched the mainstream media’s reporting in the last day or so you’ve seen these tapes, which suggest that changing sexual orientation is not possible, in fact at least one major study shows that it is possible.” [Report, 7/13/2011]
— FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: “Apart from Washington, D.C., and homosexual interest groups, the majority of the country will view Marcus’s work for what it is, a ministry of hope. Pointing men and women who struggle with same-sex attractions to God isn’t ‘a discredited form of therapy,’ it’s the path to sexual healing.” [Tony Perkins, 7/13/2011]
— AMERICAN FAMILY ASSOCIATION: Director of Issues Analysis Bryan Fishcer defended and promoted ex-gay therapy in the aftermath of the Bachmann report on his radio show. [Right Wing Watch, 7/13/2011]
— NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MARRIAGE: “We’ve been following with concern the organized efforts by gay activists to demonize Michele Bachmann’s husband. Greg Quinlan, President of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays and Executive Director of Equality and Justice For All comes to Mr. Bachmann’s defense — and to the defense of others who are not given a voice.” [NOM Blog, 7/13/2011]
— TRUTH ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY: “Folks, it sure didn’t take long for the liberal media to go into Christian-bashing mode against GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann (R-MN).” [Peter LaBarbera, 7/13/2011]
Bachamnn has repeatedly dodged questions about the report. Republican lawmakers have similarly been silent about the investigation, but their unwillingness to condemn “ex-gay” practices and ongoing relationships with these groups (on whom they rely to rally the social conservative vote) suggests that they too likely believe that being gay is a choice that can be changed.