Michele Bachmann has rather clammed up following an investigation appearing to show husband Marcus Bachmann’s Christian counseling clinic advocating for ex-gay therapy. However, while Bachmann is refusing to answer questions on the issue, others are digging deeper to see if her past actions do any talking for her, and a piece of legislation she sponsored as a Minnesota senator seems to yell quite loudly.
The 2006 legislation called SF 2984 or the Minnesota Expanded Health Care Practices Act was designed to create a right to what the bill terms “expanded health care,” that is to say treatment that is “not generally considered to be within the prevailing minimum standards of care of a profession or that are not standard practices of a profession in a particular community.”
Alarm bells are already ringing as this clearly lends itself to ex-gay therapy referrals. However, things get even more interesting further down the text where we find this little gem:
Subd. 7. Complaints; investigations. A practitioner’s license or registration shall
3.4 not be revoked, suspended, or conditioned, or have any other form of reprimand imposed
3.5 or be denied a license or registration if the practitioner is practicing in compliance with
3.6 this chapter and the practitioner has:
3.7 (1) recommended or utilized expanded health care practices;
3.8 (2) referred a patient to, or comanaged a patient or client with, a practitioner of
3.9 expanded health care practices or a practitioner who is practicing in compliance with
3.10 chapter 146A.
Even by a plain reading this would appear to protect counselors from having their licenses stripped or their methods challenged if they offer ex-gay therapy or ex-gay therapy referrals.
Fortunately, the bill went no where.
Interestingly though, Bachmann introduced the legislation just a year before the American Psychological Association launched an investigation into ex-gay therapy that would ultimately conclude that ex-gay therapy is both scientifically unsound as a viable course of treatment for sexuality-related anxiety, and that it can in fact be incredibly harmful and has, in some cases led to suicide.
In 2004 Michele Bachmann advocated for Love Won Out, an Exodus International event. Exodus International believes that faith-led counselling can help people “leave homosexuality” though it’s so-called success rates remain negligible at best and it is heavily dependent on research from the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) which has been slammed several times for distorting research to fit an anti-gay agenda.