I’m not sure why ABC News, summarizing two very straightforward reports published Friday, decided a question mark was necessary in its headline: Michele Bachmann Clinic: Where You Can Pray Away the Gay? The coverage from Friday, by Truth Wins Out (TWO) and The Nation, was quite clear that the answer to that question is “We’ll Certainly Try!”
ABC told of Andrew Ramirez, whose story was first featured Friday in The Nation:
A former patient who sought help from the Christian counseling clinic owned by GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann and her husband, Marcus, told ABC News he was advised that prayer could rid him of his homosexual urges and he could eventually be “re-oriented.”
“[One counselor's] path for my therapy would be to read the Bible, pray to God that I would no longer be gay,” said Andrew Ramirez, who was 17-years-old at the time he sought help from Bachmann & Associates in suburban Minneapolis in 2004. “And God would forgive me if I were straight.”
Also discussed was the undercover hidden-camera investigation by TWO’s John Becker:
Questions about the clinic’s approach to counseling gay patients prompted the Vermont-based advocacy group Truth Wins Out to send a gay man undercover, with a camera, to seek guidance from a Bachmann associate.
“I told my therapist that I was struggling with attraction to the same sex, and that my attractions were overwhelmingly, predominately, exclusively homosexual,” said John Becker, the man who visited the clinic five times in late June.
Treatment notes and bills that Becker provided to ABC said the counselor’s goal was to “increase ability to manage and decrease feelings and actions.”
Becker said he was told more explicitly that the goal of his treatment was to end his homosexual urges entirely, and he was provided scriptural mantras to repeat to himself in order to stay on track.
“He seemed to believe genuinely in his heart of hearts that, somehow, my homosexuality could be cured and could be eliminated,” Becker said.
Tonight, ABC Nightline will cover this story. (Check your local listings). It’s great news to see this bust into Traditional Media outlets, because this reparative therapy is extremely damaging and fruitless. It hurts kids and tears apart families.