By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com November 17 2011 7:12 PM ET
If Marcus Bachmann really follows through with his threat to sic a collection agency on a gay rights group, he could have his Christian counseling clinic's practices put on trial, promises the group's lawyer.
"We consider your therapy and practices fraudulent," wrote attorney Norm Kent in response to a demand that Truth Wins Out pay $150 for canceled appointments. The group had sent an undercover activist to Bachmann's Christian counseling clinic in July, armed with a hidden camera during sessions with a counselor who was caught appearing to offer so-called reparative therapy. The clinic is owned by Bachmann and his wife, Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann.
The activist, John Becker, got a call this week from Marcus Bachmann himself demanding $150 in cancellation fees. Becker's lawyer says the fees should be waived because Becker followed the official cancellation policy. Even so, Truth Wins Out says the services were fraudulent.
"We have concluded your services are dubious and questionable, not worthy of any billing at all," Kent said in a letter today. "We consider your fees and charges part of a larger civil conspiracy to defraud vulnerable individuals."
The lawyer argues that any claim by the Bachmanns' clinic to offer "therapeutic" services equates to false advertising. And all of the major psychological associations concur that if reparative therapy is being offered, it actually damages the patient, the lawyer notes.
In other words, Truth Wins Out looks like it would embrace a legal fight in which it would try to further put Bachmann's clinic on the defense.
"We will be interested in the civil discovery process" the letter mentions, insinuating the group would want to put Marcus Bachmann under oath.
"Please do not embarrass yourself or your firm further by attempting to collect a debt that you are not owed for a point you cannot make," Kent says.
Marcus Bachmann had given Truth Wins Out until Friday to pay up. Now Kent is giving him 72 hours to back down, or Truth Wins Out threatens its own legal action.