Rep. Michele Bachmann claims it would be immoral to say whether her husband's clinics perform so-called reparative therapy on gay people.
"Those matters are protected by patient-client confidentiality," her campaign staff said in a statement issued to ABC's Nightline, which reported on the issue Monday night. "The Bachmanns are in no position ethically, legally, or morally to discuss specific courses of treatment concerning the clinic's patients."
Asked by ABC News during a campaign stop about whether the clinics use reparative therapy, Bachmann offered a boilerplate answer on the importance of creating jobs and said only, "I'm running for the presidency of the United States."
In the past the Bachmanns haven't taken such a hard line on whether it's OK to discuss the menu of treatment available at their clinics. Marcus Bachmann told a Minnesota newspaper in 2005, "If someone is interested in talking to us about their homosexuality, we are open to talking about that. But if someone comes in a homosexual and they want to stay homosexual, I don't have a problem with that."
He was defending his practice after giving a presentation called “The Truth About the Homosexual Agenda" to a group of Minnesota pastors.
But now the Bachmanns are faced with the result of a hidden camera investigation by Truth Wins Out, an activist group that combats "ex-gay" claims. In his account of what it was like to pose as a man "struggling with homosexuality," John Becker describes being told “it’s possible to be totally free" of same-sex attraction. “It’s happened! It really has happened to people,” the counselor on the tape reportedly says. Portions of the videos aired for the first time on Monday night as part of the ABC News report.
The Bachmann & Associates website lists its range of therapeutic services in broad strokes, including "anger management" and "marriage counseling," and counselors there claim to specialize in things like "men’s and women’s issues" and "shame."