Bachmann campaign responds to "Pray Away the Gay" allegations
Yesterday we told you the story of Andrew Ramirez, the Minneapolis man who went through Marcus Bachmann's "ungay" therapy in Lake Elmo.
We tried to get a comment from the clinic, but a call to the main line only got a referral to an e-mail address. It seems the clinic doesn't want to answer for itself: The address given is actually the media contact for the Bachmann campaign.
Last night, City Pages got an e-mail response from campaign spokeswoman Alice Stewart. Here it is in its entirety:
"Bachmann and Associates is a Christian counseling center that provides services to patients with a variety of counseling and mental health issues. They ask news media to respect the privacy of the relationship between patients and their therapist. As for specific treatments provided to its patients, those matters are protected by patient-client confidentiality. The Bachmann's are in no position ethically, legally, or morally to discuss specific courses of treatment concerning the clinic's patients. The clinic honors and respects all people for whatever issue they come in for and if there is a conflict, they refer elsewhere."
There's not a lot there -- except for the misplaced apostrophe on "Bachmann's." (Bachmann's what?) But it's still pretty revealing.
The clinic advertises its services on its website. Among the "counselor specialities" listed on the main page are "depression," "marital Problems" and -- wait for it -- "shame." So the Bachmanns cannot discuss in any way what courses of treatment are offered at the clinic, but offer a list of available treatments right there on the website.
It's also worth pointing out that City Pages isn't prying into a private citizen's medical record, and asking the clinic whether Bachmann and Associates treated Andrew Ramirez. Ramirez told us that. Any therapist-client confidentiality was already broken by Ramirez.
Perhaps the most interesting part is that the clinic is not able to answer for its own practices.
If a call to the desk gets rerouted to the campaign, it means the campaign has gone on lock down. At this point, any questions about Bachmann and Associates -- a clinic, which employs trained therapists and medical doctors, including Marcus -- go through Alice Stewart, a political mouthpiece.
A follow-up question from City Pages asking Stewart to simply confirm or deny that such therapy takes place at Bachmann and Associates went unanswered. Maybe gay adolescents aren't the ones who need to be treated for "shame."
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