Second Activist Finds Illusory 'Ex-Gay Therapy' At Marcus Bachmann Clinic


Oh, snap! Marcus Bachmann's "counseling centers" in Minnesota have again been exposed as anti-gay Christian proselytizing centers that try to "convert" gay people to heterosexuality.

The clinics came under intense scrutiny last year when Truth Wins Out journalist John M. Becker went undercover and later wrote about how counselors tried to steer him toward Christianity and shame him for same-sex desire. Well now there's another undercover report hitting the figurative streets.

Kristina Lapinski, a colleague of lesbian filmmaker Melanie Nathan, recently paid the clinic a visit and pretended to be struggling with her innate desires and a fabricated engagement. The duo posted their results on Nathan's website, Gay U.S.A.

I told [counselor Sheila J. Marker] I had been with a woman, and found that to be true love.  I made my uncertainty clear, that I had two options either to go through with the marriage or to refrain because I thought I was a lesbian.

She asked me if I had slept with my fiancé and I told her that I had not yet and that I was not attracted him. She said “how can you know how it will be until you try?”

She asked if I believed in God, and I answered, “yes.”  She pulled out a bible, handed it to me and asked me to read a passage out loud. It was about love, and then she asked me to analyze it with her. We talked about love and commitment, and even though I have never been attracted to my fiancé, the commitment, she noted, was a form of love.

She told me to follow God’s road. “The bible says one man one woman… two great halves come together….” and then spoke to some extent about a woman’s duty to keep the man company… I found that oddly sexist.

She then went on to convince me about what was right and never ever explored the option that I could possibly in fact be a lesbian. She told me the commitment part was important and the love part would grow over time.

That's the same kind of mentality behind arranged marriages: enough time with one person will breed romance, love and respect. Anyone who has ever been in an unhappy relationship can tell you that's not the case.

Lapinski's misadventure will soon chronicled in Nathan's forthcoming documentary, Gay U.S.A: The Movie. Hopefully someone will send the Bachmanns an advanced copy.

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  1. Wow. Finding out that religious people do not want her to be a lesbian and that the Bible is sexist. Landmark conclusions! Congrats on this earthshattering discovery!

    Posted by: Eyeroll | Apr 12, 2012 12:33:54 PM

  2. Yes get married for the commitment, love will grow over time!! I guess thats why our country has such a high divorce rate, just ask Newt.

    The Christian Conservatives would love to roll back the clock to the 1930's when a woman's job was to stay at home, take care of their children and cook dinner. That is also the GOP jobs plan, because if they eliminate women from the workforce then the actual unemployment rate will be around zero since over 50% of the countries population is female. I'm just waiting for a Republican to actually propose a bill doing that.

    Posted by: Jay | Apr 12, 2012 12:52:36 PM

  3. I agree with the above. Who really cares? If you're so stupid that you'd attend such a clinic, go for it. You deserve what you get. Think for yourself.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 12, 2012 12:54:00 PM

  4. These people are sick.

    Posted by: MARCUS BACHMANN | Apr 12, 2012 12:55:21 PM

  5. Meanwhile, in the UK we are going to start getting these ads next week *eyeroll*

    Posted by: Michael | Apr 12, 2012 12:56:21 PM

  6. he still looks like a faggot; she still looks like a beard.

    Posted by: Lindoro Almaviva | Apr 12, 2012 1:08:36 PM

  7. In other news, water is wet.

    BTW, Marcus can sure open his mouth wide, can't he?

    Posted by: Jack M | Apr 12, 2012 1:16:58 PM

  8. Thanks Andy for covering the story. Minor correction Kristina is the filmmaker of GAY USA the Movie which I am co-producing with her. The courageous work of Kristi can be found via her confrontations with Gingrich and also our run in at a rally in Tacoma where we were attacked by Santorum supporter all of which can be found at the GAY USA the Movie website. Thanks again for the coverage...

    Posted by: Melanie Nathan | Apr 12, 2012 1:19:06 PM

  9. I want to stick my finger up Marcus Bachman's pooper.

    Posted by: Heywood Jablowme | Apr 12, 2012 1:23:08 PM

  10. To the person who remarks that people ought to simply not go to the clinic .... has no understanding about how this works. Kids under 18 are sent to the clinic by parents seeking to "unGAY" them. That is why we covered this - not for consenting adults who know how to navigate their sexuality and oft times confusion - but for the kids that can't

    Posted by: Melanie Nathan | Apr 12, 2012 1:26:16 PM

  11. Off topic, but that typically Evangelical pose Michelle B is striking in that photo just slays me. "I've got my eyes closed and my hand pointed like a satellite dish so I can tune de LAWD!"

    Maybe we ought to start putting Prozac into the water supply in addition to fluoride since anti-depressants have been shown to ease religious monomania.

    Posted by: Caliban | Apr 12, 2012 1:43:24 PM

  12. Actually, ANDREW, arranged marriages can be quite successful. The people in them tend to work harder at getting along. People who get into marriage thinking that love and romance are all you need for a relationship to work are the ones who get divorced when the "magic" fades and the relationship requires work and compromise. And the magic always fades. Most relationships turn companionate. It's not a bad thing.

    The problem here, other than the failure of this therapist to not only not listen but also not explore the woman's belief that she is a lesbian, is that the therapist came from the point of view that sexual orientation is something that has to be compromised, even sacrificed, in order to do the "right" thing. It's not about making a relationship work, it's about making a commitment to the wrong relationship in the first place because it's the right thing to do.

    Posted by: TJ | Apr 12, 2012 2:22:21 PM

  13. Send Bachmann an advance copy? Hopefully he'll drop dead long before then. (As in tomorrow)

    Posted by: Oliver | Apr 12, 2012 2:31:30 PM

  14. I want to know if Bachmann's clinic is billing health insurance companies or even the federal government for this "therapy." Surely that is against the law. Reparative therapy has been denounced as ineffective and dangerous by the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association. Bachmann's clinic needs to be shut down.

    Posted by: Jay | Apr 12, 2012 2:56:40 PM

  15. I am gay and my mother (Sheila Marker) loves and accepts me. My girlfriend and I went to Easter dinner with my family at my parents house. I am upset that you would try to portray a wonderful woman like my mother in this way. She is a CHRISTIAN counselor. Of course she is going to tell you to pray not to mention, Christians believe that giving the lord your problems is the thing to do with ANY problem, not just your sexual desires. furthermore, as a marriage counselor, of course she is not going to encourage your “desires” for people other than your fiance, whether it is for women or men. she is going to encourage you to stay true to your commitment. I know my mother and am positive that she was encouraging the woman in accordance to the her self proclaimed desire “to start a family and please society and my religious community.” to a man that she claims is “my best friend, my buddy.”
    This sort of Slander of a wonderful woman is not helping out the cause, a cause that i am very much involved in and am passionate about. Not to mention, you really can’t paint her as an enemy if she is supportive of me and my girlfrined. Her goal is to help people live in happy, loving, committed relationships. Not encourage people cheat on their fiances and spouses.

    Posted by: Erika Marker | Apr 12, 2012 3:04:24 PM

  16. @Erika Marker, I would be very curious to know if your mother told Ms Lapinkski that she has a gay daughter? I would think that would be a very important fact.

    Posted by: Oliver | Apr 12, 2012 3:19:05 PM

  17. of course she didn't. the woman went to her office seeking religious counseling claiming to be a christian and wanting to be with her fiance but struggling with homosexual feelings. it is not the job of the counselor to insert their own personal feelings. now, had she gone in there for (which why would you go here of all place) reaffirmation of her gayness, she would have gotten it. but that is not what she wanted. what this so calle "reporter did, was entrapment.

    Posted by: Erika Marker | Apr 12, 2012 4:57:56 PM

  18. Oliver, not to defend Ms. Marker, but usually counselors aren't bringing their personal lives into their work.

    I actually think Erika makes very brilliant observations. I'm not sure why they aren't pretty obvious. And the "counseling" that took place didn't seem particularly aggressive. It seemed precisely like the counseling one would expect from a Christian counselor.

    And if Melanie's point was to draw attention for the sake of the children, then wouldn't it make more sense to show how children are counseled in these situations and not adults. And bringing attention to it does what, exactly? It certainly doesn't prevent parents from sending their children to places that will counsel them to reject their nature. The best defense to reparative therapy is simply knowing it doesn't work.

    Posted by: Eyeroll | Apr 12, 2012 5:01:41 PM

  19. ERIKA: A fiancé is not the same as a husband. Although one has made a commitment, one has not finalized the deal. Engagements are broken all the time when people figure out before the wedding that they are incompatible. I appreciate your loyalty, and understand that you would want to defend your mother. But rather than explore what's best for the client, it appears that your mother was telling the client what she should do, without helping the client consider consequences. You seem to think that being a Christian counselor gives your mother the right to be a bad therapist, to force someone into a bad relationship because it's more important to be in a heterosexual relationship than it is to be true to oneself. I appreciate that for some people, making others happy, not rocking the boat, might really be very important. I appreciate how important religion can be to some people. But your mother's job was to help the client make peace with whatever the client ultimately decides is best, even if that meant not going through with a loveless marriage. You don't do that by only pushing one viewpoint with a bible in hand.

    Posted by: TJ | Apr 12, 2012 5:06:50 PM

  20. @ ERIKA Were the Bachmanns aware of your homosexuality prior to this Towleroad post? Have you and your girlfriend presented yourselves to the Bachmanns as a couple?

    Posted by: Roger | Apr 12, 2012 6:54:36 PM

  21. TJ it is unfortunate that you have so an open ended idea of commitment. and it is probably the same one that many Americans share, hence why the divorce rate is so high. However, it has nothing to do with homosexuality. Within the Evangelical Christian community, praying for a suppression of sexual desire is commonplace for both gay and straight people, as denial of sexual gratification is seen as an essential part of the way they live (lifetime monogamy and/or chastity being the only choices permitted by their faith.) That may seem "harmful" and unhealthy to you, but millions of people choose to live by this creed, and lapinski went into her office claiming to be one of them. she was not a scared child, she was a "religious woman" and struggling with desires for someone other than her betrothed.

    Posted by: Erika Marker | Apr 12, 2012 7:18:11 PM

  22. People do not struggle with homosexual feelings.
    They struggle with religion, which skews their view on reality.
    Sans religion, very few would have an internal struggle with being gay.

    Posted by: Mk_Ultra_again | Apr 12, 2012 7:19:54 PM

  23. @Roger, why would i "present" myself to anyone. what does that even mean?

    Posted by: Erika Marker | Apr 12, 2012 7:29:15 PM

  24. @Erika Glad to clarify: 'Present' as in 'to introduce.' For example, there is a huge difference in presenting someone as 'my friend' and presenting someone 'as my girlfriend.'

    Posted by: Roger | Apr 12, 2012 7:43:01 PM

  25. present as in presentation? no, why would i put myself and my girlfriend on display for anyone. the two words are not interchangeable. I have introduced my family and girlfriend to each other. what was the point of your question anyways.
    I don't have a relationship with the people my mother works for. not to mention she does not work at the same location as Marcus does. do you have a relationship with the people your mother works for? why would and when would i ever be have to "present" my girlfriend to them?

    Posted by: Erika Marker | Apr 12, 2012 8:20:32 PM

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