“Their career in politics has always been about pursuing a social conservative agenda,” Larry Jacobs, a political scientist and longtime Bachmann watcher at the University of Minnesota, said of the couple. He said that Michele Bachmann’s initial race for the state Senate, in which she ousted a more moderate Republican, was “broadly over gay rights.”
“My husband and I,” Bachmann told The Washington Post in March, “are a really good team.”
These days, as Michele Bachmann burns up the campaign trail, attracting big crowds, oodles of media attention and skyrocketing poll numbers, her husband is a constant presence at her side. He is visibly engaged in the campaign, riding the bus and mingling with reporters as team Bachmann hammers its conservative, small-government message. But with a new same-sex marriage law in New York suddenly making homosexuality a topic for national discussion again, the Bachmanns have been surprisingly quiet on what has been a signature issue throughout their careers. “I am running for the presidency of the United States,” Michele Bachmann said repeatedly last month to questions about whether she thinks homosexuality is a choice. “I am not running to be anyone’s judge.”
This is something of a change.
Michele Bachmann has called gay marriage “probably the biggest issue that will impact our state and our nation in the last, at least, 30 years.” In 2005, she ran screaming from a bathroom at a constituent forum, claiming that a lesbian had attempted to keep her there against her will. (The woman said she was merely questioning Bachmann about her position on gay marriage.) As a state senator, she was seen crouching behind hedges to observe a gay rights rally. (She has explained that she was checking the turnout.) Dr. Bachmann’s views on homosexuality have likewise earned him the ire of gay activists and liberal critics.
He is a major focal point of the Dump Bachmann blog, created by the former head of a local gay Republican group that has become the go-to archive for all things negative about the congresswoman. In 2006, City Pages, a Minneapolis alternative weekly, reported on a 2005 presentation that Dr. Bachmann delivered at the Grace Church in Eden Prairie titled “The Truth About the Homosexual Agenda,” during which he introduced three people as “former homosexuals” as proof that sexual orientation is a choice. That same article also reported that Bachmann & Associates, the Christian counseling center he runs, practiced “reparative therapy,” a method of converting homosexuals to heterosexuality often called “praying away the gay.”