Marcus Bachmann has said that his counselling clinics do not have a “special interest” in trying to turn gay people straight.

The husband of Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann came under fire this month after his Christian counselling clinic was recorded trying to ‘cure’ a gay man.

Speaking to the Star-Tribune, Mr Bachmann did not deny that he and other staff at Bachmann & Associates had tried to cure gay people but said it was always the client’s choice.

“Will I address it? Certainly we’ll talk about it,” he said. “Is it a remedy form that I typically would use? … It is at the client’s discretion.”

“We don’t have an agenda or a philosophy of trying to change someone,” he added.

On the footage filmed of a counsellor by gay rights group Truth Wins Out, he said: “This individual came to us under a false pretence. The truth of the matter is he specifically asked for help.”

Mr Bachmann has been widely reported to have said in a radio interview in 2010 that gays are “barbarians” who need to be “disciplined”.

He was speaking on the Christian radio talkshow Point of View. While station no longer has the original audio, recordings can be found online of the remarks.

However, Mr Bachmann claims that the recording is doctored and that he was talking about children.

“I was talking in reference to children. Nothing, nothing to do with homosexuality. That’s not my mindset. That’s not my belief system. That’s not the way I would talk,” he said.

Mrs Bachmann has been criticised for attacking state spending while her family’s Minnesota clinic is a recipient of state and federal payments.