Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann must address the teen LGBT suicides in her congressional district, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi says.
Ms Pelosi, speaking to The Advocate, criticised Ms Bachmann for her silence on the issue in her Minnesota district.
In the nine-month period between November 2009 and July 2010, at least four LGBT students in the area killed themselves.
Five students are suing Anoka-Hennepin School District for failing to protect them from an “epidemic” of anti-gay bullying.
Ms Pelosi told The Advocate: “I would think that if she wanted to be the president of the United States, she would understand that this is a larger issue than whether someone is gay or not, but as to whether someone is harassed and bullied to the point of seeing no way out.”
“Obviously it’s an issue bigger than Michele Bachmann’s district, so maybe we should all be speaking out about it, and not just leaving it to her,” she added.
Ms Bachmann, whose husband Marcus has been accused of trying to ‘cure’ gays through his Christian counselling centre, has refused to discuss LGBT issues since beginning her presidential campaign.
She has been asked about the issue several times but has refused to respond.
However, she has previously said that homosexuality is “sexual dysfunction”, “bondage” and “slavery”.