Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s husband has reportedly demanded money from a gay organisation which cancelled appointments at his clinic.
The organisation Truth Wins Out had recorded one of the clinic’s employees offering “reparative therapy” earlier this year as part of an exposé.
Truth Wins Out says it gave adequate notice to cancel its remaining appointments, but that Bachmann has pursued them for cancellation fees totalling $150 (£95).
A video by WFFF-TV in Vermont shows Bachmann telling the undercover reporter John Becker, who filmed the counselling sessions: “You’ll be charged, and you owe us, so we’re going to send you to a collection agency, whatever it takes to get the truth out of you.”
“You come under deception, you come under a total lie. and you didn’t ask for this, John? Boy, that really is taking responsibility.”
Becker said: “I find it odd that Bachmann handled this matter personally rather than through his billing department. This is certainly an unorthodox way of doing business, much like the unethical ‘ex-gay’ therapy offered at his clinic.”
Truth Wins Out’s executive director, Wayne Basen said: “We call on Marcus Bachmann to immediately stop his petty and vindictive campaign of harassment and threats against our organization.
“Perhaps, now that Michele’s campaign is foundering, the Bachmanns are frustrated and looking for scapegoats to explain her failure.
“Truth Wins Out refuses to be intimidated or blackmailed by Bachmann. This bogus bill will not be paid.”
In the past, Michele Bachmann has said that gay people suffer “sexual dysfunction” and “personal enslavement”, as well as claiming that gays are “specifically targeting our children”.
She co-owns the clinic with her husband, who said in a radio interview in 2010 that gays are “barbarians” who need to be “disciplined”.