WASHINGTON, July 18 (UPI) -- Gay rights activists say they want to pull Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., into social policy discussions by focusing attention on her views on homosexuality.
The Republican presidential hopeful and her husband, therapist Marcus Bachmann, have a history of battling gay rights groups in Minnesota well before she was elected to Congress.
"Michele Bachmann is the very definition of a target-rich environment, and given her husband's positions and things she's said in past she's going to have a really hard time appearing as a reasonable mainstream candidate," Michael Cole-Schwartz, communications director for the group Human Rights Campaign, told Monday's Politico.
"It's not just that she doesn't believe in marriage" another gay rights leader said. "She doesn't believe in gay people existing."
Her husband, Marcus Bachmann, reportedly advocates the view that gays can be cured by "reparative therapy" although he told media recently that it isn't his therapy clinic's main purpose.
"The idea of some sort of a therapy to make us straight -- it's bizarre and nuts," said David Mixner, a top gay Democratic fundraiser. "For those who are somewhat disenchanted on some issues with Obama, this will enable them to get over whatever reservations they may have."
Chris Barron, chairman of the gay conservative group GOProud, said he was concerned that gay attacks on Bachmann would help her by "galvanizing conservatives."
"We are certainly concerned about comments Bachmann has made about gay people and we are even more troubled by her support for a federal marriage amendment that would be the largest power grab by the federal government from the states in the history of our country," he told Politico said in an e-mail. "Given her stated support for 'limited government' we wish Congresswoman Bachmann would reconsider supporting such a massive federal power grab."