Michele Bachmann on Civil Rights

Republican Representative (MN-6); 2011 GOP frontrunner


Homosexuality is a dysfunction and reversible by prayer

The organizer of the Tea Party caucus, Michele Bachmann, already had established herself as a Tea Party darling for the verbal grenades she regularly threw at President Obama and her pithy handling of hot button topics: homosexuality is a "dysfunction"; global warming is a "hoax"; the media should investigate "anti-Americans" in Congress; answering the census could get you thrown into an internment camp; and much more, all of which endeared her to the Tea Party.

By 2001 Bachmann had won election to the Minnesota state senate, and two years later she seized on opposition to gay marriage as her signature issue. Christian conservatives rallied to her condemnation of homosexuality as sinful and reversible by prayer, and the issue became her path to election to Congress in 2006.

Source: The Tea Party: A Brief History, by R. Formisano, p. 41-42 , Apr 4, 2012

Fight the faddish fog of feminism

[In the 1980s] I had to see through the faddish fog of "feminism," the radical school of thought propounded by such well-known figures as Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem. I'm all for strong women as role models. Yet in the 70s, women were solemnly instructed by the liberal media to believe that family, tradition, and even faith were merely the disguised manifestations of an oppressive "patriarchy." We were further told that "women" wanted to be liberated--as if "women" were a bloc, and as if liberals knew what was good for all of us, all across the country.

I rejected that kind of feminism. I was repulsed by the generalized worldview of liberal-left feminism, which tended to say things like, "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." It's a free country, of course, and everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, but I wanted no part of an ideology that praised wives being apart from husbands of children being apart from fathers.

Source: Core of Conviction, by Michele Bachmann, p. 76-77 , Nov 21, 2011

How dare a court force same-sex morality on the people

In 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that same-sex couples had a legal right to marry and the court further ordered the MA state legislature to pass a law to that effect. How dare the court order legislators to pass a law in conformity with their personal morality and opinion of a bare majority of justices--the vote was 4 to 3--not in conformity with the majority of people in the Bay State. America had always agreed that marriage should be reserved for one man and one woman. In addition, our Constitution prefers that the courts should interpret the law, not make the law. Otherwise, legislators are irrelevant, as is the will of the people.

Of course, at the same time, I wasn't completely surprised by the MA ruling, because I knew that judges had gotten I the habit of legislating from the bench. I could see why judges might like to run the whole government; the only problem was, it's unconstitutional. Indeed, in the US Constitution, the judicial branch is listed third.

Source: Core of Conviction, by Michele Bachmann, p.128-129 , Nov 21, 2011

MN needs constitutional amendment on marriage, despite DOMA

In the US Constitution, the judicial branch is listed third, in Article III. Thomas Jefferson said that the courts were to be the least powerful of the three branches of government. The federal branches are equal, but the same time, James Madison chose to enumerate the powers of the judiciary after those of the other two branches. But here we were now, confronting a whole new vista of judicial activism, and who was to say it would stop with Massachusetts? Minnesota had a "DOMA" statute, modeled after the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that was passed with strong bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress and signed by President Clinton. But even so, I could see the possibility that the Minnesota Supreme Court could copy the Massachusetts ruling. That meant there was only one sure way to stop such a ruling: Pass a constitutional amendment in the state of Minnesota.
Source: Core of Conviction, by Michele Bachmann, p.129 , Nov 21, 2011

I support federal AND state marriage amendments

SANTORUM: [to Bachmann]: We can't have 50 marriage laws. This was the approach that the left took on abortion, which is to pick a few states, and then go to the Supreme Court and say "equal protection," then you will have at the Supreme Court deciding what marriage is in this country. You have to fight in each state. And there's where I disagree with Rick Perry, I disagree with Michele Bachmann. I will come to the states and fight to make sure this strategy of picking off a state here and there does not be successful in transforming marriage.

BACHMANN: I support the federal marriage amendment, because I believe that we will see this issue at the Supreme Court someday. And as president, I will not nominate activist judges who legislate from the bench. I also want to say, when I was in Minnesota, I was the chief author of the constitutional amendment to define marriage as one man, one woman. I have an absolutely unblemished record when it comes to this issue of man-woman marriage.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa , Aug 11, 2011

Children need mother & father; but let states decide

Q: New Hampshire is one of five states where gays can marry legally. As president, would you try to overturn state laws, despite your own personal belief that states should handle their own affairs whenever possible?

BACHMANN: Well, I do believe in the 10th Amendment and I do believe in self-determination for the states. I also believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. I carried that legislation when I was a senator in Minnesota, and I believe that for children, the best possible way to raise children is to have a mother and father in their life.

Q: What would a President Bachmann do to initiate or facilitate a repeal law on the state level?

BACHMANN: I'm running for the presidency of the United States. And I don't see that it's the role of a president to go into states and interfere with their state laws. I do support a constitutional amendment on marriage between a man and a woman, but I would not be going into the states to overturn their state law.

Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in Manchester NH , Jun 13, 2011

Keep Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell in

Q: Now gays are allowed to serve openly in the military; would you leave that policy in place or would you try to change it back to "don't ask/don't tell"?

GINGRICH: Both the Army and the Marines overwhelmingly opposed changing it. And if as president- I've met with them and they said it isn't working and we should go back, I would listen to the commanders whose lives are at risk about the young men and women that they are, in fact, trying to protect.

BACHMANN: I would keep the "don't ask/don't tell" policy.

Q: So you would--whatever the Obama administration does now--you would try to go back? You'd try to reverse what they're doing?

BACHMANN: I would, after, again, following much what the speaker just said, I would want to confer with our commanders-in-chief and with--also with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, because I'd want to know how it was being implemented and if it has--had had the detrimental effects that have been suggested that will come.

Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in Manchester NH , Jun 13, 2011

Counselor/husband: "pray away the gay"

Bachmann [is involved in a] brouhaha over her counselor/husband Dr. Marcus Bachmann. He's the one who insists you can "pray away the gay." He's compared bisexuals and gays to "barbarians" who must be "disciplined." Meanwhile, she has lamented that involvement in "the gay and lesbian lifestyle" means "personal bondage" linked to "Satan."

It didn't take long for social media, then the blogosphere, then cable TV and finally the mainstream media to gingerly address the question: is Marcus Bachmann, like so many virulent anti-gay crusaders before him, a gay guy in denial? I suppose the Bachmann campaign could present Marcus as proof that "praying away the gay" really works.

More likely the campaign will ignore it all -- until some brassy reporter asks her, or him. And ironically, among social conservatives who adore her, speculation about her husband will only win her votes.

Source: Margery Eagan in the Boston Herald , Jul 24, 2010

Authored constitutional amendment defining marriage

I was the chief author of a constitutional amendment in the Minnesota Senate defining marriage as between one man and one woman. I will continue to support traditional marriage as a union between a man and woman.
Source: 2006 House campaign website, michelebachmann.com, “Issues” , Nov 7, 2006

Voted NO on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.

Congressional Summary:
    Amends the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) to add or expand definitions of several terms used in such Act, including :
  1. "culturally specific services" to mean community-based services that offer culturally relevant and linguistically specific services and resources to culturally specific communities;
  2. "personally identifying information" with respect to a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
  3. "underserved populations" as populations that face barriers in accessing and using victim services because of geographic location, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity; and
  4. "youth" to mean a person who is 11 to 24 years old.

Opponent's Argument for voting No (The Week; Huffington Post, and The Atlantic): House Republicans had objected to provisions in the Senate bill that extended VAWA's protections to lesbians, gays, immigrants, and Native Americans. For example, Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) voted against the VAWA bill because it was a "politically–motivated, constitutionally-dubious Senate version bent on dividing women into categories by race, transgender politics and sexual preference." The objections can be grouped in two broadly ideological areas--that the law is an unnecessary overreach by the federal government, and that it represents a "feminist" attack on family values. The act's grants have encouraged states to implement "mandatory-arrest" policies, under which police responding to domestic-violence calls are required to make an arrest. These policies were intended to combat the too-common situation in which a victim is intimidated into recanting an abuse accusation. Critics also say VAWA has been subject to waste, fraud, and abuse because of insufficient oversight.

Reference: Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act; Bill H.R.11 ; vote number 13-HV055 on Feb 28, 2013

Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation.

HR3685: Employment Non-Discrimination Act: Makes it an unlawful employment practice to discriminate against an individual on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation, including actions based on the actual or perceived sexual orientation of a person with whom the individual associates or has associated. Prohibits preferential treatment or quotas. Allows only disparate treatment claims. Inapplicable to associations that are exempt from religious discrimination provisions.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Rep. CASTOR: The march towards equality under the law for all of our citizens has sometimes been slow, but it has been steady. Over time, Congress has outlawed discrimination in the workplace, based upon a person's race, gender, age, national origin, religion and disability, because when it comes to employment, these decisions are rightly based upon a person's qualifications and job performance. This legislation that outlaws job discrimination based upon sexual orientation was first introduced over 30 years ago. A broad coalition of businesses and community organizations strongly support this landmark civil rights legislation, including the Human Rights Campaign; the Anti-Defamation League; and the NAACP.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Rep. HASTINGS: Federal law bans job discrimination based on race, color, national origin, or gender. In addition, 19 States have passed laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. I strongly oppose discrimination in the workplace. However, I do not think it is the place of the Federal Government to legislate how each and every workplace operates. A number of States have enacted State laws in this area. That is their right. Many businesses have chosen to adopt their own policies. That is appropriate as well. This bill as written would expand Federal law into a realm where PERCEPTION would be a measure under discrimination law [which I consider inappropriate].

Reference: Employment Non-Discrimination Act; Bill HR3685 ; vote number 2007-1057 on Nov 13, 2007

Protect anti-same-sex marriage opinions as free speech.

Bachmann co-sponsored Marriage and Religious Freedom Act

Congressional Summary:Congress finds the following:

  1. Leading legal scholars concur that conflicts between same-sex marriage and religious liberty are real and should be legislatively addressed.
  2. As the President stated in response to the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, 'Americans hold a wide range of views' on the issue of same-sex marriage, and 'maintaining our Nation's commitment to religious freedom' is 'vital'.
  3. Protecting religious freedom from Government intrusion is a Government interest of the highest order.
  4. Laws that protect the free exercise of religious beliefs about marriage will encourage private citizens and institutions to demonstrate similar tolerance and therefore contribute to a more respectful, diverse, and peaceful society.
[Accordingly, this bill] prohibits the federal government from taking an adverse action against a person for acts in accordance with a religious belief that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.

Opponent's argument against bill: (David Brunori on Forbes.com): A bipartisan group of lawmakers thinks it's appropriate for the American taxpayer to subsidize organizations fighting for "traditional marriage." The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act would give non-profit organizations that don't like gay marriage the ability to engage in partisan political activities without the fear of losing their exempt status. The sponsors are touting the bill as a means of protecting freedom of conscience on the issue of marriage. The proposed law will allow non-profit organizations to engage in political activity, as long as it's for championing heterosexual marriage, while non-profits supporting marriage equality cannot engage in partisan political activity. The tax laws should be neutral when it comes to politics.

Source: H.R.3133 13-H3133 on Sep 19, 2013

State definition of marriage supersedes federal gay marriage.

Bachmann co-sponsored State Marriage Defense Act

Congressional summary::Prohibits any interpretation of US administrative agencies, as applied with respect to individuals domiciled in a state of the United States:

  1. the term "marriage" from including any relationship that the state does not recognize as a marriage; and
  2. the term "spouse" from including an individual who is a party to a relationship that is not recognized as a marriage by that state.

Opponent's argument against (CNN.com Feb. 8 report on Attorney General Eric Holder's action which prompted this bill): In a major milestone for gay rights, the US government expanded recognition of same-sex marriages in federal legal matters, including bankruptcies, prison visits and survivor benefits. "It is the Justice Department's policy to recognize lawful same-sex marriages as broadly as possible, to ensure equal treatment for all members of society regardless of sexual orientation," Attorney General Eric Holder said. The federal expansion includes 34 states where same-sex marriage isn't legal. For example, a same-sex couple legally married in Massachusetts can now have a federal bankruptcy proceeding recognized in Alabama, even though it doesn't allow same-sex marriages.

Proponent's argument in favor (Washington Post Feb. 13 reporting on Sen. Ted Cruz): If passed, the bill would cede marriage definition to states for federal purposes, which would effectively reverse the gains same-sex couples made after the Defense of Marriage Act was overturned by the Supreme Court in June 2013. Cruz said, "I support traditional marriage. The federal government has tried to re-define marriage, and to undermine the constitutional authority of each state to define marriage consistent with the values of its citizens. The Obama Administration should not be trying to force gay marriage on all 50 states."

Source: H.R.3829 & S. 2024 14-H3829 on Jan 9, 2014

2012 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Civil Rights: Michele Bachmann on other issues:
MN Gubernatorial:
Mark Dayton
MN Senatorial:
Al Franken
Amy Klobuchar
Heather Johnson
Jim Abeler
Mike McFadden

Newly-elected Democrats taking office Jan.2015:
AZ-7: Rep.-Elect Ruben Gallego
CA-11:Rep.-Elect Mark DeSaulnier
CA-31:Rep.-Elect Pete Aguilar(R⇒D)
CA-33:Rep.-Elect Ted Lieu
CA-35:Rep.-Elect Norma Torres
FL-2: Rep.-Elect Gwen Graham(R⇒D)
HI-1: Rep.-Elect Mark Takai
MA-6: Rep.-Elect Seth Moulton
MI-12:Rep.-Elect Debbie Dingell
MI-14:Rep.-Elect Brenda Lawrence
NE-2: Rep.-Elect Brad Ashford(R⇒D)
NJ-12:Rep.-Elect Bonnie Coleman
NY-4: Rep.-Elect Kathleen Rice
PA-13:Rep.-Elect Brendan Boyle
VA-8: Rep.-Elect Donald Beyer
Seated in special elections 2013-2014:
AL-1: Bradley Byrne(R)
FL-13:David Jolly(R)
FL-19:Curt Clawson(R)
IL-2: Robin Kelly(D)
LA-5: Vance McAllister(R)
MA-5: Katherine Clark(D)
MO-8: Jason Smith(R)
NC-12:Alma Adams(D)
NJ-1: Donald Norcross(D)
SC-1: Mark Sanford(R)
VA-7: Dave Brat(R)

Newly-elected Republicans taking office Jan.2015:
AR-2: Rep.-Elect French Hill
AR-4: Rep.-Elect Bruce Westerman
AL-6: Rep.-Elect Gary Palmer
CA-25:Rep.-Elect Steve Knight
CA-45:Rep.-Elect Mimi Walters
CO-4: Rep.-Elect Ken Buck
FL-26:Rep.-Elect Carlos Curbelo(D⇒R)
GA-1: Rep.-Elect Buddy Carter
GA-10:Rep.-Elect Jody Hice
GA-11:Rep.-Elect Barry Loudermilk
GA-12:Rep.-Elect Rick Allen(D⇒R)
IA-1: Rep.-Elect Rod Blum(D⇒R)
IA-3: Rep.-Elect David Young
IL-10:Rep.-Elect Robert Dold(D⇒R)
IL-12:Rep.-Elect Mike Bost(D⇒R)
More newly-elected Republicans taking office Jan.2015:
LA-5: Rep.-Elect Ralph Abraham
LA-6: Rep.-Elect Garret Graves
ME-2: Rep.-Elect Bruce Poliquin(D⇒R)
MI-4: Rep.-Elect John Moolenaar
MI-8: Rep.-Elect Mike Bishop
MI-11:Rep.-Elect Dave Trott
MN-6: Rep.-Elect Tom Emmer
MT-0: Rep.-Elect Ryan Zinke
NC-6: Rep.-Elect Mark Walker
NC-7: Rep.-Elect David Rouzer(D⇒R)
NH-1: Rep.-Elect Frank Guinta(D⇒R)
NJ-3: Rep.-Elect Tom MacArthur
NV-4: Rep.-Elect Cresent Hardy(D⇒R)
NY-1: Rep.-Elect Lee Zeldin(D⇒R)
NY-21:Rep.-Elect Elise Stefanik(D⇒R)
NY-24:Rep.-Elect John Katko
OK-5: Rep.-Elect Steve Russell
PA-6: Rep.-Elect Ryan Costello
TX-4: Rep.-Elect John Ratcliffe
TX-23:Rep.-Elect Will Hurd
TX-36:Rep.-Elect Brian Babin
UT-4: Rep.-Elect Mia Love(D⇒R)
VA-10:Rep.-Elect Barbara Comstock
WA-4: Rep.-Elect Dan Newhouse
WI-6: Rep.-Elect Glenn Grothman
WV-2: Rep.-Elect Alex Mooney
WV-3: Rep.-Elect Evan Jenkins(D⇒R)
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