News (USA)

Bachmann’s busy day: bullying ‘not a federal issue,’ Tonight Show, flash mob

Presidential long shot Michele Bachmann on Friday again avoided commenting on anti-gay bullying, tried to joke her way out answering Jay Leno’s question about reparative therapy, and spoke at a gathering of Republicans while protestors staged a flash mob, dancing to Madonna’s “Like A Prayer.”

All in a day’s work.

Michele Bachmann

Early in the day, at a rally in Costa Mesa, Calif., Alex Limon said he came to the Bachmann rally for one reason — to ask the candidate what she intends to do about anti-gay bullying in her Minnesota congressional district.

“That’s not a federal issue,” Bachmann said, before moving on to the shake the hand of the next person waiting to speak to her, reported CBS News.

Limon’s question was sparked by a recent New York Times report about a Minnesota school system that’s largely located in Bachmann’s congressional district that’s become a flashpoint for a controversy about how to discuss homosexuality with students.

The Anoka-Hennepin school district in Bachmann’s Minnesota district is currently target of two lawsuits and a federal civil rights investigation over allegations of ant-gay bullying.

In dismissing Limon’s question as to whether anti-gay bullying is a “federal issue,” Bachmann appeared unaware, or uniformed of pending legislation including the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) and the Safe Schools Improvement Act aimed at addressing bullying of LGBT students in schools, the recent White House conference on bullying, or the upcoming second annual bullying prevention summit in Washington, hosted by the U.S. Department of Education.

Later in the day, appearing on NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” host Jay Leno asked Bachmann to answer critic’s claim that the counseling centers owned by Bachmann and her husband Marcus regularly engage in gay-to-straight reparative therapy.

Bachmann tried to escape the question joking that when she first heard it, it was “pray the grey away,” referring to someone having a midlife crisis. The joke fell flat. Watch:

Afterward, while Bachmann spoke inside the California Republican Party Fall Convention, a flash mob organized by the Courage Campaign gathered outside to dance in protest of her past anti-gay remarks.


On Thursday, Tammy Aaberg — whose son Justin committed suicide in July 2010 — delivered petitions containing more than 130,000 signatures from around the country, calling on Bachmann to condemn harassment of LGBT students.

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