The gay blog On Top reported that “comedian” Janeane Garofalo is the latest in a string of celebrities and activists suggesting Michele Bachmann’s therapist husband Marcus must be gay, including Cher, Jon Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld, and sex columnist/”It Gets Better” bully Dan Savage. Cher even said she wanted to strangle him.
This Marcus-is-gay line has also been a regular trope of liberal talk radio, from openly gay Stephanie Miller to Randi Rhodes to even Ron “Junior” Reagan, who knows something on this subject of aspersions from his ballet-dancing days.
On Saturday’s July 16 edition of the radio show Both Sides Now with Huffington and Matalin, Reagan was sitting in Arianna’s left-wing chair and disparaged the Bachmanns: They are motivated, among other things, primarily by hatred of homosexuals. It may be self-loathing in Marcus Bachmann's case."
On July 12, Stephanie Miller took an early turn: “We've been talking about well, you know wildly gay Marcus Bachmann among other things...A psychologist called from Minneapolis who was talking about really the dark side of this reparative therapy that is you know causing suicides in some places.”
But the big day for this baseless allegation/joking/bullying came on July 14. On her radio show, Randi Rhodes lamented the Bachmann clinic and the accusation that Dr. Bachmann used federal money for “pray away the gay” sessions: “Tthey charge the U.S. government Medicaid patients, OK, to de-gay gay people and then celebrate it! And you know it's interesting because Marcus Bachmann does set off, you know, gay-dar everywhere - so I guess it's safe to say now that even gayness they will hoard!”
That night, Garofalo told a former MSNBC host on Countdown: “This is not a criticism, but he seems to be quite gay to me...He's dealing with an issue that a lot of people who are vehemently anti-gay seem to be dealing with: their personal demons. I believe we were talking about with his reparative therapy, he's like 'You know when you're young you experiment' and so on and so forth, and I think he was referring to himself.” She called it “that Roy Cohn thing, of going after whatever your inner demon is, and the whole culture is dragged down with you.”
On the same night, Jerry Seinfeld appeared on the Daily Show to joke: “Dr. Marcus Bachmann buys Brawny paper towels for the packaging...He's so gay, Richard Simmons tells him to tone it down.”
Jon Stewart said Dr. Bachmann seems to be doing this "so he can hoard all the gayness for himself," and added Bachmann "dances and sounds not only gay, but center-square gay."
On Slate, William Saletan reported that in his “Savage Love” podcast on July 12, Dan Savage said the Bachmanns' marriage was frigid because Mr. Bachmann may have "tiptoed down" the road to homosexuality "just a couple of inches … maybe six, maybe seven." As evidence, Savage cited Bachmann's "mincing" in a YouTube clip, plus "the sound of his voice." He concluded that Bachmann "appears to be a lying closet case." Saletan, who began by noting he’s been wrongly identified as gay, concluded:
There's nothing new about calling somebody gay based on a lisp or a girlish gait. We all saw, did, or suffered it in grade school. What's unusual is seeing grown-up gays and liberals do it in 2011 with such open ridicule. But don't worry: The new queer-hunters are progressive.
Cher may have come first with OnTop reporting on July 1 that she was yelling in capital letters on Twitter: “Just heard Michele Bachmann's OH SO CHRISTIAN husband talk about 'Gays' in the most UNCHRISTIAN way WTF!...tell me what u think … Cause My Gay-Dar is GOING OFF!!!...I'm thinking GAYGAYGAYGAYGAYGAYGAYGAY Without Style!” Cher also insisted “I’m going to strangle him with my boa.”