Michele Bachmann says anti-gay bullying "not a federal issue"

Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., arrives for a rally in Costa Mesa, Calif., Friday, Sept. 16, 2011. AP Photo/Chris Carlson

Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., arrives for a rally in Costa Mesa, Calif., Sept. 16, 2011.
AP Photo/Chris Carlson

COSTA MESA, Calif. -- Alex Limon says he came to a Michele Bachmann rally here for one reason: To ask the Republican presidential candidate what she intends to do about school bullying in her district that reportedly targets gays.

He got to ask his question, but he didn't get a lengthy answer.

"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.

Limon's question grew out of 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 paper reported that there have been a spate of suicides in the school district and that the Justice Department is investigating anti-gay bullying in the system.

Bachmann co-owns a clinic with her husband, Marcus, that engages in therapy seeking to "convert" patients of homosexuality.

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