Minnesota Congresswoman Michele
Bachmann's lesbian stepsister Helen LaFave says she was “stunned”
by Bachmann's anti-gay stances.
Bachmann's mother married LaFave's
father some 40 years ago. And while Bachmann was attending college,
LaFave, then finishing high school, lived in her mother's home.
“I remember laughing with her a lot,”
LaFave told The New York Times. “I looked up to Michele.”
LaFave has been in a relationship with her partner
Nia for nearly 25 years.
As a Minnesota state senator, Bachmann
backed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a heterosexual
union. In championing the measure, she began to call gay men and
lesbians sick and evil.
“It felt so divorced from having
known me, from having known somebody who's gay,” LaFave said. “I
was just stunned.”
“You've taken aim at me,” LaFave
wrote in a letter to Bachmann in 2003. “You've taken aim at my
LaFave, who is 52 and works as a
communications manager, said Bachmann never acknowledged the letter.
said a proposed gay marriage ban in Minnesota, which she
described as Bachmann's “very, very sad legacy,” has compelled
her “to speak out for fairness for those of us who are being judged
and told our lives and relationships are somehow less.”
In an interview with CNN last March,
denied she ever judged gay men and lesbians.