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 family.”

LaFave, who is 52 and works as a communications manager, said Bachmann never acknowledged the letter.

She 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, Bachmann denied she ever judged gay men and lesbians.