2012 Election | Discrimination | Gay Marriage | Michelle Bachmann | Minnesota | News

Michele Bachmann's Gay Step-Sister Discusses Rep's 'Sad Legacy'


Michele Bachmann's political future looks perilous as the Minnesota U.S. Rep. faces insurgent Democratic challenger Jim Graves. Regardless of whether she wins reelection next month, Bachmann will always be known for the anti-gay initiatives she helped initiate in DC as well as her home state, where voters will also decide in November whether to pass a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality.

That referendum, says Bachmann's openly gay step-sister Helen LaFave, is the Republican congresswoman's "very, very sad legacy."

In a rare interview, LaFave describes to the New York Times' Frank Bruni how she and her partner of nearly 25 years, Nia, have been hurt by Bachmann's Jekyll and Hyde attitudes. On the one hand, Bachmann is always respectful of LaFave and Nia's love, but then turns around and calls homosexuality "personal enslavement."

[LaFave] couldn’t believe it when, about a decade ago, Michele began to use her position as a state senator in Minnesota to call out gays and lesbians as sick and evil and to push for an amendment to the Minnesota constitution that would prohibit same-sex marriage: precisely the kind of amendment that Minnesotans will vote on in a referendum on Election Day.

“It felt so divorced from having known me, from having known somebody who’s gay,” said Helen, a soft-spoken woman with a gentle air. “I was just stunned.”

[The women] never hid their relationship from their families, Nia said, though they also didn’t force long-winded discussions about homosexuality. Their philosophy, she said, was simply to “put it out there, show ’em who we are and love ’em where they’re at, and everything will fall into place.” Their goal was one of “killing them with kindness.”

They thought that was happening. At get-togethers, Nia received hugs from Michele, who traded an “I love you” with Helen, as the two always had.

LaFave, a Democrat who voted for President Obama in 2008, also describes how in 2003 she wrote a letter asking Bachmann to back off her homophobic platform. "You've taken aim at me. You've taken aim at my family," she wrote. Bachmann never responded to the letter, either in ink or in person. The divide is simply ignored, she says.

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  1. Bachmann obviously has issues with her own and her husband's sexuality which she needs to resolve. When she does, she will no longer feel the need to judge other people.

    Posted by: trees | Oct 14, 2012 11:01:24 AM

  2. Astute comment trees. I was just gonna say she's a power hungry, greedy psychopath that doesn't mind being 2 faced as long as it helps her career.

    Posted by: andy | Oct 14, 2012 11:09:12 AM

  3. The information about the letter to Bachmann being ignored is the same as when she ignores facts that are widely held as being true, she changes history to support her rantings.

    Posted by: lk | Oct 14, 2012 11:33:27 AM

  4. She's married to a closeted homosexual. This is the root of her hatred of gays and Bruni completely ignores this.

    Posted by: homer | Oct 14, 2012 11:55:24 AM

  5. Lesbian step-sister, gay closet "faggot" husband... and just wait till one of her kids comes out later.

    Posted by: belo | Oct 14, 2012 11:56:16 AM

  6. I guess her "love" is as worthless as everything else she puts out.

    Posted by: Shawn | Oct 14, 2012 12:37:07 PM

  7. Didn't respond to the letter? That's because Michele Bachmann's a coward.

    Posted by: Your Mom | Oct 14, 2012 12:37:58 PM


    Posted by: Marc C | Oct 14, 2012 12:47:46 PM

  9. I guess not having real sex for decades in a bad marriage will drive you nuts.

    Posted by: anon | Oct 14, 2012 12:54:46 PM

  10. 'On the one hand, Bachmann is always respectful of LaFave and Nia's love, but then turns around and calls homosexuality "personal enslavement."'

    Respectful? She's quiet about it. Bachmann says she "loves" her. In Christian-speak that means she prays her half-sister will be delivered into heterosexuality, blah, blah, blah.

    A good, hard slap across the face at the next family gathering is in order.

    Posted by: BobN | Oct 14, 2012 1:17:20 PM

  11. People of Minnesota: Please defeat this amendment and kick this witch out of Congress!

    Posted by: Ken | Oct 14, 2012 1:38:15 PM

  12. Congrats to Helen & Nia on your 25 year marriage! Sorry you've had to endure Michele all these years...most of us have been lucky enough to avoid her.

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Oct 14, 2012 2:30:19 PM

  13. I hear Bachmann's having trouble getting re-elected. Sure hope that's true!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Oct 14, 2012 3:00:26 PM

  14. well, many others would suggest that not just the lesbians, but the non-bigoted family members SHOULD "force" those tough discussions.

    progress doesn't come if you enable someone to not progress at all.

    that requires any non-bigoted family to grow a collective spine.

    call the bigotry out. and call it what it is.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Oct 14, 2012 4:02:47 PM

  15. If Bachmann can't talk to her step-sister is any wonder she can't talk to America about real issues and not her paranoid celusions.

    Posted by: Explunger | Oct 15, 2012 12:59:10 AM

  16. The real sadness is the people has re-elected this moron...

    Posted by: mike31c | Oct 15, 2012 9:02:58 PM

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