Even Bachmann’s Stepsister Can’t Believe How Bigoted She Is

“Stunned.” That’s how Michele Bachmann’s stepsister says she feels about the Minnesota Representative’s anti-gay stances.

Helen LeFave, whose father married Michele’s mother, once spent a great deal of time with Michele, shared confidences with her and even looked up to her. Now, in an interview with the New York Times, she discloses why she as a lesbian feels compelled to speak out against Michele Bachmann’s brand of politics.

The New York Times reports on an interview with Helen in which Helen tells of how she and Michele remained friends into adulthood. Still, Helen felt betrayed when Michele, as a state senator in Minnesota, began calling gay people mentally ill and evil. Helen was particularly hurt by the call for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage:

“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.”


She told Michele as much, in a letter dated Nov. 23, 2003. She sent copies to her four siblings, her father and one of Michele’s brothers, and kept one herself. In the letter she described her “hurt and disappointment that my stepsister is leading this charge.”

“You’ve taken aim at me,” Helen wrote to Michele. Referring to Nia, she added: “You’ve taken aim at my family.”

Michele, she said, never acknowledged the letter in any way.

Of course, Michele Bachmann’s anti-gay stand is well known today. She rallied against the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, claiming she would bring back the damaging open service ban, and has said before that she believes gay marriage intrinsically weakens so-called traditional heterosexual marriage.

Furthermore, Michele’s husband Marcus Bachmann has repeatedly had to state that his religious counseling outfit does not offer reparative or so-called conversion therapy for gay people — despite two separate investigations that have shown the contrary.

However, when, as part of her 2006 ascent to the US House of Representatives, Michele Bachmann began talking about a “family member” who suffered the “enslavement” of homosexuality, Helen felt particularly betrayed.

Bachmann, it seems, was wiling to cut ties with her stepsister in a very public way in order to appeal to the anti-gay Evangelical crowd.

Now Bachmann faces a tight reelection campaign for her House seat against challenger Jim Graves, and Helen is going on the offensive by telling her story.

To say this is payment in kind for the way in which Michele has treated Helen and her same-sex spouse would be an unkind conclusion to draw, however it certainly is evident that Helen is aware of what she is doing and the impact it could have. She isn’t however concerning herself with Bachmann’s reelection.

Instead, Helen is using her story to fight Bachmann’s “sad legacy” in the state, the proposed marriage amendment which voters will consider on November 6 . The amendment would codify the state’s existing ban on marriage equality and make it doubly hard to overturn.

Helen, in the interview, says she has been compelled “to speak out for fairness for those of us who are being judged and told our lives and relationships are somehow less.”

You can read the full interview with Helen LeFava here.


Related Reading:

Fallout Continues From Bachmann’s Anti-Muslim McCarthyism

Bachmann Wants To Strip Courts of Equal Protection Jurisdiction

Kid Tells Bachmann: My Mommy is Gay, Doesn’t Need Fixing (VIDEO)


Image credit: Gage Skidmore.


John Hablinski
John Hablinski5 years ago

@Joan who says “that Bachmann woman is crazy as a bed bug”--- Gee Joan what do you have against Bed Bugs?

Neal Gay
Neal Gay5 years ago

People of religions should NOT be allowed to run for public office. People of religions should NOT be allowed to vote. We might as well just roll the voting booths into the local mental asylum and let the residence vote . Why we still let these anti-gay religious freaks still walk among us just blows my mind. Enough is Enough.

John Hablinski
John Hablinski5 years ago

Hi Grace, I’m glad you transitioned from the “Dark Side and into the “Light.”

Winn Adams
Winn A5 years ago

This woman is all about hating and discrimination. How sad and pathetic to live your life like that. I believe she needs to access her mental health benefits because she needs all the help she can get to become a loving, caring and productive person and stop all this hate. It's not a family value and if Jesus were here he would be so disappointed in her behavior.

Grace Adams
Grace Adams5 years ago

When I was married to a member of the John Birch Society and living in Mississippi, I was rather far right of center myself. Divorced and living in Connecticut, I am somewhat left of center. I wish an impossible dream of decent treatment of the poor; I am convinced it would be cheaper in the long run than neglecting them so they end up in the Emergency Room or in prison. I also wish an impossible dream of saving farming from Climate Catastrophe--but realize that the only solution likely to be anywhere near acceptable enough to the too big to fail fossil fuel firms to be politically feas1ble would be also so horribly expensive as to be very much over Grover Norquist's dead body.

Bette M.
Bette M5 years ago

Pretty easy to figure out exactly why poor Michelle is so anti-gay. Her husband is stuffed really tightly in the closet, so she's got to channel this repression somewhere, and obviously she's chosen that river of De Nile...

Cheryl I.
Past Member 5 years ago


Elsie Hovav
Elsie Hovav5 years ago

How sad for a sister(step) to be hurt this way.

Tom Y.
Tom Y5 years ago

JENNIFER O. goes, "The Bible says that it's EASIER for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle (which is impossible) than it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. You never hear a preacher saying 'It's impossible for the wealthy to enter Heaven', but that's exactly what the Bible says."

Actually, it doesn't.

In the full text, Jesus is speaking after a wealthy young man has rejected the way into the Kingdom, choosing instead his temporal, earthly riches. Let's pick up at Luke 18:24:

'Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Those who heard this asked, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."'

That last line puts Jennifer O's contention to bed. Jesus wasn't against a man having money; He was against money claiming him. The question to each human heart is, Do you value your spiritual destiny more than earthly luxuries? Or have they become your idol?

Queen Victoria, reflecting on the passage of 1 Corinthians 1:26 ("think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth"), reportedly said "At least it says 'not many' instead of 'not any!'" There were and are wealthy people who come to faith in Jesus Christ. Acts 16:14 cites "Lydia, a dealer

Joan Q.
Joan Q5 years ago

that bachman woman is crazy as a bed bug