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Steve Gunderson

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Title: Steve Gunderson  
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Subject: Tom Petri, Ron Kind, List of the first LGBT holders of political offices in the United States, Leland E. Mulder, Callista Gingrich
Collection: 1951 Births, American Lutherans, Gay Politicians, Lgbt Appointed Officials in the United States, Lgbt Christians, Lgbt Members of the United States Congress, Lgbt State Legislators in Wisconsin, Living People, Members of the United States House of Representatives from Wisconsin, Members of the Wisconsin State Assembly, People from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, People from Trempealeau County, Wisconsin, Republican Party Members of the United States House of Representatives, University of Wisconsin–madison Alumni, Wisconsin Republicans, Writers from Wisconsin
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Steve Gunderson

Steve Gunderson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 3rd district
In office
January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1997
Preceded by Alvin Baldus
Succeeded by Ron Kind
Personal details
Born (1951-05-10) May 10, 1951
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Political party Republican
Alma mater University of Wisconsin-Madison
Religion Lutheran

Steven Craig "Steve" Gunderson (born May 10, 1951, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin) is the former President and CEO of the Council on Foundations,[1] the current president and CEO of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities,[2] and a former Republican congressman from Wisconsin.


  • Early years 1
  • Political career 2
    • Opposed and then supported by conservatives 2.1
  • Published works 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Early years

Gunderson grew up near Whitehall, Wisconsin. After studying at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, he went on to train at the Brown School of Broadcasting in Minneapolis.

Political career

Gunderson served in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1975 to 1979 before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1980. Representing Wisconsin's 3rd congressional district. First being elected to the 97th Congress, he served eight terms in the House and did not seek re-election to the 105th Congress in 1996.[3] He was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President's Commission on White House Fellows in January 2010.[4]

Opposed and then supported by conservatives

In 1994, Gunderson was outed as gay on the House floor by conservative then-representative Bob Dornan (R-CA) during a debate over federal funding for gay-friendly curricula,[5] making him one of the first openly gay members of Congress and the first openly gay Republican representative.[6] In 1996, Gunderson was the only Republican in Congress to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act,[7][8] and he has been a vocal supporter of gay rights causes since leaving Congress.

Although Gunderson drew opposition from some conservatives for his support of gay rights causes, other conservatives later praised him for his advocacy on behalf of expedited immigration rights for the Laotian Hmong, who had been allied with U.S. war efforts during the Vietnam War and later faced persecution under the Communist government of Laos.

In an October 1995 National Review article, Michael Johns, a former Republican White House aide and Heritage Foundation policy analyst, praised Gunderson's efforts in behalf of the Hmong people, quoting Gunderson as telling a Hmong gathering in Wisconsin: "I do not enjoy standing up and saying to my government that you are not telling the truth, but if that is necessary to defend truth and justice, I will do that."[9] Republicans also called several Congressional hearings on alleged persecution of the Hmong in Laos in an apparent attempt to generate further support for their opposition to the Hmong's repatriation to Laos. Led by Gunderson and other Hmong advocates in Congress, the Clinton administration's policy of forced repatriation of the Hmong was ultimately overturned and thousands were granted U.S. immigration rights.

Published works


  1. ^
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  5. ^ Chris Bull (May 3, 1994), The Out House: Congressional Debate over an Education Bill Gets Personal and Nasty, The Advocate, p. 29.
  6. ^
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  9. ^

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Alvin Baldus
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Ron Kind
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