Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cheney Shows Empathy for Daughter Mary, Supports Same-Sex Marriage

Former Vice President Dick Cheney embraced the idea of same-sex marriage, so long as the change occurred within states, rather than from a federal statute. During his discussion of same-sex marriage, Cheney mentioned his daughter Mary Cheney, who is an out lesbian:
As many of you know, one of my daughters is gay and it is something we have lived with for a long time in our family. I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish.
Waterboarding and same-sex marriage. Almost dizzying, right?


Kansas City said...

Come on. Why is the combination of supporting waterboarding under very limited circumstances to try to prevent the killing of innocent people and supporting same-sex marriage in any way "dizzying."

I realize it is an attempt at a joke, but it is a joke that reflects a parody of the knee jerk liberal mindset -- waterboarding bad/same sex marriage good and something is always wrong with Cheney no matter what he says.

The real world is not so black and white, and it is very easy to see how a good man like Dick Cheney can hold these two positions simultaneously.

Anonymous said...

In contrast to an earlier interview where this topic was 'out of line': http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LL-q5vvaDmw

I agree with the earlier commenter: even though Cheney is a terrible hypocrite, this does not preclude him from having a different view on torture than he does on same sex marriage.

Anonymous said...

Er, more accurately: one's views on torture do not necessarily dictate one's views on same-sex social issues and vice versa.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

KC - Now that I'm a kneejerk liberal, there's nothing I can say in return!

Anonymous: The reason why Cheney has moved on this issue (he was not there before) is his daughter.

Roy Lofquist said...


I dare say that most everything you, and most folks, know about Cheney is wrong. Cheney has always been a man of few words. When he was VP he said almost nothing publicly, yet we heard a constant litany of things that he had purportedly said and done.

I don't believe he has, before now, publicly commented on this issue. This illustrates a tactic used by all sides - take a quote by someone who is sometimes only tangentially connected to a group and accuse the whole group of agreeing with the sentiment. This is a major part of the fog that bedevils our public discourse.


Kansas City said...


You say, "KC - Now that I'm a kneejerk liberal, there's nothing I can say in return!"

It sounds like a [probably good natured] response by a man who realizes he has been caught in a little anti-Cheney knee jerk liberalism. You could more directly concede the point. I don't think you are always a knee jerk liberal.


Stray Yellar Dawg? said...

How many high profile Republicans have recently come out in favor of gay marriage? Is it becoming part of a pattern?? You bet it is! This is coordinated and something is definitely up.

If you go to my blog you will find a link to a Chicago news source that claims this stance is not new for Cheney. But even they admit the timing of this announcement is auspicious.

I suspect that the socially moderate wing of the GOP is flexing some muscle about now. It will be interesting to see how far they get.

dualdiagnosis said...

I hate to have to correct false impressions of the right, and of Cheney in particular. The left likes to hold on to their "bogey men". Here is Cheney in August 2004 (right before the election)-

"...At a campaign rally in this Mississippi River town, Cheney spoke supportively about gay relationships, saying “freedom means freedom for everyone,” when asked about his stand on gay marriage. “Lynne and I have a gay daughter, so it’s an issue our family is very familiar with,” Cheney told an audience that included his daughter. “With the respect to the question of relationships, my general view is freedom means freedom for everyone. ... People ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to. Story continues below ↓advertisement | your ad here “The question that comes up with the issue of marriage is what kind of official sanction or approval is going to be granted by government? Historically, that’s been a relationship that has been handled by the states. The states have made that fundamental decision of what constitutes a marriage,” he said...."


If I'm not mistaken, Cheney's view on this issue is more "progressive" than the reactionary Obama.

James H said...

"Anonymous: The reason why Cheney has moved on this issue (he was not there before) is his daughter."


Let me say I would not be so sure of that. Contray to popular wisdom many of conservative have gay friends and keep them despite the new requirement by some we must give a global endorsement for their lifestyle

But Cheney is from Wyoming and Wyoming Republicans are a tad different. Just look at one of my favorite Senaotrs of all time that came from there. Alan Simpson

Anonymous said...

Dick's being entirely consistent, Professor. If his daughter married a woman, he would waterboard them until they agreed to recant.

It's a pity "freedom means freedom for everyone" didn't extend to the people Cheney had extrajudicially 'disappeared' into the official and unofficial system of punishment created for the war on terror. Remember, "you're either with us or against us in the fight against terror".

So I agree with you that the cognitive dissonance being displayed is pretty amazing. People who don't see a problem with the Bush administration's record on "terror" probably wouldn't see that though.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

KC -- don't mistake sarcasm for a concession. I think the irony of supporting one of the most pronounced deprivations of liberty (torture) and supporting liberty (right to marry) are inconsistent. But then again, I am kneejerk and unthoughtful....

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Anonymous: I know!

James H. and DD: Every public reference I have seen Cheney make with respect to gay rights includes a reference to his daughter. Most studies show that having a gay or lesbian child, friend, sibling, etc., leads to more progressive views on the issue.

By the way, there is a tension in his position "leave it up to the states" position. States that deny same-sex marriage by Cheney's own words would deny "freedom." But this is a "constitutional" issue -- which makes it a federal question. Education had always been a "state" issue, but segregation violated the Fourteenth Amendment. Conservatives cannot play it both ways - recognizing a "right" but then saying that it is off-limits for federal protection. What's the point of having constitutional liberty? I am not suggesting that rights should always be secured through the federal government or courts. But if the states provide no relief, then federal intervention is definitely acceptable.

DD: Thanks for the earlier quote!

Edit: I referred to Cheney's daughter as "Lynn" - but that is clearly his wife! Apologies.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Hey Stray: Thanks for the link!

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