Cheney Bucks the Party Line on Gay Marriage
The issue arose at a campaign town hall meeting in Davenport, Iowa, when a woman in the audience asked an unusually pointed question: "I need to know, what do you think about homosexual marriages?"
The vice president was candid in his response. "Lynne and I have a gay daughter, so it's an issue our family is very familiar with," Cheney said. "We have two daughters, and we have enormous pride in both of them."
The statement marked the first time Cheney has publicly addressed the fact that his daughter, Mary--who helps run his campaign--is gay, although she has been open about it.
"With respect to the question of relationships, my general view is that freedom means freedom for everyone," he added.
In February, President Bush proposed a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriages.
Since then, the vice president has been in a difficult position. In 2000, he had said the issue should be left up to the states. Reluctant to publicize his differences with Bush, when asked about the issue previously, he said, "I support the president."
But his latest remarks made plain that his view is different. "That's appropriately a matter for the states to decide. That's how it ought to best be handled," he said. "At this point, my own preference is as I've stated. But the president makes basic policy for the administration."
Needless to say, social conservatives are upset. But the Cheneys apparently put family values above political litmus tests.