Dick Cheney backs gay marriage.

From the “Whaaaaaaa??!!!?!!?!?!” category comes this tidbit: Dick Cheney has endorsed gay marriage (rather than just civil unions):

I think that freedom means freedom for everyone. 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. Any kind of arrangement they wish. The question of whether or not there ought to be a federal statute to protect this, I don’t support. I do believe that the historically the way marriage has been regulated is at the state level. It has always been a state issue and I think that is the way it ought to be handled, on a state-by-state basis. … But I don’t have any problem with that. People ought to get a shot at that.

I’ve noticed a pretty strong correlation between people who tell me that they’re opposed to gay rights and people who confess that they don’t know anybody who’s gay. There’s probably nothing like quite having a gay daughter to make a man support gay marriage.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

21 replies on “Dick Cheney backs gay marriage.”

  1. >>>There’s probably nothing like quite having a gay daughter to make a man support gay marriage.

    I wish Maine representative Sheryl Briggs had gotten that memo before she voted no on Maine’s gay marriage bill (despite the fact that her daughter is a lesbian, and she had never actually mentioned to her daughter before that that she disapproved of her so-called lifestyle “choice.”). Every family has its issues, but I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be HER daughter, and to have that all over the news. The daughter supposedly had a “choice” about whether or not to be gay, but the mother had NO choice except to vote no on the bill? Whatever.

  2. Then again, Dick Cheney’s still a father who was very happy to ride to power in a party that did it in no small part by throwing people like his daughter under the bus.

  3. Apparently, Waldo, you don’t make a distinction between opposition to “gay rights” (who’s opposed to rights, after all?) and the demand for special privileges. You know, like the special privilege to redefine marriage into something it’s NEVER meant. Of course, homosexuals have the same rights, even to marriage, that everyone else has. Any homosexual can marry any member of the opposite sex who will have them. Just like heterosexuals.

    And by the way, I’m opposed to what you apparently consider “gay rights,” and I know a number of homosexuals.

  4. Thus exemplifying that a pretty strong correlation does not equal a perfect correlation — the balance being represented by the “I have a lot of black friends” crowd.

  5. Apparently, Waldo, you don’t make a distinction between opposition to “civil rights” (who’s opposed to rights, after all?) and the demand for special privileges. You know, like the special privilege to redefine marriage into something it’s NEVER meant. Of course, interracial couples have the same rights, even to marriage, that everyone else has. Anyone can marry any member of their own race who will have them. Just like same-race couples.

  6. Ben took the words right out of my mouth.

    Also: Marrying the person you love is a “special privilege”? I didn’t realize that was a privilege I (as a heterosexual man) didn’t already have.

  7. “Any homosexual can marry any member of the opposite sex who will have them.”

    Right, but doesn’t the homosexual in question have to want the member of the opposite sex too? Not being married myself, I don’t know this for sure, but my impression is that there is some sort of mutual consent thing going on with marriage. Tax benefits aside, Sam can’t just go up to me, for instance (I’m using him because I know him and I know this will make him uncomfortable), and be like, “Well, I know you’re totally not attracted to me, but whatever, I’m totally attracted to you and I’m not a woman, so let’s get hitched.” That’s not how it works.

    Put another way, what is the point of a right to get married if you know from the get-go that anyone you have the right to get married to, you’d never want to marry?

    I’m curious what Mr. Young’s thoughts on straight, transgendered individual’s marriage rights are (as opposed to gay trans individuals, who I assume Mr. Young doesn’t think can marry because of the whole gay thing). There are plenty of trans men, for example, who have gotten surgery or hormone treatment, are gendered (and I use the term as distinct from “sex”) as men and have been since birth, and may be legally men (birth certificate change is usually how this is done), but have been blocked from marrying cis women by courts because, I don’t know, it’s gay or something, since the trans men were given the legal sex of female at birth.

  8. Sweet Jesus the conversations around the Cheney family kitchen table must be a cavalcade of bullshit. Dad preaching states rights like some modern day John C. Calhoun and baby girl stepping and fetching about the country side singing daddy’s innocence. Meanwhile momma wails about the sheer injustice of his guilt. I believe I’m going to have to hate these people.

  9. How about we leave “marriage” to churches and civil unions to government, with a “civil union” conferring the same legal and contractual rights that are under what we currently call “marriage”? Let me give you an example. I’m married, but I wasn’t married in a church–we went to the Justice of the Peace. As a result of being “married” by a judge, my spouse and I enjoy all the privileges and obligations that fall to those who are married. That was all we wanted–mostly, we wanted the insurance privileges (we were about to move to a new state where my spouse would have a job and I would not, and I wanted health insurance) and the other contractual/legal stuff. We couldn’t care less about having a church recognize our union–we just wanted the state and federal government to recognize it. Why don’t we call THAT (what I have now) a civil union and open it up to any two consenting adults (gay or straight) who want one, stop calling it a “marriage,” and let people who want a particular church to recognize and sanctify their union get married and get their civil union? That way the private, nongovernmental institution (the church) could set its own rules (although any churches that discriminated by saying, for example, in our church blacks can’t marry whites, would be cut off from any state/federal benefits of any kind), and the government can do what it is supposed to do, which is to set up structures that benefit all of its citizens. I’d be perfectly happy to call what I have with my spouse a civil union as long as it was identical to what my gay friends could have too.

  10. There can be no “civil unions” in Virginia. They are specifically prohibited under the recent Amendment to the Virginia Constitution. It assures discrimination.

  11. Cecil,
    Your idea simply wouldn’t work and not just because certain states prohibit civil unions, but because you would have to redefine an entire institution. There are tons of people out there who are “married” through the state, but not through a church who would simply oppose their relationship as being labeled a civil union, even if civil unions were treated exactly the same in a legal sense. Let’s put it this way, it’s like relationship segregation. You have your civil unions and your marriages, which could be seen the same under the law, but the act of separating the two automatically indicates one (civil unions) as being inferior to others. Under the 14th amendment, it wouldn’t pass. Then there are those who are married in churches who would oppose it because it would allow homosexuals to have the same legal rights as anyone else (just like they do now so you don’t win any of these people who are the majority anti-gay marriage advocates). There are only about two groups of people this might make happy. The first are those who are opposed to gay marriage simply because they are afraid that legalizing gay marriage will force all religions to allow gay people to get married in their churches, which cannot happen with the whole separation of church and state because it would essentially mean government would be interfering in religion. (This is the worry of many in the LDS (Mormon) church. They fear legalizing gay marriage will make it so the government will make them perform gay temple marriages, which is strictly forbidden by their doctrine). However this is not the case with most people. You may also make a lot of people who are currently pro-civil union happy, since they may see it as a stepping stone (very Booker T. Washington) towards true equal rights. But all in all, your idea will just create more problems than it solves.

  12. Also, Mr. Young, as is pointed out earlier, your comments are exactly the same as those used under Jim Crow laws to justify banning interracial marriages, except your are actually worse. Under the Jim Crow laws one could at least marry someone that said someone is sexually attracted to (one of the main components of any modern marriage), thereby assuring that there is a twisted (and immoral) equality to it, but a gay person is not allowed to marry someone they are sexual attracted to, unlike heterosexuals, thereby assuring inequality in their relationships. Let’s flip the coin here and say that in a bizzaro universe same sex marriages are illegal(procreation is performed through invitro fertilization) and you want to have the rights and privledges of marriage, but you are not attracted to the same sex. Please tell me how your marriage to a person you are not attracted to, who the thought of being sexual with is rather disgusting is at all equal to that of a marriage between two adults who are sexually attracted to each other. I guarantee you that in this bizarro world you would want a opposite sex marriage and would feel like a second class citizen.

  13. Now, as far as the other arguments you probably have.
    1. Homosexuality is a choice. This is only as true as saying hetreosexuality is a choice (for most individuals). The evidence is found in numerous studies with twins, especially those separated at birth. There is a very real genetic component in sexual preference.
    2. Homosexuals cannot produce children and therefore shouldn’t be allowed to marry ecause the purpose of marriage is procreation. Not only is this untrue (the original purpose of marriage is for economic and political reasons, even in the Bible), but by this logic all sterile heterosexuals shouldn’t be allowed to get married and birth control within marriage could be banned.
    3. It could hurt small businesses. Since only, maybe, 5 percent of the population is gay that doesn’t really add up to all that much, expecially since not all gay people will want marriages.
    4. Children in these families will grow up gay. If this were the case then straight people would have straight children. The percentage of gay people in the population will stay the same because of the genetic component.
    5. Gay people are horrid people, who actively try to infect people with AIDS and do massive amounts of drugs, while having sex. Contrary to what some “Family values advocacy groups” will tell you with their “studies” gay people are pretty much normal, meaning some are psycho, drug addicted sex fiends and some live in the suburbs and mow their lawn on Saturday morning, just like heterosexuals. The law of averages demands this.
    6. This will interfere with church rights. See above comment about separation of church and state.
    7. This somehow destroys the sanctity of marriage. Purely religious cerimonies aside (which should not be forced to allow gay marriages if it is against their doctrine), marriage is a legal institution. The key word being legal. There is nothing sacred about the legal part of marriage (the religious part is sacred and is therefore off limits by the government). All legal marriage is, is the offical recognition of a relationship by the government which entitles both parties rights during the relationship and in the event of the relationship’s end. That’s it.

    As far as any moral issues goes, that is up to you and religion, not the government. If you have a moral objection to gay-marriage that is fine. I personally have a moral objection to pre-marital sex (particularly to a religious marriage. I don’t understand why God would care about the government recognizing a relationship. My objection is mostly due to my belief that if you are going to have sex then you must realize that you can create a life and that life you create deserves to have parents who are committed to each other. Essentially, I’m oppossed to casual sex.), but I’m not going to try to make it illegal or make all marriages religious marriages. The wonderful thing about America is our supposed freedom of morality and thought. This means you can hate homosexuals if you want, or you can morally object to the whole thing but the government/law cannot discriminate against them.
    On a side note. I am a heterosexual. I have been married for 5 years and live in Utah. I am also LDS (Mormon) and have a moral objection to homosexuality that is very similar to my objection to pre-marital/casual sex. However, I can put my religious views aside and realize that we live in a country where a person should not be discriminated against because of beliefs, feelings or genetic dispostions.

  14. The correlation you mention is not only common sense, but poll-tested.


    Anecdotally, I have to say that it dramatically changed my views (which I already thought were fairly liberal, tolerant, etc) on gay rights to learn that one of my best friends had two gay family members, and later to meet them and find them charming, to be a guest in their houses, have dinner with them, etc. When someone is plainly good and decent and treats you with kindness, it’s pretty hard (and hard-hearted) not to factor that into all your abstractions about rights and morality and what not.

    p.s. what happens if a commenter types “Democrat” into the spam detector?

  15. Kevin said: “(This is the worry of many in the LDS (Mormon) church. They fear legalizing gay marriage will make it so the government will make them perform gay temple marriages, which is strictly forbidden by their doctrine).”

    Kevin, as an LDS member, is that really true? You say you know that would never happen due to the whole church-and-state thing, but are there really people in Utah who believe it could? Is that because the church leadership tells them that, as they did in California to scare African-American religious voters?

  16. Donald, that’s so true of so many things, isn’t it? people from other cultures, other religions, even from other political perspectives. we should do a lot more sitting down and having lunch with the Others in our lives, I think. for me, that would mean religious and social conservatives.

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