Current Affairs

« | Main | »


Cheney: Mary's Not Your Tool, She's Mine!

Mcheney3 Dick Cheney's flip-flopping reactions to the public acknowledgement of his lesbian daughter Mary shows that he is also willing to use her sexuality as a political tool, but in a more inconsistent and reprehensible manner.

First let's ask the ethical question of whether or not a politician or a member of a politician's family should be outed in the course of a campaign. It's a question that's rather moot in this case, because Mary Cheney is already out and has been publicly acknowledged as being a lesbian by her father in the past. However, I believe that when an elected official will have the power to affect millions of gay and lesbian citizens' civil and human rights, their sexuality and the sexuality of members of their family is fair game.

And I'll say again: Not that it matters here, of course, because Mary Cheney is already out of the closet. She has been out of the closet for years and even had a job at the Coors Brewing Company as a marketing liaison to the gay and lesbian community.

Following are the transcripts of the portions of the debates which are causing such a fuss:

John Edwards on Mary Cheney, October 5:

"Now, as to this question, let me say first that I think the vice president and his wife love their daughter.  I think they love her very much.  And you can‘t have anything but respect for the fact that they‘re willing to talk about the fact that they have a gay daughter, the fact that they embrace her.  It‘s a wonderful thing."

Dick Cheney's reaction:

"Well, Gwen, let me simply thank the senator for the kind words he said about my family and our daughter.  I appreciate that very much. "


John Kerry on Mary Cheney, October 13:

"We're all God's children, Bob, and I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she's being who she was. She's being who she was born as. I think if you talk to anybody, it's not a choice."

Dick Cheney's reaction:

"You saw a man who will do and say anything to get elected, and I am not just speaking as a father here, although I am a pretty angry father."

Today the Cheney camp (both Dick and Lynne) are accusing Kerry/Edwards of using their daughter's sexuality as a political pawn.

Guess what? Fair game. And Kerry/Edwards are at least being consistent in their references to her.

Cheney's negative reaction to Kerry's comments after his positive reaction to Edwards nearly a week earlier shows that Dick Cheney is willing to use his daughter in a far more deliberate way to incite hysteria and mislead voters away from the true issue here: that his running mate George W. Bush wants to write discrimination into the Constitution.

So don't let the Cheneys' attempts at mock-shock and disgust fool you. They're now using their daughter as deliberately as she's ever been used. I'm sure they love her. But I don't think the Cheneys will be joining PFLAG anytime soon.

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. Just before checking this blog, I saw Chaney's wife on the news expressing her "outrage" over Kerry "using" her daughter in the debate last night. I was totally appalled at her publicly bringing this up at all. Her daughter has been out as a lesbian for years, and Kerry's very kind comment towards her came after our president lied about his own compassion and tolerence for gay people. Obviously this is a desperate attempt from the Bush camp to create controversy over NOTHING and get people thinking about things other than the real issues in this compaign.

    Posted by: Patrick | Oct 14, 2004 7:11:01 PM

  2. Mary Cheney isn't just OUT, and she isn't just active in the campaign for her father and BUsh - she is a PROFESSIONAL LESBIAN - she uses her lesbianism as PART of her credentials!!! As you stated, working for COORS, and also when she co-founded the Republican Unity Coalition, a "GOP alliance of gays and gay-friendly heterosexuals" - (check out the website if you want a laugh - hasn't been updated in a long time).

    Posted by: bj | Oct 14, 2004 9:12:17 PM

  3. what little respect i had for the cheney's flew out the window today with their incredible reactions. and you hit the nail on the head. they are using her as a tool, just as they have been using all gays and lesbians as tools to win over their "base" so that they can win this election. i'm not sure they realize that this latest use of their "tool" may very well backfire on them. i cannot see what good this does them.

    Posted by: bmw | Oct 14, 2004 11:27:39 PM

  4. By my reckoning, the repuliCons deserve to lose several percentage points to the Kerry/Edwards team for yet another despicable republiCon attempt at dividing (not uniting) the electorate. This is at the expense of the Vice President's own flesh and blood. Family values, my (donkey) ass!!! The whole Cheney family is already publicly out of the closet as Parents/Family/Friends of a Lesbian and/or Gay. But don’t expect to find them at PFLAG. Shame on Mr. and Mrs. Cheney for reacting with shame to mention of their lesbian daughter. Shame on Mr. and Mrs. Cheney for putting politics and belief ahead of love and support for their daughter. Shame on Mary Cheney for supporting the republiCons, who despise her (and all other Gays and Lesbians).

    Posted by: Eric | Oct 15, 2004 3:05:12 AM

  5. 1. Mary Cheney is on the payroll of the Bush/Cheney reelection campaign.
    2. She turned her back on the Gay & Lesbian community by remaining silent on the constitutional ammendment issue.

    Posted by: DCDan | Oct 15, 2004 8:47:00 AM

  6. The Kerry campaign's response to the Cheney's mock outrage was perfect: We didn't say anything that Bush/Cheney haven't used themselves in the past.

    Although why anyone is really surprised about all this is beyond me. It's not like this is the first issue Bush/Cheney have blatantly manipulated or misrepresented during the campaign, or thoughout this Presidency, for that matter.

    Posted by: dantallion | Oct 15, 2004 10:29:47 AM

  7. I do not think this is a question of "outing" as much as it is a question of why they keep bringing Mary Cheney up.

    In Kerry's case, it would have been more appropriate to mention, say, Barney Frank, whom Kerry knows, and whose opinion on the question of gay choice Kerry more likely has discussed.

    The tone and repitition of Mary's name seems to be an attempt to supress turnout among christian conservatives by playing to their homophobia--and that is what the Cheneys, and others including myself, found offensive.

    Posted by: boifromtroy | Oct 15, 2004 11:50:39 AM

  8. What I find offensive is the repeated use of the Federal Marriage Ammendment as an attempt to increase voter turnout among Christian Conservatives by playing to their homophobia, BFT. Your side started this fight, remember?

    Posted by: bmw | Oct 15, 2004 1:23:02 PM

  9. Hurray, we now have a Roy Cohn for a new generation. Thanks so much BoiFromTroy... anyone who sympathizes with the Christian Conservatives over his own people is such a credit to the cause. The Cheney's abuse of their daughter for their own political advances is disgusting, Mary's refusal to have a backbone is pathetic, but your pandering to folks who hate and want to oppress us makes me sick and angry.

    Posted by: afg | Oct 15, 2004 2:41:30 PM

  10. Pandering?!? Kerry is the one pandering to the religious rights, trying to make them think BC are "soft" on the gays because of Mary.

    Posted by: boifromtroy | Oct 15, 2004 3:09:48 PM

  11. There's nothing inherently wrong with Kerry's remark. As an avid Kerry/Edwards supporter, however, I do think it's lame that he made it. It has nothing to do with the nature of the remark, because, again, there's nothing negative about it. But making it was someone careless - he should have known that the comment would subject him to scrutiny from the right, even if that scrutiny is twisted and misleading. At this stage in the game, Kerry needs to avoid poor judgement calls that could in any way be misconstrued as insensitive. This is not to say that he should cowtow on LGBT issues, but simply avoid character assaults 3 weeks before the election.

    Posted by: ajax | Oct 15, 2004 5:17:42 PM

  12. I fail to see how remarks made by Kerry or Edwards qualify as "offensive". Particulary in light of the fact that she is out, has a public role in the campaign and Kerry's remarks were in response to a direct question.

    What is offensive, is the political (not to mention shameful) reaction from the Cheney's. If they are really outraged and angry it is because thier conservative base has been remineded that gay children are a part of even the "best" families in this country.

    For me, what is truly interesting is Mary Cheney's lack of reaction. I imagine that if she felt any of these comments were offensive she would certainly make that point herself, however, for her parents to do -really smacks of either outright politics or some sense of shame about their daughter. Likely it's both.

    Win or lose, what does she do when this all over?

    Posted by: HoyaBoy | Oct 15, 2004 10:46:53 PM

  13. In the aftermath of all of this, I've heard many gay/non-gay conservatives taking this stance on the issue of Kerry speaking about Mary Cheney during the debates:

    "I think it is part of a strategy to suppress traditional-values voters, to knock 1 or 2 percent off in some rural areas by causing people to turn on the president."

    Wanna know who said this? GARY BAUER. I'm sorry, but this is the last person ANY gay person should be siding or agreeing with.

    Posted by: bmw | Oct 16, 2004 2:48:00 PM

Post a comment


« «« «
»»| »»