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Dick Cheney: 'I Don't Have Any Problem with [Same-Sex Marriage]'


Former Vice President Dick Cheney was asked about same-sex marriage at the National Press Club today. In his answer, Cheney mentioned his lesbian daughter and said that he has no problem with same-sex marriage at the state level. My transcript below.

Said Cheney: "Freedom means freedom for everyone. Many of you know one of my daughters is gay - something we've 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 should be a federal statue that governs this, I don't support. I do believe that historically the way marriage has been regulated is at the state level. This has always been a state issue. And I think that's the way it ought to be handled today, on a state-by-state basis. Different states that make different decisions. I don't have any problem with that. I think people ought to get a shot at that, and they do at present."

On another note, is this the first time that Cheney has discussed his daughter's sexuality voluntarily? Historically he's been surly and offended when the subject has been brought up. You may remember a January 2007 interview in which Wolf Blitzer asked Cheney about his daughter's child, and Cheney replied, "frankly, you're out of line with that question."

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. "I cannot imagine that a Persident Obama in 1960 would have quietly tolerated discrimination against blacks...."

    No, but Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy did.

    It will take time, people. Most Americans still don't understand what we are--they have to be educated.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jun 1, 2009 3:50:56 PM

  2. it's a sad day when fucking Dick Cheney has more to say about us than Obama

    Posted by: sundog | Jun 1, 2009 3:53:53 PM

  3. "Something we've lived with for a long time in our family."

    He talks about being gay like it's some kind of cancer or disease.

    Posted by: loki7329 | Jun 1, 2009 3:57:10 PM

  4. Repeating myself only because some are obviously choosing not to read the comments which would neutralize the nonsense of claiming that Cheney's position is better than Obama's. Note, too, he was only responding to a question.

    Even ignoring the "something we've lived with for a long time in our family"...you know, like CANCER or A MASS MURDERER..... his position is, overall, exactly the same as Mr. Obama's, but implicitly inferior in another way.

    He, like Mr. Obama [and all his Dem primary competitors save Kucinich], says he believes STATES should be able to do whatever THEY want. That is, if they approve of marriage equality, fine. If they BAN marriage equality, that's also fine. "States rights" for them trumps all their pretty words about individual "freedom" to the contrary.

    The fuzzy part is what he means by,

    "The question of whether or not there should be a federal statue that governs this, I don't support."

    If he means he's opposed to a US Constitutional ban, hooray, but so is Obama [as was all his Dem primary competitors].

    If he means there should be no federal RECOGNITION of marriage equality of ANY kind such as giving gay couples federal benefits in any shape or form then he is BEHIND Mr. Obama [and all of his former Dem primary competitors].

    Posted by: Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | Jun 1, 2009 3:59:31 PM

  5. "The question of whether or not there should be a federal statue that governs this, I don't support."

    What about DOMA? I want to know his opinion on his position on that issue relative to this discussion as well. How do I get press credentials?!

    Posted by: Tony | Jun 1, 2009 4:07:15 PM

  6. Like it or not, Dick Cheney has been the most pro-gay Pres or VP in history. And that remains true.

    Posted by: DaveO | Jun 1, 2009 4:08:01 PM

  7. Do I see a Dick Cheney/Meghan McCain dream ticket in 2012?!?!

    (just kidding)

    Posted by: henry | Jun 1, 2009 4:11:01 PM

  8. I'm not super excited to have a war criminal express support for my civil rights, thanks. His support could have been helpful while he was in the white house, but of course he kept his mouth shut and pandered to the bigots while secretly supporting his daughter. That almost makes it worse. Okay maybe not almost.

    And y'all are right... it's reprehensible to have this crazy asshole utter a more enlightened view on marriage equality than Obama.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Jun 1, 2009 4:21:07 PM

  9. " it's reprehensible to have this crazy asshole utter a more enlightened view on marriage equality than Obama"

    It's inexplicable that you can't see that he's NOT.

    Posted by: Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | Jun 1, 2009 4:32:28 PM

  10. He never changes his mind on anything.

    Posted by: anon | Jun 1, 2009 4:43:47 PM

  11. Oh Michael, come on... the man's a sack of turds, but at least he's not uttering the tepid one man one woman thing that Obama keeps saying. He's not fully supportive to be sure, but I don't see how you can't think that his stated opinion is a little more toward our end of the continuous rating scale than is Mr. Obama. I hate to admit it too, but that's what he said.

    I'll keep fighting. You too. We're on the same side.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Jun 1, 2009 5:02:27 PM

  12. He and his family has "Lived with this" for years? How unfortunate that they've been put to such an unfortunate circumstance. Our community has lived with much more for much longer.

    What a putz.

    Posted by: mrmnyc | Jun 1, 2009 5:10:52 PM

  13. Wow, Cheney is more enlightened and more progressive than Obama on issues of lgbt. That's unbelievable!!! By the way, can we please have a time frame when Obama no longer gets a pass at ignoring us. Even Bill Clinton is starting to "evolve", the one who set us back 10 years.

    Posted by: Zeke | Jun 1, 2009 5:21:19 PM

  14. I think he meant to say, "I think people ought to get shot at."

    Kidding aside, his lesbian daughter is his favorite. He likes her better than his shrew of a wife. Even in 1990, as secretary of defense, he called the ban on gays in the military "an old chestnut," and his chief of staff in the House and later lead media contact for the first Iraq war was a major homo. Everyone knew it, especially when he was outed as a "tap dancing faggot."

    That said, I agree that if it weren't an issue so close to home, he'd be just as ass-backward on this issue as any other. Though I wouldn't necessarily read "we've lived with this" so harshly...it could be that, in his obtuse way, he's trying to say that they've known about and accepted Mary being a lesbian for years.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jun 1, 2009 5:48:52 PM

  15. Cheney is irrelevant. The only person whose opinion counts right now is Obama, and he is opposed to marriage equality.

    Posted by: Dan | Jun 1, 2009 5:51:38 PM

  16. Given his earlier view and comments when his daughter was brought up, I believe this is a political attack against Obama and his "obmutescence" (see an earlier post for that word--I love it). The GOP have been trying to get their hard-core people to lighten up on the gay-bashing (it's in the news) and this could be a double-whammy attack against Obama--showing a softer side to Cheney and attacking Obama's reticence/flip-flopping.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Jun 1, 2009 5:52:14 PM

  17. "He's not fully supportive to be sure, but I don't see how you can't think that his stated opinion is a little more toward our end of the continuous rating scale than is Mr. Obama."

    Michael just pointed out how he is NOT. Mr. Cheney does not support recognizing same-sex couples in *any* way at the federal level (whether they be civil unions or marriages), while PRESIDENT Obama does.

    Mr. Cheney does not hold any public office and is free to speak his ignorant comments freely, on the other hand President Obama has to toe the line, plus he hasn't been in office for even a year. He has four years to fulfill his promises.

    On top of that, why didn't Mr. Cheney try to push for marriage equality when he was in office for EIGHT years? He has no problem talking about his gay daughter (here and there) and making lukewarm statements in support of marriage rights, but when it comes down to it he's perfectly satisfied with the way things are.

    I'm no Obama apologist, but some commenters come across as very bitter and dense.

    Posted by: Leonard Jones | Jun 1, 2009 6:15:30 PM

  18. It is sickening to see people try and defend Dick Cheney as more gay supportive than Obama. Please, that is disturbed on so many levels.

    Dick Cheney and his daughter stood silent for eight years as gays were continually thrown under the bus. There is nothing about Cheney that I can tolerate and it is sickening to see anyone here trying to defend him.

    Posted by: DJ | Jun 1, 2009 6:16:12 PM

  19. Well, despite all the back and forth here, Cheney said something the California Supreme Court and President Obama rejected outright: Freedom means freedom for everyone. I don't care what life experience brought Cheney to adopt that point of view or how clumsily he speaks about his family, or even about other aspects of his political views; on this he is right, while the CA Supremes and Obama are wrong.

    Posted by: Tom K. | Jun 1, 2009 6:26:40 PM

  20. Hey DJ,
    I don't want reality to get in the way of your bile but... "Dick Cheney and his daughter stood silent for eight years" isn't true. Cheney's daughter, in particular, was quite vocal about her opposition to the Republican stance of gay rights - in particular the push to amend the US constitution. I think Cheney could have done more to actually change policy when he was in office... but it remains the case that Cheney and his daughter have said something **more** than Barack Oabama has been willing to say: That gay marriage is okay and should be allowed. Obama has repeatedly said that he believes marriage should be between a man and a woman only.

    Give Obama whatever benefit of the doubt you want. Site his other statements about federal domestic partners or his proclamations about GLBT pride month. It remains the case that Barack Obama is not as pro-gay as Dick Cheney when it comes to gay marriage. It may be too much for some of us to accept that notion, but it's simply true. And it's Obama we should criticize for this particular issue - not Dick Cheney.

    Posted by: Kipp | Jun 1, 2009 7:09:44 PM

  21. Let's see... I do recall him being part of an administration that tried to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. His opinion is completely worthless.

    I'm also sick of hearing that marriage should be a state issue. The right to marry shouldn't depend on which state you live in. EVERY citizen should have exactly the same rights.

    Posted by: David in Houston | Jun 1, 2009 7:53:56 PM

  22. I dont know Cheney's heart on this issue but I feel it is important to note that he is a politician. The sentiment and tides of the moment are a little different than 4 or 8 years ago. The Republican party fears it has lost a lot of supporters because of its stance on many issues including the rights of all people regardless of sex or sexual orientation to live their lives free and unhindered within the scope of the constitution. This public pseudo-support could be nothing more than an effort to once again gain back supporters who found the republicans more divisive than decisive.

    Posted by: Paul | Jun 1, 2009 7:56:14 PM

  23. Considering that Obama has stated his support for federal recognition of same-sex relationships (whether they are civil unions, DPs or marriage), I would rather live in his world than Cheney's. Cheney is saying that it is fine for a state to allow SSM but it is also fine for another state not to recognize it and for the federal govt. not to recognize it. Marriages have to be transportable over state lines and all the significant financial rewards for married couples are at the federal level.

    Posted by: Jeffrey | Jun 1, 2009 7:59:48 PM

  24. Kipp, you should see the movie "Outrage" about Cheney's daughter. As for Dick Cheney being more pro gay than Obama, even with a gay daughter, I say a big...NO.

    Posted by: DJ | Jun 1, 2009 8:01:03 PM

  25. Republicans are all the same: if it affects them, they understand, and if it doesn't, then FUCK YOU. It's why Dick Cheney is okay with gay marriage and Nancy Reagan is okay with stem cell research. If Dick Cheney's daughter were unlawfully detained at Gitmo, I'm sure he'd be singing a different tune.

    Hate on Democrats all you like. At least they're somewhat capable of putting themselves in another human being's shoes.

    Posted by: Adam | Jun 1, 2009 10:09:51 PM

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