Dick Cheney Picks a Side In His Daughters' Gay-Marriage Fight

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 18 2013 3:12 PM

Dick Cheney Weighs In On Daughters' Gay-Marriage Fight

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Former US Vice President Dick Cheney (L) speaks with his daughter Liz during the 2011 Washington Ideas Forum at the Newseum in Washington, DC, October 6, 2011.

Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

With their two daughters publicly feuding over same-sex marriage, Dick Cheney and his wife weighed in on the spat this afternoon in a prepared statement that appears largely to back their elder daughter, Liz—aka the one who is running for Senate in Wyoming.

"This is an issue we have dealt with privately for many years, and we are pained to see it become public," Dick and Lynne Cheney said. "Since it has, one thing should be clear. Liz has always believed in the traditional definition of marriage. She has also always treated her sister and her sister's family with love and respect, exactly as she should have done. Compassion is called for, even when there is disagreement about such a fundamental matter and Liz's many kindnesses shouldn't be used to distort her position."

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For those of you who missed it over the weekend, a refresher: During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Liz Cheney restated her opposition to same-sex marriage, a position seemingly at odds with that of the rest of her family. "I love Mary very much, I love her family very much," Liz said about her younger sister, Mary, a lesbian who married her partner, Heather Poe, last year. "This is just an issue on which we disagree."

Mary and Heather both quickly took to Facebook to voice their displeasure with Liz's stance. "Liz has been a guest in our home, has spent time and shared holidays with our children, and when Mary and I got married in 2012—she didn't hesitate to tell us how happy she was for us," Poe wrote. "To have her now say she doesn't support our right to marry is offensive to say the least." That last comment appeared to suggest that Liz had flip-flopped her position now that she's waging a primary fight against GOP Sen. Mike Enzi.

For more on the intra-Cheney skirmish, Weigel and Outward have you covered.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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