Mary-Liz Cheney: Dick Cheney's daughters fued of gay marriage.

The Cheney Family Fight Over Gay Marriage Played Out on Facebook on Sunday

The Cheney Family Fight Over Gay Marriage Played Out on Facebook on Sunday

The Slatest
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Nov. 18 2013 10:28 AM

The Cheney Family Fight Over Gay Marriage Played Out on Facebook on Sunday

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Elizabeth (L) and Mary Cheney, in happyer times, attend the 2004 Republican National Convention at Madison Square Garden

Photo by Jeff Haynes/AFP/Getty Images

Liz Cheney, the older daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney and a current GOP candidate in Wyoming, ruffled more than a few family feathers yesterday during an appearance on Fox News Sunday when she restated her opposition to same-sex marriage, a position at odds with that of the rest of her family.

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

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

"I love Mary very much, I love her family very much," Liz said about her younger sister, a lesbian who married her partner, Heather Poe, last year. "This is just an issue on which we disagree."

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That didn't sit too well with Mary and Heather, who were at home watching the show with their smartphones nearby. Heather was the first to take to Facebook, where she unleashed upon her wife's sister:

I was watching my sister-in-law on Fox News Sunday (yes Liz, in fifteen states and the District of Columbia you are my sister-in-law) and was very disappointed to hear her say "I do believe in the traditional definition of marriage."

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. 

To have her now say she doesn't support our right to marry is offensive to say the least

I can't help but wonder how Liz would feel if as she moved from state to state, she discovered that her family was protected in one but not the other. 

I always thought freedom meant freedom for EVERYONE.

To which Mary quickly piled on. "Couldn't have said it better myself," she wrote in a separate post. "Liz - this isn't just an issue on which we disagree - you're just wrong - and on the wrong side of history."

The New York Times did its best to flesh out the fight a little more on Sunday, but Liz declined to address the spat directly. "I love my sister and her family and have always tried to be compassionate towards them," she wrote in an e-mail. "I believe that is the Christian way to behave." Mary, meanwhile, was more willing to talk to the Times, saying that is now "impossible" for her and her sister to reconcile as long as Liz remains opposed to gay marriage.

Setting aside what that means for the Cheney family Thanksgiving dinner next week, the now-public spat will no doubt now move front and center on the campaign trail for the elder Cheney daughter. Mary's currently staging a somewhat unpopular primary challenge to Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi, a Republican who, depending on who you ask, either is or isn't an old hunting buddy of the former vice president. In her interview with the Times, Mary suggested the weekend fight over social media won't be the last time she brings up the matter publicly. Reminded that may cause headaches for her older sister, Mary channeled her father and offered a terse, one-word response: "O.K."

Much more on the Cheney family history and Liz's Senate aspirations over at the Times.