Dick Cheney on Gay Marriage
E.J. Dionne parses Vice President Cheney’s recent dissent from Bush Administration policy on gay marriage and chalks it up to love for a lesbian daughter outweighing ideology.
Vice President Dick Cheney has a lesbian daughter who matters more to him than ideology. So last Tuesday, he said that people “ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to” and that states ought to make their own decisions on marriage laws.
Cheney made his pro-gay statement on the same day that the Republican Platform Committee contradicted him, endorsing President Bush’s call for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. “Attempts to redefine marriage in a single city or state could have serious consequences throughout the country,” the platform plank read, “and anything less than a constitutional amendment, passed by Congress and ratified by the states, is vulnerable to being overturned by activist judges.”
While it’s likely that Cheney’s desire to protect his daughter was a big factor in his position on the issue, ideology and compassion aren’t necessarily at odds here.
Even under the proposed amendment–which is purely rhetorical, given that it has absolutely zero chance of ratificiation–Mary Cheney or any other adult would “be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to.” This isn’t an anti-sodomy amendment but an anti-marriage amendment. The only thing the amendment would preclude is having activist judges impose the imprimatur of public recognition on these relationships. That’s hardly an onerous burden.