Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Women to be Admired: Mary Cheney

On the surface, there only seems reason to pity Mary Cheney. She is the lesbian daughter of parents who do not support gay marriage and will only say that the states should decide if gay marriage is legal. Her father is one of the most reviled men in US politics, possibly 2nd only to Karl Rove. Mary Cheney's life became instantly public and overly-scrutinized the second she became a campaign aide for her father's re-election as Vice President. People wondered who she really was and why was she so willing to stand by her father and his boss, when they were seemed to be against people like her.

This week, Cheney spoke up on NPR's Fresh Air in an interview with Terry Gross. Mary Cheney is on a book tour in support of her memoir, Now It's My Turn.

These are the points she made in her interview that made me understand and come to admire her:
  1. Yes, she's a lesbian. Her parents love her very much and she, them

  2. As far as she is concerned, she and her partner, Heather, are married and have been for 14 years now. They own property together and plan on spending the rest of their lives together.

  3. She does believe that a constitutional amendment for marriage would incorporate discrimination into law of the land and pointed out that other amendments have expanded the rights of others, not restricted them.

  4. The 2004 election was not a one-issue election, it was about more than gay marriage (although interviewer Terry Gross kept trying to bring the conversation back to the topic of "family values election.") and, in Cheney's mind, her dad and President Bush were the best candidates to protect the country.

  5. She did not appreciate the ham fisted efforts of John Kerry and John Edwards of trying to make her the poster child for gay rights in their campaign.

  6. But mostly, I admire Mary Cheney because:

  7. She is forthright and knows who she is and what is important to her (as well as who) and stands up for that. She disagrees with her famous Republican parents (as do all children), but she does it lovingly.

Agree with her about any number of things or not, she deserves respect for her willingness to stand up for her beliefs and loving her family with a devotion that more families could use.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice blog!

I listened to this interview and I agree with your comments. However, I would like to add that it seemed clear that Mary Cheney was toeing the party line in stating that the 2004 election was one in which "moral values" was NOT emphasized. I think we all know that is absolutely false, and it lends a disingenousness to many of her statements in the interview. The fact that her father and GWB benefitted from the support of the gay-hating religious right, and her implied denial of this support, makes her less credible. The biggest joke is that she said that GWB and her father are not beholden to any one group. I believe that poll numbers make it clear that the one group the White House is NOT beholden to is John Q. Public, average American citizen.

I believe that John Kerry's statement about Mary Cheney in the debate was totally inappropriate, but I also believe that there is a strong whiff of hypocrisy in the Bush-Cheney ticket, and Mary Cheney is first and foremost a politician's dutiful daughter.

6:15 AM  
Blogger Thursday Next said...

I can't disagree with your comments. Thanks for chiming in.

11:09 AM  
Blogger Karen M said...

Thursday: Until now, I hadn't been able to think of a worthy response to this post.

But, then, I remembered how in 2004 I became preoccupied with the notion of disaffected Republicans and how difficult it must have been for old-style Republicans to bear what the new-style were wreaking in their name.

I actually began wondering, first, what it must have been like during the run-up to the war, and everything else, for any Quaker Republicans. How would/could a person then reconcile being both a Republican and Quaker? ...and, even more, since then?

Anonymous: We hope you will continue to contribute to our discussion here.

12:03 PM  

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