Mary Cheney grows a pair on gay marriage – or not

Mary Cheney has now decided she’s shocked and offended that her sister Liz has the same anti-gay positions, on gay marriage in particular, as the Bush Administration, which Mary herself spent years campaigning for.


As far back as 2000, Mary happily allowed herself to be used as a prop for the wildly deceptive “compassionate conservative” branding effort the Bush ticket was promoting, then sat silently by as political appointees like Scott Bloch busily worked to take away the protections of federal employees who were LGBT, and Monica Goodling reportedly attempted to purge the administration of gay employees. People less connected than Mary needed our help.

Where was Mary Cheney?



Although the first three years of Bush’s term were hard on gay people, I would argue that the lowest point for us in recent history was in 2004.

Bush, Rove and the Republicans had long used us as a wedge issue, but in their efforts to defeat rival John Kerry they kicked it up a notch by pushing the Federal Marriage Amendment, an amendment to the United States Constitution forever enshrining anti-gay bigotry in the nation’s founding document, something that would also have banned civil unions and domestic partnerships, and quite likely led to the vitiation of all gay rights laws nationwide.

Mary Cheney, working as her father’s director of vice presidential operations in perhaps the ugliest campaign in a generation, again remained silent. You might recall that John Aravosis launched a Web site and campaign in 2004, called, imploring Mary to speak up and help her own community – to no avail. The administration continued to push constitutional amendments to ban same sex marriage on state ballots across the nation.

After those elections and brutal anti-gay propaganda wars, after we were successfully maligned, marginalized and vilified in order to keep Republicans in power, the United Church of Christ decided to run a commercial telling queer people that we were welcome at their church. Yes, the climate was so hostile that a church felt the need to do that. No major network would agree to run the commercial out of fear of offending the Bush Administration.

To this day that infuriates me, and to this day I believe heads should roll for that decision.


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It’s during times of hardship that you know who your friends are, and at the end of 2004 not even the network that brought us Will & Grace was standing with our people. We were on the cold side of the wedge.

I take the cynical view that all parties in the Cheney family are following a script which allows them to have their cake and eat it too. Mary’s helping out Liz by feigning outrage, which draws attention to Liz’s anti-gay bona fides. Mary gets to pull a Ken Mehlman, attempting to salvage her legacy while making amends with those she’s betrayed, after profiting handsomely from her long career as a Republican quisling.

Five minutes ago, Mary Cheney was showering anti-gay marriage Mitt Romney and other anti-gay GOP candidates with campaign cash, and didn’t bat an eye at their anti-marriage positions. This moral outrage, lecturing her sister about being on the wrong side of history, is hard for me to swallow.

Backbones don’t suddenly develop at 45, when they were non-existent at 44.

Chris Andoe is an author and seasoned activist. After meeting John Aravosis at a Chicago “” protest in 2000, Chris was inspired to organize his own major demonstrations in St. Louis, which drew national attention. Since then, his activism has revolved around LGBT, affordable housing, and mass transit issues. In 2011 Andoe made headlines taking on the amorphous hacker group Anonymous for publishing nude photos of a Bay Area Rapid Transit spokesperson, saying “Puritanical shame-based tactics have no place in the capital of sexual liberation”, and he extensively covered San Francisco's jarring gentrification, from mass evictions to the nudity ban. Andoe was on the ground in Ferguson at the height of the unrest, recording events as they unfolded. Always in the fray, Andoe’s been interviewed by NPR, CBS, and has been quoted from CNN to The St. Louis Post Dispatch.

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65 Responses to “Mary Cheney grows a pair on gay marriage – or not”

  1. karmanot says:

    I like it.

  2. karmanot says:

    Log Cabin speaks

  3. At this point you have to ask yourself. Is Dick Cheney some koynd of extra-terrestrial?

  4. Tor says:

    has the price gone up?

  5. Kelly says:

    I couldn’t agree more and have said so everywhere I can online and in person. People are outraged by Liz but the outrage should be reserved for Mary. Disgusting.

  6. Whitewitch says:

    Well said Maria…and the Gremlin is a quaint memory.

  7. KipC says:

    That whole family makes me want to vomit.

  8. maria says:

    They vote against their best interests because the Republican Party moves wedge issues upfront… wedge issues like “gays.” Who cares about your economic wellbeing and your ability to get ahead at work, so long as you can stop those gay people from marrying. Hopefully those voters will one day see behind the smoke screen and the current GOP will become a quaint but troubling memory like the AMC Gremlin.

  9. davidinchelseama says:

    It’s one thing to not lift a finger to help your own community. It’s another thing entirely to ACTIVELY HURT YOUR COMMUNITY by working for people with clear anti-gay agendas for your own profit.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Soon they will be telling the US it’s okay to be gay as long as you’re in the closet. Reminds me of another right wing country.

  11. Reasor says:

    And just think of all the alimony they’ll save if a marriage isn’t recognized by the state they live in!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Yep. I think Mary’s motivation was money – just like all the other Cheney rats. They will put it before anything.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The only explanation is that they grew up in the Republican cult, and like Mary, internalized the self-loathing. That’s how the mentality survives.

  14. olandp says:

    That would be my point. Maybe they could just give him a new heart every 10 years and keep him in prison forever,

  15. olandp says:

    I can,

  16. Monoceros Forth says:

    Virulent hypocrisy is better than virulent activism, eh? Maybe even better than benign activism in your books since you’re clearly using “activist” as a slur.

  17. Thom Allen says:

    If it had been mine, I’d narrow my arteries and make him my bitch. Every time he opened his mouth, I’d drop him to his knees in pain.

  18. Whitewitch says:

    If that had been my heart I would be pissed and haunting the hell of him.

  19. Thom Allen says:

    Dick’s donor heart may be the only human thing about him.

  20. Thom Allen says:

    Mary, and Liz are not heroes, just cheap but enterprising two dollar hos.

  21. Thom Allen says:

    Agree. Except for the large amount of entitlement and sociopathic behavior seen in Cheney and his spawn. That precludes an apology and more.

  22. Thom Allen says:

    I think “Quisling” is the appropriate choice for her, as Chris pointed out. Being out and not supporting LGBT rights is shameful, but is something that she might chose to do. Taking money for actively working AGAINST the LGBTQ community, no, that’s betrayal. Quisling, Judas goat, blatant sell out.

  23. Nick says:

    I for one can not fault Mary Cheney for how she conducts herself or has conducted herself on the subject of LGBT civil rights. There is absolutely no obligation for any Gay man or Lesbian to be the virulent activist or live up to anyone else’s expectations. I applaud her for taking a stance, something she did not have to do, but chose to do. That is more than sufficient as far as I’m concerned.

  24. cole3244 says:

    just my opinion but when she was more visible she seemed unusually nasty to me, could run in the family, chicken hawks all.

  25. Whitewitch says:

    You are right TampaZeke…sadly, although I love spell checker very very much, it does not always help with words where there are similar spelling that will throw off the spelling impaired (that would be me – totally and completely inpaired). Thanks again!

  26. TampaZeke says:

    I think you meant “empathize”.

  27. TampaZeke says:

    Clause 23? Wasn’t it Clause 28?

  28. Whitewitch says:

    I will stand corrected as I don’t know or observe her – I tried to stay away from dark hearted people…sadly it is not always possible.

  29. cole3244 says:

    no actually from observing her i get the feeling she’s the biggest dick in that family, but that’s just my opinion.

  30. karmanot says:

    Agreed, except no Cheney has a ‘natural’ life. :-)

  31. Whitewitch says:

    You mean after Dick of course.

  32. olandp says:

    “Sullivan gave so many blowjobs to the Bush/Cheney administration, I’m surprised they didn’t leave money and cab fare on the nightstand next to his bed.”

    They did, and he is still living off it today, along with his new tricks from the left.

  33. olandp says:

    And they are considered liberal as compared to the Quislings at the former GOProud (now run by straights).

  34. olandp says:

    Oh please, she was out, she was in, she was out, she was in, she was out…

    More than enough to make this dizzy queen’s head spin. The woman is not on our side, like all Cheneys, even her sister Liz, she is on the Cheney side and to hell with everyone else.

  35. olandp says:

    “Liz Cheney has absolutely no chance of winning the Colorado Republican Senatorial Primary anyway, so this will all fade from view soon.”

    I wish prayers really did work, this is something to pray for. We can only hope.

  36. olandp says:

    I have a hard time believing that the spawn of Satan would really argue with each other at all, much less in public. Who is to say if Liz really believes what she is saying, or just saying it to get elected. America would be better off if no Cheney were to ever hold public office again. Torturer Daddy Dick should be tried as the war criminal that he is and spend the rest of his natural life behind bars. I wouldn’t mind if you locked all of them up together, then they could eat each other instead of feasting off the rest of us. Heather Poe had better not go hunting with her father-in-law, she might not be as lucky as the last ‘friend’ that he shot in the face.

  37. cole3244 says:

    lynne is the real dark heart in that family imo.

  38. Monoceros Forth says:

    I suspect that a lot of GLBT right-wingers actually like the idea of same-sex relationships being forbidden. Let me try to illustrate my point by example: a rich, old, GOP queen living in La Jolla with his boy toy knows that his wealth and privilege will largely protect him from the consequences of being “outed” whereas his boyfriend probably isn’t going to be so lucky. If the relationship goes sour it’ll be the boyfriend who catches most of the hell. That’s a threat the rich queen can always use, so long as GLBT relationships are legally and socially verboten.

  39. BeccaM says:

    Mary Cheney is still a member of the Republican party. Therefore she must not object very much to the ‘Federal Marriage Amendment’ plank, which since 2004 has been a constant component of the official GOP party platform.

    Mary Cheney was an ardent supporter of her father’s vice presidency, the Shrub presidency, the McCain/Palin candidacy, and the Romney/Ryan candidacy — all of which staked out as their firm positions that gay and lesbian couples throughout America should forever be denied the right to marry.

    She effin OWNS the position.

    But as Naja Pallida notes below, Mary is no different than the thousands of LGBT Republicans who have deluded themselves into thinking that either gay rights just don’t matter or that the GOP wouldn’t actually follow through on the FMA if given the chance.

  40. heimaey says:

    Ain’t nobody got time for that.

  41. heimaey says:

    People can change their ways, but she should acknowledge and apologize for her past behavior for me to feel any empathy for her.

  42. karmanot says:

    Blood money in their veins

  43. Ninong says:

    You could include the Log Cabin Republicans in that group. Except for that one little issue of their own equality, they love everything else about the Republican party.

  44. karmanot says:

    And take them out of Wyoming! That family are interlopers and fool no one.

  45. karmanot says:

    “Or not.” Mary Cheney is a collaborating, right-wing apparatchik. Boo Hoo Waa Waa

  46. Randy Riddle says:

    I’m not quite sure why I should care about a public fight between two narcissistic sisters in a dysfunctional, hateful family. If they were standing in front of me, I’d tell them to take their public little tantrums out of the food court at the mall and get a frickin’ room.

  47. Ninong says:

    The only thing remotely new about this is that we now know that Liz Cheney claims that she doesn’t have the same views on gay marriage as her father and her sister. Since he left the vice presidency, Dick Cheney has publicly said that he believes gay marriage should be decided by the individual states and that he does not support the idea of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, something George W. Bush publicly supported.

    Liz Cheney is trying to clarify her previous statements against a constitutional ban on gay marriage by now saying that she has never supported gay marriage and has always believed that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Her parents are now saying that they are not pleased Mary and her wife, Heather Po, have made a public issue of an internal family matter. Mary Cheney posted to Facebook only after her wife had already posted about her displeasure with Liz’s public campaign statements. I don’t think Mary’s position on this is new. Her father’s lukewarm support of the idea that it would be okay with him if some states wanted to legalize gay marriage came only after he left the Bush administration.

    Liz Cheney has absolutely no change of winning the Colorado Republican Senatorial Primary anyway, so this will all fade from view soon.

  48. FLL says:

    Mary Cheney’s anger, under those circumstances, is understandable and petty, and has absolutely nothing to do with progress for civil rights.

  49. Monoceros Forth says:

    Five minutes ago, Mary Cheney was showering anti-gay marriage Mitt Romney and other anti-gay GOP candidates with campaign cash, and didn’t bat an eye at their anti-marriage positions.

    Oh, I’m sure that’d exactly what Mary Cheney has in mind. She’s not experiencing a moral awakening; she’s just pissed off that after being a loyal Republican servant for all these years she figured she’d earned a “pass”, only for her sister on the campaign trail to use her name explicitly (but ever so delicately) as an enemy of “traditional values”. Mary Cheney’s anger is understandable but it is not heroic.

  50. MyrddinWilt says:

    When I was at university in the UK the Clause 23 issue was live. Basically a bunch of back bench MPs decided to make gay bashing an issue and the rest of the party decided to join in.

    Our university Tory group joined in their party campaign vociferously by day while jumping into each other’s beds by night. The only member of their inner circle who didn’t spend their time attacking gays was the only woman.

    The people who rise above casual bigotry to being really nasty are almost always the people who are trying desperately hard to join a group that would otherwise reject them. The Lindsey Graham and Ken Mehlman types.

  51. FLL says:

    You’re quite right to say that 2004 was the darkest of days. Gay and lesbian Americans were demonized in an election year effort to keep Republicans in power. I don’t think we will ever return to those days for two reasons. First, public opinion has shifted dramatically and, I think, permanently. Within that context, Mary Cheney is doing nothing more than riding on the coattails of popular opinion, which is hardly sincere. Second, the five-person majority on the U.S. Supreme Court that delivered the DOMA victory was snatched away from the Republicans in the following manner:

    (1) Robert Bork’s nomination in 1987 went down in flames because of a filibuster by Democratic senators. In defeat, Reagan gave in and nominated what he thought was a moderate, Anthony Kennedy. But, to the surprise of Republicans, Kennedy turned out to champion civil rights starting in 1996 (Romer v. Evans).

    (2) The remaining four votes in favor of civil rights were appointed by Bill Clinton (Breyer and Ginsburg) and Obama (Kagan and Sotomayor).

    People who resent the expansion of civil rights are bitter about the five Supreme Court votes that they lost. They are bitter about it to this very day.

  52. nicho says:


  53. nicho says:

    There isn’t one member of the Cheney family I would trust. They are all out only for themselves. If they do something that seems to benefit someone else, it’s purely an accident. Nothing more!

  54. bbock says:

    I agree. This is Cheney Political Theater. It’s their take on Clintonian triangulation. The family wants to appear to be supportive of gay rights, but not so in favor of them that Lizard Cheney can’t get elected. (She can’t get elected anyway, unless Darth takes her opponent hunting.)

    I think the fact that Daddy Darth was in favor and against the Constitutional amendment against gays because he had an election he needed to win, and Mary Quite Contrary devoured campaign money to help them push that effort says a lot about the family, and none of it good.

  55. Tor says:

    I think one is correct to be cynical about the actions of the entire Cheney family. Mary is no hero.

  56. Ninong says:

    At least Mary Cheney wasn’t as bad a former RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman, who didn’t come out until 2010, when he was 44. Mehlman was in charge of George W. Bush’s dirty tricks campaign as his inside the White House political advisor. He pushed the idea of putting state anti-gay marriage constitutional amendments on the ballots, especially in states the GOP was desperate to win. He was responsible for devising the plan to use gay marriage as a wedge issue in campaigns. He was also responsible for directing the phone-jamming scandal in New Hampshire.

    Ken Mehlman was not only closeted, he worked very, very hard to deny gays equal rights. Mary Cheney was not nearly as despicable as Ken Mehlman. He was by far the most despicable closeted gay Republican of the lot and he was so obviously gay. His denials were ridiculous! Now all of a sudden he’s a “champion” of gay rights. Yea! A little late, Ken!

    Mary Cheney “inherited” her political party affiliation just as surely as 95% of us “inherit” our religion. In both situations it’s sometimes difficult to break ties because of family reactions.

  57. dcinsider says:

    Baby steps.

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  59. cole3244 says:

    go back to your cabin mary and get your act together.

  60. Whitewitch says:

    Not to mention all those Republicans that are immigrants, poor, on Social Security, people of color and WOMEN. What causes people to vote against their own best interest or the best interest of the fellow Americans. I will never understand…it must be like a gene problem or misfiring brain cells.

  61. Whitewitch says:

    It is very hard to emphasize with Ms. Mary Cheney – consider though how much self-loathing she must harbor after years of living with the darkest heart of all – her father. I can not imagine that anyone could come out of that family unscathed…that said – it is we who stand up to evil that truly prevail.

    Stand up Mary – you will feel much much better.

  62. Naja pallida says:

    It’s easy to pick on Mary Cheney for her obvious slimy hypocrisy, but she really represents a majority within the Republican party. That majority of people who have worked tirelessly against their own self interests and helped to radicalize the party into the crazy that it represents today. Only to be attacked and marginalized by their own side. Think Michael Steele, Nichole Wallace, Steve Schmidt, Olympia Snow, Charlie Crist, Arlen Specter… the list goes on. Not one of them are defensible. When they had positions that allowed them to make a difference in the direction of the party, they consciously chose to perpetuate the rot at the core of the party. If you want to see what I mean in action right now, look at the pretzels every single Republican is twisting themselves into on immigration, even though they know it hurting them immensely. Look at how few Republicans are speaking out about voter intimidation and suppression in a dozen states.

  63. dommyluc says:

    She’s such an insidious little weasel, crying about her rights not being respected by her family when she sold gay people down the river in order to get her baby-eating father re-elected. She reminds me of Andrew Sullivan, another “capo” to the gay cause. Sullivan gave so many blowjobs to the Bush/Cheney administration, I’m surprised they didn’t leave money and cab fare on the nightstand next to his bed. I saw him on Anderson Cooper’s (who, BTW, is getting increasingly insufferable. Hey, Cooper, how about saving some of that righteous indignation you show concerning Alec Baldwin for the Catholic bishops that are the TRUE enemies of gay people in this country and around the world?) show the other day, complaining about Alec Baldwin’s recent utterance of gay slurs. Well, like Dan Savage, I would rather have Alec Baldwin – who is pro-gay – on my side than these phony fucking Quislings like Mary Cheney and Andrew Sullivan. But Mary Cheney deserves a special place in Hell for her actions. And her partner doesn’t get any sympathy from me, either. How could she stand by while Mary pulled her shit? She is no better than her partner, or Daddy’s Little Draft Deferment Liz or The Big Shriveled Dick himself. Oh, poor Mary! Your Thanksgiving’s been ruined? Fuck You!

  64. douglas01 says:

    The entire Cheney family is a new breed of vampire. They feed on power not blood.

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