Elizabeth Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is currently running for senator in Wyoming. She and her sister, Mary, have clashed in their views on same-sex marriage. Mary is a lesbian who is married to a woman, Heather Poe, and they have two children; they married in 2012.
On Fox News Sunday, Elizabeth Cheney told host Chris Wallace that she although she believes in equal benefits in same-sex partnerships, she also believes in the traditional definition of marriage, and ultimately any ruling about gay marriage should be left up to the states themselves. This comment is what caused her sister Mary to become upset.
Mary Cheney then went on Facebook to lambast Elizabeth. Mary wrote in her post, “Liz – this isn’t just an issue on which we disagree – you’re just wrong – and on the wrong side of history.” Mary’s wife, Heather, also had something to say:
“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.”
The family rift started to become public in August, when Elizabeth Cheney said she was “pro life” and “not pro gay marriage.”
Elizabeth and Mary Cheney are familiar with family discord. Their father caused a kerfuffle during his Vice Presidential stint when he distanced himself from President Bush, and expressed support for state-sanctioned gay marriage in 2009. Elizabeth’s position also conflicts with her father’s stance on gay marriage.
Although Elizabeth Cheney is campaigning for the senator’s seat in the conservative state of Wyoming, her views are seen as overly conservative in regards to same-sex marriage. She is running against Sen. Mike Enzi and thus far, he has a 52-point lead.
Elizabeth Cheney has also been accused of being a carpetbagger. Is there truth in this? She is not a native of Wyoming, and graduated from high school in Virginia. Apparently, she bought a home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in 2012, a year before she announced her plan to oust Enzi from his senatorial seat.
On the other hand, Dick Cheney represented Wyoming during his stint in the White House so Elizabeth Cheney reportedly said she is familiar with Wyoming, especially considering her family history there reaches back to 1852.
Regardless, the carpetbagger accusation shouldn’t hurt Elizabeth Cheney too much. There have been politicians before who could’ve been accused of the same thing: Hillary Clinton and Robert F. Kennedy.
What remains to be seen is whether the state of Wyoming itself will warm to Elizabeth Cheney if she unseats Enzi. The state is loyal to its culture and people. And the discord with Mary will not make matters easier for Elizabeth. With Mary and Dick on one side and Elizabeth on the other, how will this look to the Wyoming voters?
By Juana Poareo