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October 14, 2004

Why is the truth such a bad thing?

I guess I don’t understand why so many people are pissed off that Kerry stated that Mary Cheney is a lesbian during the debate last night.

Lynne Cheney even made a statement, “The only thing I could conclude is that this is not a good man. This is not a good man. And, of course, I'm speaking as a mom. And a pretty indignant one. This is not a good man. What a cheap and tawdry political trick."

Why is such a horrible thing to state a fact? Mary Cheney is a lesbian! She's already out publicly (being a PR person for Coors and working on her dad’s campaign). The debate question asked was about homosexuality and Kerry did a good job of pointing out the hypocrisy of the Republican Party and the Evangelical support base of the President. Much of the religious right crowd uses the logic that gay people as a whole are godless, nameless, and faceless sex fiends who don’t deserve their relationships to be formally recognized. When you put a name and a face on the person it becomes a lot harder to condemn them.

I suppose that since I don’t equate being gay with being a bad thing, I can’t understand why this is such a big deal. The only people who are upset about it seem to be those who see Kerry’s “outing” Mary Cheney as a lesbian as some sort of horrible accusation, when it is only the truth.

I’m pleased to see that Kerry supports partner rights, and hope to see this issue addressed further in the future.

Update: More reasons why this should not be a big issue!

Posted by Ensie at October 14, 2004 06:53 PM


So am I to understand that you would have no problem with someone using your name for political gain, broadcasting it into 26 million homes, labeling you as whatever, without your permission? And using it to attack your father, no less? No problem whatsoever?

Posted by: Richard at October 14, 2004 08:22 PM

Not if it was the truth. Just because her Dad doesn't like her homosexuality doesn't make it true. I don't think Mary Cheney is ashamed of being a lesbian, in fact, in her PR position with Coors, she used the fact that she is a lesbian to connect with the gay and lesbian community. By the way--although I'm not an active member of the GLBT community, I belive I've mentioned before that I dated women exclusively for almost 10 years before meeting Frinklin, and being outed as a lesbian when my very Christian and right-wing dad didn't (and still doesn't) agree is something I've dealt with.

Posted by: ensie at October 14, 2004 08:35 PM

So the fact that Mary Cheney is openly gay gives John Kerry the right to use her name to attack her father? That fact alone makes her an open political target?

If the shoe were on the other foot, and a Republican had made these comments, the GLB community would be up in arms. But other than the Log Cabin Republicans, I'm hearing the conspicuous sound of silence.

Also, I have seen no evidence that Dick Cheney doesn't accept his daughter's sexuality- quite the contrary- they seem to have a very good, loving relationship.

Posted by: Richard at October 14, 2004 09:13 PM

The wider issue here is how Dick Cheney’s mind works. He’s used that relationship himself to try a show a more human side. By introducing it, he makes further comment fair game. Cheney has explained that his personal experience allowed him to grow. However, others would point out that it’s pretty damning that without the insight of personal experience he would, by his own admission, have remained ultra-conservative on this issue. That is to say that, by his own admission, he is unable to empathise with the positions others find themselves in and form a balanced view.

Posted by: Stephen Newton at October 15, 2004 05:42 AM

Absolutely!! I don't get why the Republicans are so upset about this!!!

Posted by: sara at October 15, 2004 06:58 AM

Stephen, right on. I fully agree.

Richard, If a Republican had made this same comment, we would all wonder why. The Republican party has not exactly been a pillar of support for the gay community. They do their best to show gays in one light; as the leather-clad go-go dancers during gay pride. The very idea that stating a fact--that Cheney's daughter is gay--is viewed as an "attack" is just ludicrous.

Of course Dick Cheney "accepts" his daughter. He loves her. But I don't think for a second that he and Lynne wouldn't rather have her be straight. The fact that she has been absent from the stage during family gatherings, particularly during the RNC, speaks to this. It also smacks of using his lesbian daughter (or lack thereof) for his own political reasons.

Posted by: ensie at October 15, 2004 05:55 PM

Yeah, and John Kerry is a gay-rights activist. Face it- neither party truly respects the GLB community, it’s just that the Republican Party refuses to pretend that they do.

And for the last time- it wasn't the labeling of Mary Cheney as a lesbian that I take issue with. It was the fact that Kerry would use his opponent’s family as a tool in a cheap political attack that pisses me off.

Posted by: Richard at October 15, 2004 06:21 PM

I agree that the Democrats don't support gays as much as they should, but they are usually much more socially liberal than Republicans. I appreciate Kerry's views that gays and lesbians deserve at least partner rights (although I wish they would go further with gay marriage).

I still don't think Kerry did anything out of line. In my last comment, I brought up the issue that Cheney has excluded his daughter from family gatherings onstage (Lesbian daughter? What lesbian daughter?), but does bring up her name (or at least mentions her) when talking about gay issues. Eden at So Anyway... also pointed this out in your discussion there. Why is it that Cheney can invoke his daughter's name during discussions of homosexuality but Kerry can't?!?

Posted by: ensie at October 15, 2004 06:42 PM

Thanks for the link! I agree with your post as well. The positive here is the discussion of homosexuality as the hot topic of the day.

The conversation in your comments is a well-rounded one (same in my comments so far) and I'm enjoying reading them both.

Posted by: Eden at October 15, 2004 07:30 PM

It's just another successful ploy to keep the campaign focused on something other than issues. That's the only way that Bush can win.

Posted by: Matt at October 16, 2004 03:27 PM

Just the fact that it's viewed as an 'attack' is telling in itself. If it were truly something that were accepted by Cheney's family, and the rest of the Republican camp, then it would have been dismissed as quickly as it was mentioned. In fact there would have been no large outpouring of support, since it wouldn't have been seen as necessary.
Everyone, not just the Republican party needs to drop it. As long as she's happy, then it's all good, then, isn't it?

Posted by: mai at October 18, 2004 12:40 PM

I am so tired of hearing these Republicans flip out over a comments about Mary Cheney's sexual identity. Mary Cheney is a lesbian. Mary Cheney told the world she is a lesbian. Kerry mentioned that Mary Cheney is a lesbian. SO WHAT?!

One reader said this:

"So am I to understand that you would have no problem with someone using your name for political gain, broadcasting it into 26 million homes, labeling you as whatever, without your permission? And using it to attack your father, no less? No problem whatsoever?

I'm glad you brought that up. Let me rip apart the hypocrisy in that statement alone, I won't bother anybody else's hypocritical statements for now.

The Republicans, led by Bush, launched a strike on homosexuals in America because they hoped it would help them win at the polls. Bush and his administration began a very vigorous anti-gay ban attempt that would refuse homosexuals the right to ever marry because they hoped it would make them look good to Conservatives and (Democrats who were aginst gay marriage) everywhere. They thought this would boost their numbers at the polls. Bush and his administration were willing to write discrimination into the Constitution (read that again, please) because they thought it would help them win at the polls. So do I give a rat's ass that Kerry mentioned Mary Cheney was a lesbian -- even if he did do it to attack her Dad? Hell no! The Republican party spent months and months (and tax payer money) distracting the country with their pathetic gay ban -- using every homosexual in America as a political ploy. Who gives a damn about one lousy, lesbian, loser who has helped these rat bastards in the process? I don't.

Posted by: Genia at October 20, 2004 07:05 AM

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