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Where Cheney Is to Obama's Left:

From today's Washington Post:

Cheney, whose youngest daughter has a longtime lesbian partner, said at the National Press Club that "people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish, any kind of arrangement they wish."

He added, however, that he does not support a federal role in the matter. "Historically, the way marriage has been regulated is at the state level," Cheney said. "It has always been a state issue, and I think that is the way it ought to be handled, on a state-by-state basis."

Cheney has long departed from conservative orthodoxy on the issue of same-sex marriage. He said during the 2000 presidential campaign that the matter should be left to the states, and he caused a small uproar during the 2004 race by appearing to distance himself from a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, a measure that was strongly supported by his boss, President George W. Bush.

Cheney's position appears also to put him to the left of the current president on the issue. President Obama has said he supports civil unions, rather than marriage, for gay men and lesbians.

Anderson (mail):
Only if the Emperor commands Darth Cheney to strike down his lesbian Jedi daughter will the Force be brought into balance.
6.2.2009 8:43am
FantasiaWHT:
I hardly see that position as to the left of Obama's. It's hard to compare the two, as one is a substantive stance (on what gay unions should be acceptable) while the other is a procedural stance (on who should decide what gay unions should be acceptable).
6.2.2009 8:43am
Joe T. Guest:
Twisting... turning... trying somehow to keep from praising Cheney and simultaneously dis'ing Obama...
6.2.2009 8:55am
Anderson (mail):
On the issue of gay marriage, Cheney's substantive stance is preferable to Obama's.

How's that, Joe Tee?
6.2.2009 8:57am
rosetta's stones:
I think the Left has looked to get to the right of Cheney on this, for a few years now.

In the 2004 election, the Kerry campaign decided to "out" Cheney and Cheney's daughter, presumably to sway the election. Very calculated, and it was obvious this campaign strategy had been discussed internally, processed and turned into firm action in the debates, as it was specifically voiced by both candidates on the ticket at the debates.

Edwards was fairly smooth about it, as you'd expect a slick trial lawyer to be, but it was still noticeable as an affectation, even as Cheney offered him relief with a gracious response. But Kerry was very tense, and I remember him straining, the eyes squinting up, as he did the deed and did the exposing to the world, about Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter... in the middle of a debate with another candidate, Bush.
6.2.2009 9:00am
Anderson (mail):
In the 2004 election, the Kerry campaign decided to "out" Cheney and Cheney's daughter

False. Mary Cheney was publicly known to be a lesbian before the Kerry campaign mentioned the fact.

In 2000, the Bush-Cheney Presidential campaign freely discussed Elizabeth Cheney's marriage and children, but treated Mary Cheney's private life as off-limits. Nevertheless, Cheney's sexual orientation was publicly known, and some considered her presence during the campaign as bolstering, providing the Republican ticket with a "compassionate conservative" image.
6.2.2009 9:02am
rosetta's stones:
Well of course, Anderson, she was out to you and me, but she wasn't to 90%+ of the people in this country, and that's why a presidential candidate has to show up at a debate, in front of those microphones, and yelp that outing.
6.2.2009 9:06am
rosetta's stones:
...correction, a presidential candidate and his running mate, have to yelp that outing.

You know, to make sure to drive it home to that 90%.
6.2.2009 9:08am
Houston Lawyer:
"people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish, any kind of arrangement they wish."

That is a rather broad statement which would sanction polyamory and incest. Cheney's daughter is free to associate with whomever she wishes and has apparently exercised that right. The question is whether the state has any interest in regulating the terms of that relationship or is obligated in any way to recognize its existence. We all have a broad array of relationships with other people that the state takes no interest in whatsoever.
6.2.2009 9:12am
Anderson (mail):
Well of course, Anderson, she was out to you and me, but she wasn't to 90%+ of the people in this country

I suppose you have some kind of poll to cite? Mary Cheney's been out since 1992 or thereabouts, in an openly-known (as opposed to "open," which I first typed!) relationship with one Heather Poe, a park ranger I believe.

I thought it was dubious of John Edwards to bring that up in the debates -- and god knows, it looks even more dubious now -- but whatever the irrelevance of Cheney's daughter to national policy, she was not "outed."

90% of the American people may not be able to name every member of the Supreme Court, but that does not make the Court's membership some kind of secret.
6.2.2009 9:14am
Jim at FSU (mail):
As usual, I suspect Obama is lying for the sake of political expediency.
6.2.2009 9:16am
rosetta's stones:

90% of the American people may not be able to name every member of the Supreme Court, but that does not make the Court's membership some kind of secret.


Excellent analogy, Anderson. You lawyers parse the SC, but the rest of us certainly don't. That court will go anonymous and nearly faceless to us, unless some politician has need to de-anonymize it for whatever reason, and rest assured that will occur, by both candidates in a debate if necessary, much like the lesbian daughter issue in 2004.
6.2.2009 9:31am
cmr:
I really wish more people knew that Cheney and Bush disagreed with the FMA.
6.2.2009 9:39am
Derrick (mail):
I really wish more people knew that Cheney and Bush disagreed with the FMA.


Except the fact that Bush actually supported it, of course, which makes this wishful thinking.
6.2.2009 9:45am
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):
My recollection is a little like Rosetta's [!]. John Edwards had the opportunity to allude to Cheney's gay daughter in context and did it well. Kerry didn't get a good setup line and strained to mention her anyway. I didn't like that and I am sure it boomeranged.
6.2.2009 9:59am
DiverDan (mail):
Yet another example where the labels "left" and "right" become absolutely meaningless as political descriptions. In supporting the rights of people to be free to structure their personal relationships in whatever way they want, Cheney was certainly being more libertarian than Obama, who seems to believe that the Federal Government is the best way to control such relationships as between a person and their medical professional. In supporting the rights of the States to govern the legal relationship known as marriage, without interference from the Federal Government, Cheney was certainly displaying a more federalist attitude than Obama, who seems to believe that the Federal Government ought to have complete authority over everything from health care to the auto industry. But continued use of the "left - right" dichotomy as politically descriptive is no more enlightening than the Democratic Party's constant plea for "fairness" - one might as well use a made-up word for all the clarity that brings.
6.2.2009 10:01am
Eric Rasmusen (mail) (www):
Of course, left and right are useful political words. Cheney is on the Left on this particular issue. The words have no problem unless you want every person with adjective X to be uniformly X, in which case every political adjective is useless.

To be sure, many people, perhaps most of us, perform our best contortions to try to pretend that the politicians we like always agree with us and those we dislike always oppose us. It's funniest when conservatives try to paint Ronald Reagan as a pure conservative.
6.2.2009 10:05am
TKN (www):
It is a garbage position if we accept that people have a "right" to heterosexual marriage but the states can determine whether or not to let homosexuals marry. Can states prevent heterosexuals from being married? I'd like to see them try.
6.2.2009 10:09am
Crackmonkeyjr (www):
He's right that states have traditionally decided who may marry and who may not. Issues like minimum age, consanguinity and grounds for divorce all currently vary from state to state. However, the federal government does have some involvement in marriage. For example, the federal government is currently refusing to recognize SSMs for the purpose of taxes (and presumably immigration, social security benefits and any other federal marriage benefit).

Additionally, the Federal Government has stepped in (through the judiciary) to set certain minimum marriage rights, for example the right to marry someone regardless of race.
6.2.2009 10:10am
Joe T. Guest:

On the issue of gay marriage, Cheney's substantive stance is preferable to Obama's.

How's that, Joe Tee?


Um, because he doesn't just favor civil unions but would appear to permit actual gay marriage, providing state voters agree? That is more favorable, isn't it?

Oh, nevermind. Like I was getting at above, we can't be seen praising Darth Cheney.
6.2.2009 10:31am
cmr:
Derrick:



Except the fact that Bush actually supported it, of course, which makes this wishful thinking.


6.2.2009 10:42am
cmr:
http://volokh.com/posts/1149429351.shtml
6.2.2009 10:42am
martinned (mail) (www):

http://volokh.com/posts/1149429351.shtml

...which means that both sides are right. Bush was for it and then he was against it.
6.2.2009 10:45am
Thales (mail) (www):
Unfortunately much of the Democratic Party (the President included, unfortunately) has been cowardly (closeted, even, to use a familiar metaphor) on this issue, as on their own substantive positions on national security, for fear of giving Republicans wedge issues, especially in "purple" districts and states.

Cheney is in the "right" direction on this issue (Ted Olson is even more correct). A certain metaphor about a stopped clock comes to mind.
6.2.2009 10:48am
resh (mail):
Would someone explain to me why the court decided that Baker v. Nelson (now controlling on merit) is not justiciable while the anti-miscegenation law cases (Loving, Perez, etc.) were?

I can't logically wrap my head around how the court says they'll steadfsatly extend the 14A, marriage being an implicit, organic right, to white-black couples but in the next breath says man-man marriages or woman-woman marriages ain't their business.

Huh?
6.2.2009 10:54am
TolleyJenkins:
Merely having a longtime lesbian partner hardly makes one a lesbian.
6.2.2009 10:56am
martinned (mail) (www):

Cheney is in the "right" direction on this issue (Ted Olson is even more correct).

I would be inclined to think Cheney has the better position. While I think the current law in most states offends equal protection, for the reasons given in the Iowa supreme court ruling, I think it would be better, for reasons of comity if nothing else, if the federal judiciary stay out of this, as they should have done on abortion.

(I draw the line at laws such as the one at issue in Lawrence, which shock the conscience in a way that a ban on SSM simply does not.)
6.2.2009 10:59am
dmv (www):

Unfortunately much of the Democratic Party (the President included, unfortunately) has been cowardly (closeted, even, to use a familiar metaphor) on this issue. . . .

Thales, you've just described a key component of Democratic identity. Spinelessness. I say that as a registered Democrat. It's incredibly frustrating, too. There are, thankfully, a few who are not.

The interesting thing to see will be the reaction to this by the hard right of the Republican party. They've trumpeted Cheney as a leader and spokesperson for their party, while trying to push out moderates for the sake of party "purity." What will they think of Cheney now?
6.2.2009 11:03am
Anderson (mail):
Merely having a longtime lesbian partner hardly makes one a lesbian.

Well, I'll try it and see.
6.2.2009 11:07am
federale86 (mail) (www):
Any kind of union? Poligamy? sibling marriage? Parent-child marriage? Is he sick? Even the California Supreme Court said that poligamy wasn't protected. Is he not thinking? But, if he says that it is a state decision, then the states have decided on traditional marriage. State rights I can support, but that has to extend to all state rights. I wonder where Cheney is on other States Rights?
6.2.2009 11:10am
BGates:
A certain metaphor about a stopped clock comes to mind.

The one about how when Obama gets the 3AM call he complains he wasn't ready for it because Bush didn't wind the clocks 4 months ago?

I think they are cowards on this issue, but on national security it's more likely that they're liars. I mean, they're liars all around, but they've adopted Bush-clone policies on gay marriage out of fear of losing votes, while they've adopted Bush-clone policies on terrorism out of fear of harming the country.

What will they think of Cheney now?

I may have ruined my hard-right credentials by suggesting the Democrats would prefer not to have thousands more Americans killed by terrorism, but I'm with Cheney on this.
6.2.2009 11:20am
Anderson (mail):
Poligamy?

That's when two politicians marry each other, which I agree should be a crime in all 50 states.
6.2.2009 11:32am
ShelbyC:

Any kind of union? Poligamy? sibling marriage? Parent-child marriage?


Slave-master? Surgical connection at the shoulder?

It's probably OK to put reasonable limits on the statement.

But I'm confused by the whole thing anyway. If folks are living in a poligamous union, why shouldn't the state recognize it?
6.2.2009 11:41am
Bored Lawyer:
One thing which Cheney avoids is that there is a federal interest when it comes to one state recognizing the acts of another. That's what the Full Faith and Credit Clause is all about, as indeed is the Defense of Marriage Act. What is his position on those?
6.2.2009 11:51am
John Stephens (mail):
Very few people actually give a damn about gay marriage one way or the nother. I tend to oppose it because I oppose the people who are in favor of it. Their allies are my enemies, and their enemies are my allies, and I don't owe the gays any favors (except the Pink Pistols, and so far none of them have called in any markers).

But I wouldn't be that disappointed if it happened. It's a midseason game, not the playoffs.
6.2.2009 12:07pm
celticdragon1 (mail):

Poligamy?

That's when two politicians marry each other, which I agree should be a crime in all 50 states.




We have a winner :D
6.2.2009 12:19pm
John Moore (www):
Wait a minute!

CHENEY's POSITION IS NOT HERESY (contrary to the implications of the news and most blog posts).

Cheney's position is compatible with that of a large number of gay marriage opponents including myself. He did not come out in favor of gay marriage (he did not use the word at all). In terms of legislation and creation of non-traditional unions, he takes a federalist position.

A lot of us who were in favor of DOMA simply wanted it to support federalism - to prevent states from being forced, by courts, from recognizing marriages in other states. We are opposed to courts imposing it in the name of "equal rights," since that is not the issue. We are opposed to gay marriage but respect that citizens of a state (directly or through their representatives) have the right to extend marriage to same sex couples through legislative/initiative processes.

In that sense, we believe that those who want gay marriage to be universal through forced reciprocity can only avoid hypocrisy by requiring states to recognize many other currently non-reciprocal acts such as fire-arm possession ownership/carry laws (an actual enumerated right).
6.2.2009 12:24pm
ShelbyC:

I tend to oppose it because I oppose the people who are in favor of it.


So you oppose Cheney, and Obama's your ally?
6.2.2009 12:24pm
celticdragon1 (mail):
John Stephens



Very few people actually give a damn about gay marriage one way or the nother. I tend to oppose it because I oppose the people who are in favor of it. Their allies are my enemies, and their enemies are my allies, and I don't owe the gays any favors (except the Pink Pistols, and so far none of them have called in any markers).



Nice to know that you support the end of my marriage to my wife because unrelated people I have never met apparently pissed you off. I'll be sure to return that favor if I can.

Meanwhile, from John Cole:

What this country really needs right now is a serious case of mind your own damned business. We've turned into a nation of busybodies and scolds, and people just need to back off.
6.2.2009 12:24pm
Proud to be a liberal :
Here, Cheney is more liberal than Obama. Of course, he's no longer running for office.

However, ultimately, the federalist approach will ultimately be unworkable, much as the Missouri Compromise was unworkable. What happens to the happily married gay couple from Massachusetts when one or both get a job transfer to California? Are they no longer married once they leave Massachusetts?


Dick Cheney's views does suggest that a person's personal experience does make a difference in one's political views. Would he feel the same way about gay marriage if he did not know any gay people?
6.2.2009 12:29pm
martinned (mail) (www):

Would he feel the same way about gay marriage if he did not know any gay people?

I assume you know the story about Justice Powell's vote in Bowers v Hardwick?
6.2.2009 12:33pm
concerned:
Of course, Cheney is only in favor of gay marriage because of his daughter's lesbianism. Hardly principled.
6.2.2009 12:37pm
Nunzio:
Obama also cited his religious beliefs as a reason he opposes same-sex marriage.
6.2.2009 12:43pm
Fub:
Anderson wrote at 6.2.2009 11:32am:
Poligamy?

That's when two politicians marry each other, which I agree should be a crime in all 50 states.
That's sooo Cheney. I'd go Obama and make it a crime in all 57 states.
6.2.2009 12:52pm
M N Ralph:

Well of course, Anderson, she was out to you and me, but she wasn't to 90%+ of the people in this country, and that's why a presidential candidate has to show up at a debate, in front of those microphones, and yelp that outing.


That doesn't make any sense. You are not "out" based on the number of people who are aware whether are not you are gay. By your logic, the vast majority of gays are barely out because only a few hundred of their friends and family know they're gay while hundreds of millions of Americans are totally unaware. The common, ordinary meaning of someone being out is that he or she is open about about their sexual orientation and not trying to hide it. Thus, Cheney was out before the presidential campaign.
6.2.2009 12:59pm
cmr:
I can't logically wrap my head around how the court says they'll steadfsatly extend the 14A, marriage being an implicit, organic right, to white-black couples but in the next breath says man-man marriages or woman-woman marriages ain't their business.



Because marriage is defined as being a heterosexual union regardless of race or orientation, and any alterations on that should be made as policy decisions and not as if it's a constitutional offense not to.

Oh, and there's the part about "white-black" couples at one point being illegal, not so much not of the law, and what the courts found was penalties on marriage on the basis of race were invidious and ran afoul of the 14A. The Justice said marriage is a basic civil right, but that wasn't essential to the ruling itself, and if it was, it was working under the traditional definition of marriage, and not any conception of marriage we come up with.
6.2.2009 1:02pm
rosetta's stones:
...well, that's why I put the quotation marks around the word "out" in my original post, MNR, as a nod to the common usage of the term, and recognition of my use of it in a political outing context, which is exactly what Kerry and Edwards set out to do, to "out" the lesbian daughter as a part of whatever twisted presidential campaign strategy Shrum had cooked up, and lost with. In both debates, lesbian daughter reference was inserted.

Still can't forget Kerry's scrunched up face as he outed those outing words. He knew he was doing wrong, and it showed.
6.2.2009 1:17pm
rosetta's stones:
...either that or Kerry's botox was wearing off.
6.2.2009 1:18pm
EH (mail):
John Stephens:
I tend to oppose it because I oppose the people who are in favor of it.


Nietszche called the basing of one's own behavior on the behavior of their enemies as "ressentiment," and a ruling trait of the lowest sort. Make up your own mind.
6.2.2009 1:18pm
Danny (mail):

A lot of us who were in favor of DOMA simply wanted it to support federalism - to prevent states from being forced, by courts, from recognizing marriages in other states.


But that's only a small part of DOMA. The main effect of DOMA is to deny federal benefits (the benefits that count - taxes, immigration, social security) etc. and recognition even to married gay couples WITHIN the states where gay marriage is legal. DOMA is why gay married couples are excluded from the census. That's why a British or Hungarian civil union is legally more powerful than a Massachussets or Iowa marriage. Under DOMA states are FORBIDDEN from giving the benefits they want to give to their own citizens under domestic partnership and/or marriage laws, regardless of out-of-state recognition.


On the issue of gay marriage, Cheney's substantive stance is preferable to Obama's.


Which is why, even though I can feel my head exploding, we need to support positions, not people. Obama has disappointed, but Cheney has surprised. I guess Olson has surprised. Good for them. Cheney is certainly more honest than, say, Bill Clinton, who can apparently feel his views "evolving" (read: I'm waiting for the polls to go over the 50% mark). Or Obama, who supported SSM in 1996, when no one did, but not in 2009, when most of his party does.

The US will be a more civilized country when gays' and lesbians' equal rights are not a left/right partisan issue anymore (as they are not in many other countries).
6.2.2009 1:20pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
Obama has cited his religious beliefs as a basis for opposition to gay marriage. Although Cheney is of course far to the "right" on most issues, he is not as far as I can tell a social conservative, and in particular, not religiously motivated. His position is probably in considerable part motivated by his daughter's situation rather than principle, but since he isn't a religious conservative he doesn't really have any principled reason to oppose gay marriage either. The apparent conundrum here merely reflects the multidimensionality of the political spectrum and especially the fact that the Republican Party contains several disparate groups, only one of which consists of religious social conservatives.
6.2.2009 1:28pm
Dave N (mail):
Poligamy?

That's when two politicians marry each other, which I agree should be a crime in all 50 states.
But who will break the news to Bill and Hillary Clinton, Bob and Elizabeth Dole, Dick and Liz Cheney, or Howard Baker and Nancy Kassebaum?
6.2.2009 1:31pm
cmr:

The US will be a more civilized country when gays' and lesbians' equal rights are not a left/right partisan issue anymore (as they are not in many other countries).


What a fatuous remark. The LGBT community could start by actually giving some support to other parties than just relying on the Dems to deliver for them. But they wont do that. So the Dems are left to just pandering to them during campaigns and then forgetting about them when they have real issues to deal with in office.
6.2.2009 1:31pm
Proud to be a liberal :
As I recall, people were upset with the comments by Kerry &Edwards on Mary Cheney's being gay because they felt that there was an effort to come between Cheney and his base on the theory that his base would be turned off by the fact that his daughter was gay, as if that was infectious or in some way reflected on Cheney.

It was ridiculous position. Mary Cheney was an adult who was working on behalf of her father's campaign who was out. And why would anyone who supported Bush have changed his/her mind because of Mary being out or her father standing by her?

I personally find it fascinating that Strom Thurmond opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when he had an African-American daughter. Public knowledge of that fact would certainly would have ended his political career, but it would have been useful for the public to know that he supported laws that discriminated against his own flesh and blood.
6.2.2009 1:43pm
M N Ralph:
@ rosettas' stones: I don't remember the context that Cheney's lesbian daughter came up so I don't dispute your point. I guess I still wouldn't call it an "outing" which carries with it a lot of negative connotations, but I understand what you're getting at. So, no more quibbling on it from me.
6.2.2009 1:44pm
M N Ralph:

A lot of us who were in favor of DOMA simply wanted it to support federalism - to prevent states from being forced, by courts, from recognizing marriages in other states.


That part of DOMA was a complete straw man. Either states must recognize marriages from other states under the Full Faith and Credit clause or they do not. If they do, then DOMA is unconstitutional. If they do not, then DOMA is superfluous.
6.2.2009 1:49pm
M N Ralph:

What a fatuous remark. The LGBT community could start by actually giving some support to other parties than just relying on the Dems to deliver for them. But they wont do that.


What a silly statement. Why in the world would the LGBT community give support to a Republican Party that on all LGBT issues is more opposed to their issues than the Democratic Party?
6.2.2009 1:52pm
cmr:

What a silly statement. Why in the world would the LGBT community give support to a Republican Party that on all LGBT issues is more opposed to their issues than the Democratic Party?


What a silly rebuttal. Where did I specifically mention the Republican Party?
6.2.2009 1:56pm
Danny (mail):

The LGBT community could start by actually giving some support to other parties than just relying on the Dems to deliver for them.


It doesn't work that way. That's like saying that the Jews should have voted for fascist parties in Europe in an effort to get them to drop their anti-Semitism. First a political party drops their bigoted stance, then the minority can choose the political party based on non-identity factors. (Incidentally even a small decline in homophobia in the 2008 election campain attracted more LGBT votes for McCain than Bush got in 2004.)

I agree that we should not rely on Democrats to deliver, but Republicans could actually make things worse (if Republicans had free reign, they would eliminate all forms of protection for gay couples and individuals in all the states). Right now voting for the Republicans (on the national level) means voting for rural redneck populism and Protestant theocracy, regardless of who is on the ticket, because that is the current base. I know it doesn't represent all Republicans in all time periods, just the dominant current now. If hell freezes over and the Republicans drop the bigotry and try to reach out to gays and lesbians, I think they will attract some votes.

When Republicans mellow to a level of bigotry equal with the Democrats, and barring any plans to wreck the economy and invade random countries, I may have the luxury of not voting in American elections at all.
6.2.2009 2:19pm
M N Ralph:

What a silly rebuttal. Where did I specifically mention the Republican Party?


I assumed you had a minimal amount of common political sense. But, as it now appears that you were referring to some impotent third party, I see that I was mistaken. My bad.

BTW, please name names of the third parties you believe the LGBT community should support who will "deliver for them" and not "forget[] about them when they have real issues to deal with in office" as you accuse the Democratic Party of doing.
6.2.2009 2:49pm
martinned (mail) (www):
@M.N. Ralph: How about the Green Party?
6.2.2009 2:52pm
cmr:
Thanks, martinned. You saved me the trouble.
6.2.2009 3:00pm
Putting Two and Two...:
How any lawyer worth his or her salt can read Cheney's statement as an endorsement of SSM is beyond me.

You folks are supposed to know how to parse.
6.2.2009 3:11pm
Leo Marvin (mail):

BTW, please name names of the third parties you believe the LGBT community should support who will "deliver for them" and not "forget[] about them when they have real issues to deal with in office" as you accuse the Democratic Party of doing.

The Repubicans.
6.2.2009 3:14pm
Putting Two and Two...:

The LGBT community could start by actually giving some support to other parties than just relying on the Dems to deliver for them.


Part of the community does give support and quite a bit of money to the GOP. The LCR gives money to GOP presidential candidates but they keep giving it back.
6.2.2009 3:18pm
martinned (mail) (www):

The LCR gives money to GOP presidential candidates but they keep giving it back.

Seriously? You're not making this up? There are politicians who give back money?
6.2.2009 3:25pm
M N Ralph:

@M.N. Ralph: How about the Green Party?


I don't see the Green Party delivering anything to anyone anytime soon. Number of US Senators = 0; number of US Reps = 0; number of state senators across all 50 states = 0; number of state representatives across all 50 states = 0; I'm sure I could go on and on with this but you probably get the point.
6.2.2009 3:31pm
martinned (mail) (www):
@M N Ralph: O, I wasn't suggesting LGBT individuals vote for the Green Party, but the Green Party is an answer to your question.
6.2.2009 3:34pm
Danny (mail):
I thought to deliver a party has to actually get in power. Boy you sure give some great advice. This Green Party suggestion is right up there with that idea that gay men should marry straight women. I guess to lose 10 lbs you'd suggest an eggnog - quiche - mayonnaise diet.
6.2.2009 3:40pm
SpasticBlue:
Cheney's comment is vague enough that I'm not sure what type of arrangement or union he is supporting. He didn't strongly come out in support of equal marriage rights, so I don't necessarily believe that that's what he means (though it could be). So whether or not he's to the left or right beside Obama is hard to tell. Either way, it doesn't surprise me he said that given his and Lynn's past comments re Mary.

As for the LGBT community and the Democratic Party, well--one can't say that the DP has done nothing for gay rights. On the national level, it is very frustrating, especially with the lack of clear support from the White House. But there isn't another viable party that has championed gay rights like the DP. I would say that both parties have both supporters and opponents of gay rights, but the supporters are more numerous in one and the opponents in the other. It's the DP who are bringing marriage equality to New Hampshire and Vermont, it's the DP who support non-discrimination laws, it's the DP who are pushing for the end to DADT. Not the whole party, and not on a timeline all like, but it's better than the alternative.
6.2.2009 3:41pm
Danny (mail):
Yes the state-level DPs can be pretty good I guess. I am just frustrated with the national DP. Just a reality check about how backwards the US is: we are the only NATO country except Greece and Turkey that doesn't let gays serve openly. We are the only Western country in which it is legal (in 37 states) to pay a gay or lesbian less than a straight person, or hire/fire people based on sexual orientation. Even ex-Soviet countries and Turkey are more progressive on that one. The US was one of the last Western countries to fully decriminalize gay and lesbian sexual acts - after Azerbaijan and Gabon.

When the US with the DP can't get its act together and stop basic state-sponsored discrimination while Burkina Faso and Albania manage to, it is a little embarrassing
6.2.2009 3:57pm
Tatil:
I know this article an attempt to shame Democrats into doing more for gays by trying to show that even "evil" Cheney is supporting gay marriage, so it is not all that important what Cheney really supports by his statement. However, what does "not supporting a federal role in the matter" mean? How about Social Security, immigration or tax benefits or not having to testify against a spouse? By granting or not granting these rights to couples married under their state laws, federal government is getting involved. I don't see a "neutral stance" possible.
6.2.2009 6:23pm
Brian G (mail) (www):
Uh, oh. Andrew Sullivan might be against gay marriage after he hears Cheney's views.
6.2.2009 6:33pm
martinned (mail) (www):
@Brian G: Nope.
6.2.2009 6:39pm
wooga:

What a silly statement. Why in the world would the LGBT community give support to a Republican Party that on all LGBT issues is more opposed to their issues than the Democratic Party?



M N Ralph,

Maybe because some people in the LGBT community care about things other than what they put in their own hoo-hahs. You know, things where the Republicans are more 'liberty' oriented than the Democrats (pretty much everything but sex/abortion issues). Talk about being a single issue voter!
6.2.2009 7:04pm
resh (mail):
Appreciate the explanation, CMR. I do understand, however, that it was traditional marriages that were implicit in 14a protections. Still, the court's language (see Loving) stressed the right of choice as thee predicate for safeguarding marriage. Otherwise, on what basis, another race as partner? Thus, the default issue protecting marriage is choice, which falls under the liberty penumbra of the 14a.

Tradition is a throw-away line, or we would have BOR protections for the senior prom, Thanksgiving and ring-around-the rosey.

That being said, denying the choice of a... same-sex partner.. reduces the choice paradigm to mumbo jumbo.
6.2.2009 7:08pm
Tatil:

You know, things where the Republicans are more 'liberty' oriented than the Democrats (pretty much everything but sex/abortion issues).

Which "liberty" issue was the last administration or GOP dominated Congress quite actively supporting? Against big government? Nope. Against government demanding financial, communication or library records without court orders? Nope. Againts "elective wars"? Nope. Against large bailouts that distort the free market? Nope. Against eroding "freedom of information" law compliance? Nope. Sorry, the last one broke the traditional argument for one party is liberal in economics and the other is liberal in social issues. There is barely any difference between them other than mostly religion related rhetoric.
6.2.2009 7:23pm
Perseus (mail):
"Historically, the way marriage has been regulated is at the state level,"

A founding principle of the Republican Party was support for using federal power to discourage the "twin relics of barbarism, polygamy and slavery."
6.2.2009 7:40pm
John Moore (www):

That part of DOMA was a complete straw man. Either states must recognize marriages from other states under the Full Faith and Credit clause or they do not. If they do, then DOMA is unconstitutional. If they do not, then DOMA is superfluous.


Perhaps I was a bit mistaken about DOMA - I was referring to whatever it was (proposed const amendment?) that would prohibit the Full Faith and Credit being forced on the states for non-traditional marriage.

In general, we oppose any court imposition of recognition of non-traditional marriage for benefit purposes, federal or state - unless the court is clearly interpreting the real meaning of a statute (as opposed to creatively inventing new meanings).
6.3.2009 1:49am

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