October 14, 2004
About MaryThe right wing is crowing about John Kerry mentioning Mary Cheney, Dick and Lynn Cheney's daughter, in last night's debate. Here is exactly what Kerry said when asked whether homosexuality is a choice:
Right after the debate, Lynn Cheney said Kerry is "not a good man" and his remarks a "cheap and tawdry political trick", while Dick Cheney said he's a "pretty angry father" and Kerry is "a man who will do and say anything to get elected". Dick's reaction is more puzzling considering John Edwards mentioned Mary as well in the Vice Presidential debate and his reaction then was quite cordial.
By the Cheneys' statements, you would think Kerry said something horrible about their daughter being gay or that he outed someone who is intensely private with her life. But he obviously did no such thing. Mary Cheney is openly lesbian and has entered public life as the Director of Vice Presidential Operations for Bush/Cheney '04. She has actively reached out to the gay and lesbian community. Why, exactly, are they making this an issue?
During the Republican National Convention, Alan Keyes, Republican candidate for Senator in Illinois, said this of Mary:
Keyes called their daughter a selfish hedonist. Where was the Cheneys' indignance then? As far as I know they have not said Keyes is "not a good man" or that his remarks were a "cheap and tawdry political trick".
I don't doubt the Cheneys love their daughter but they are totally overreacting here. Mary is not hiding and there is no reason for her to hide. By reacting this way they are treating her like a pariah, as "She Who Must Not Be Named".
Their reaction is way out of proportion, sending the message that gays should be tolerated but not embraced. Speaking as someone with dear friends in the GLBT community I find that sad, indeed.
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