Dick Cheney has now come out in favor of marriage equality, even helping the effort to legalize same-sex marriage in the state of Maryland a few months ago. So why did he wait until he was out of office to do so, silently sitting by while the administration he helped lead fought tooth and nail against equality for his own daughter and millions like her? Political convenience, of course.
Dick Cheney says he didn’t see the point of raising the issue of gay marriage in the 2000 presidential campaign, even though he supported it.
The former vice president suggested it wouldn’t have done much good and probably would have sunk President George W. Bush’s prospects for office. “Why?” he responded to ABC News when asked in a televised interview whether he should have pushed harder for gay couples to marry.
How about for the same reasons you’re now publicly advocating for it? Because it’s the right thing to do. Because the inability to marry causes real harm to real people, including the daughter that you love. Because sometimes principle, especially justice and equality, is more important than politics. Marriage equality wasn’t really an issue in 2000, but it was in 2004, after the Goodridge decision in Massachusetts. That was your opportunity to stand up for your daughter and for equality and justice and you put thought your career was more important — despite the fact that you had already gone as far as you were going to go in politics and had more money than you could possibly spend, which means you had almost nothing to risk.
And yet you spent the next four years being quiet while your administration did everything it could to destroy any hope of justice and helped get legislators elected to office and judges named to the bench who would make it far more difficult to get legal equality. Worse yet, you sat silently while that administration and its political allies used gay people as convenient scapegoats, demonizing them as cultural aliens bent on destroying America. You played political games with the lives of gay people. I can’t imagine why or how your daughter could forgive you for this; I certainly won’t.