Knot Today

How Dick Cheney Is a Better Marriage Equality Advocate Than Barack Obama

So, what, former Vice President Dick Cheney is for gay marriage now? Actuall yes, but that’s not news.

Speaking at the National Press Club today, Cheney responded to a question about gay marriage, and said he wants same-sex unions to be decided at a state-by-state level, just as things are happening now, and not with the federal government deciding who gets to wed.

It should be assumed that Cheney’s position stems at least in part from having a gay daughter, Mary.


But just because Cheney just made so explicit his stance on gay marriage doesn’t mean we’re actually hearing anything new. Cheney split from his boss George W. Bush when the then-president supported a constitutional amendment to limit marriage to one man and one woman.

As far back as 2004, Cheney made clear his stance: “The question that comes up with the issue of marriage is what kind of official sanction or approval is going to be granted by government? Historically, that’s been a relationship that has been handled by the states. The states have made that fundamental decision of what constitutes a marriage.” Today he even repeated a statement he made in 2004: “Freedom means freedom for everyone.”

Cheney also, in as gay-friendly a way as he could, explained why he thought Bush supported the amendment: “I think his perception was that the courts, in effect, were beginning to change, without allowing the people to be involved. The courts were making the judgment for the entire country.”

So, if we’re following correctly, when Cheney says it’s an issue for the states, it should be assumed he prefers voters, and not legislators making the call. So … he supports Prop 8, but not the outcomes in Iowa (court) or New Hampshire (legislators).

His statements are destined to make the cable news rounds, even though they aren’t an original, or even an “evolved” platform from the former VP. But if there’s ever a chance to pit Cheney against Barack Obama, well, the media will take it. (And you know they’re fuming over this missed opportunity.)

But hey, so will we. So, talking amongst yourselves, you tell us: Just who’s the bigger ally on gay marriage … Cheney or Obama? Both paid lip service to the cause, yet neither has much action to speak of.