Dick Cheney won’t stand up for Mary Cheney – will you?

The media frenzy over Mary Cheney and Heather Poe’s pregnancy has
started to die down. Perhaps Mary and Heather can better focus now
on caring for each other and planning ahead for their baby-to-be.
At Family Pride, we know
how important it is for prospective parents to enjoy their right to
privacy as they envision and chart out their family’s future. We
strive to create a world in which all parents can do just that. But
we also recognize that that world doesn’t currently exist. We
weighed in on the debate about LGBTQ parents surrounding Mary and
Heather precisely because we know our voices must be heard, loud
and clear, for family equality to be achieved. If we’d left the
debate to the other side, all we would have heard is more vicious
lies about LGBTQ people’s capacity to care and love for others.

On the January 25th edition of CNN’s “The Situation Room,”
well-known journalist Wolf Blitzer interviewed the soon-to-be
grandfather of Mary and Heather’s baby, Vice President Dick Cheney.
In the days after Mary and Heather announced their pregnancy, we
heard from the Cheneys that they were excited about the coming
birth of their 6th grandchild, but that’s about all we heard.
Despite the fact that Family Pride and others made it clear in
public statements that the anti-family policies of the Bush
Administration stand in stark contrast to the health and well-being
of even the Vice President’s own daughter, Dick and Lynn made no
public response. In the interview with Wolf Blitzer, however, the
issue of Mary and Heather’s pregnancy came up again. This time, the
criticism being discussed came from the right:

“Mary Cheney’s pregnancy raises the question of what’s best for
children,” said James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the
Family, a radical right organization. “Just because it’s possible
to conceive a child outside of the relationship of a married mother
and father doesn’t mean it’s the best for the child.” Blitzer read
this statement aloud to the Vice President and asked for his

“Do you want to respond to that?” said Blitzer.
“No,” Dick Cheney said, “I don’t.”

As Blitzer pushed, Cheney did manage to eek out his original
statement again – I’m happy and excited about my 6th grandchild. I
love my daughters. But he also told Blitzer that he was “out of
line with that question.”

Watch the clip for yourself:

What’s out of line
about asking a father to respond to personal attacks against his
own daughter? You might say that the Cheneys have a right to claim
Mary and Heather’s pregnancy as a private family matter. We at
Family Pride wish it were so. But the right will stop at nothing to
discredit LGBTQ-parented families, not even at their favorite Vice
President’s door. And besides, Mary Cheney is not being dragged out
of hiding. She announced her pregnancy. She’s run political
campaigns. She even criticized her father’s own administration’s
stance on marriage equality in her book, Now It’s My Turn: A
Daughter’s Chronicle of Political Life.

Let’s get real, here. Family equality is a serious matter. The
livelihoods of our families – all families, including the Vice
President’s daughter’s – are at stake. We applaud Mary to the
extent that she’s stood up and made her family visible. But we
question Dick Cheney’s commitment to his daughter when he pleads
the 5th on her ability to parent. We have to
wonder, had Mary been attacked for being a Republican or a business
major would her father have backed down?

Or maybe sitting across from Wolf Blitzer, stumped by a question
about his daughter’s capacity for love and caring, being criticized
by his own base, the radical right, he finally came face-to-face
with his own worst nightmare – his personal and continued
responsibility for the hate and discrimination LGBTQ people and
their families face in this country. And when he faced it, he shied

That’s why it’s so important for all of us out there who do see the
absolute need for family equality to step up and be visible, to
take action every day, to make up for the losses of people like
Dick Cheney. Amazing, isn’t it, that man who can help orchestrate a
massive war can’t stand up for his family at home.

Take a stand. There is strength in numbers – be a part of the
movement for family equality. Enter your email and zip code