. . . he’d be folk hero to gay and lesbian activists.
Not only did he risk alienating part of his party’s conservative base in the 2000 Vice Presidential debate by speaking out in favor of gay couples living openly, but in the 2004 campaign, he opposed his running mate, President Bush, on only one issue when he spoke out against a constitutional amendment defining marriage.
But, it’s not just what he has done publicly which would make him a folk hero to these activists were it not for the visceral hatred of Republicans, particularly those, like the Vice President, closely associated with President George W. Bush. Behind the scenes, he has also been a force for tolerance and acceptance of individual gay men and lesbians.
Just one anecdote from Mary Cheney’s must-read book, Now It’s My Turn shows how good a man Vice President Cheney is. After the president announced his support for the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA), a longtime supporter of the president, just coming to terms with his sexuality, feared that he might be “outed” as part of a campaign by angry gay activists to target gays who had not yet come out and who worked for Republicans or who otherwise supported the president.
Mary told the man he should come out to his supervisor. When she mentioned this man’s concerns to her father, that good man said, “I want you to go back and tell this person that if anyone–I don’t care who it is–if anyone gives him any trouble, he is to come see me and I’ll take care of it.” When she told the man what her father, the Vice President of the United States had said, it helped relieve him of “at least some of his worries.”
The Vice President willing to go to bat for a gay man who fears that his coming out could hurt him professionally. Sounds like the kind of story gay activists would want to tell. But, of course it they told that story, it might upset their narrative about the narrow-mindedness of conservatives, particularly those close to President Bush.
Once again their narrow partisanship prevents them from telling the real story about this Administration — and the ever-improving conditions for gay people in America, even under George W. Bush’s leadership.