In order not to disturb the common left-wing perception of the Vice President as a dogmatic right-wing demon, most gay groups commenting on Mary Cheney in recent days, have ignored the Vice President’s record of tolerance and his outspoken opposition to a constitutional amendment defining gay marriage. One notable exception to this sorry trend has been a group with which this blog has often been at odds — Log Cabin.
While I would certainly make a few changes to Log Cabin’s release last week on Mary Cheney, the group does recognize the salient fact about the Vice President’s stand on that constitutional amendment, that it is the only issue where, “since being sworn in as Vice President,” Mr. Cheney has “publicly expressed disagreement with the President.” That’s a pretty strong indication of the Vice President’s positive attitude toward gay people. It’s a shame most other gay groups chose to ignore it.
And if gay groups were truly concerned with changing attitudes toward gay people and promoting social acceptance of gay and lesbian citizens in civil society, they would delight in the Vice President’s willingness to speak out on this issue — and herald him as a leader who stands tall against discrimination. But, the largest gay lobbying group, hasn’t mentioned Mary Cheney in a single release since the 2004 campaign. The group thus did not even acknowledge her recently released book — or the love and acceptance the Vice President has shown for his lesbian daughter.
It seems Washington Blade Executive Editor Chris Crain is right, Solomonese’s HRC is little more than lapdog to the Democratic National Committee, eager to please Chairman Howard Dean.
In August 2004, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) Executive Director Matt Foreman said he was “heartened” by the Vice President’s expression of opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment. Earlier in the year, however, his group had accused the Cheney Family of “hypocrisy.” And this year, the Task Force has also been silent, failing to use the occasion of the release of Mary’s book to note the Vice President’s positive attitude toward his lesbian daughter.
Elizabeth Birch and Hilary Rosen do acknowledge the book and welcome Mary to the national stage in a Washington Post editorial, but they fail to mention her father’s opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment and only indirectly concede his embrace of his daughter and her same-sex partner. They “feel” (as I pointed out in a previous post) that the “her family . . . perpetrated” wrongs “on the gay and lesbian community” (without identifying those wrongs).
While these two at least noted that Mary’s relationship with her partner “seems to have become a part of the Cheney household,” they, like all too many on the left, fail to acknowledge that this conservative man treated his lesbian daughter as we would like all parents to treat their gay or lesbian children. Or to note, as did Log Cabin, that the one issue on which Vice President dared to differ with his boss — was when he came out against the constitutional amendment defining marriage.
As the Senate Judiciary Committee approves that amendment, thus moving the debate to the full Senate, it would seem natural that opponents of that amendment would want to herald the conservative Vice President’s attitude toward gays and highlight his opposition.
But, it seems that like HRC’s Solomnese, they wish to avoid debate. This time, at least, Patrick Guerriero recognizes the significance of Mary’s visibility as that debate begins. He believes her voice will “help remind” Republicans that the “proposal violates basic conservative principles.”
On the Vice President’s attitude toward gays, Log Cabin has, for a most welcome change, distinguished itself from the gay groups. These groups’ silence on his attitudes shows once again how beholden they are to the Bush-hating left and to its allies in the Democratic Party. It’s time that they turn away from their blind hatred of the GOP and single out those leaders, regardless of partisan affiliation, who embrace their gay children and speak out against unnecessary constitutional amendments.
On this one issue, Log Cabin is leading the way. Let’s hope they stay the course.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com
UPDATE: After posting this, I did some google searches to see if I could find examples of gay writers and/or activists giving any credit to the Vice President. One who did was Rex Wockner. In a column which includes some sloppy logic and left-wing boilerplate, Wockner does at least acknowledge that “we do owe Dick Cheney a gay pat on the back for having the integrity to stand up for his gay daughter when it would have been far easier politically to follow the party line or remain completely silent.“
If you find other examples of gay writers and/or activists praising the Vice President for standing for his daughter, please let me know and I will update the post accordingly.