December 3, 2013

IconSibling Strife Rumbles While Indiana Fights For Equal Rights

On December 11th, gay rights group Freedom Indiana will be hosting a reception with special guest Mary Cheney.  Mary Cheney, daughter of former US Vice President Dick Cheney, has two children with her partner of many years, whom she wed in 2012.

Initially quiet on the gay marriage front, Mary Cheney has become more and more active over the last decade.  Freedom Indiana is concentrating its efforts to defeat measure HJR6, which is state legislation that will elevate the existing same-sex marriage ban to the constitution, and will also forestall a law allowing civil unions.  By joining Freedom Indiana’s campaign, Mary Cheney is hoping to protect the rights of other couples and families just like hers.  High five to Mary Cheney, for taking a vocal and righteous stance for freedom.

But what about Mary’s sister Liz?  Liz Cheney, eldest daughter to former US Vice President Dick Cheney, is Republican, just like her sister, and has a family, just like her sister.  The other similarity the sisters share?  Their familiarity with outspoken opinions and stances, on television, in print, and through various social media.  Sadly, Liz Cheney has taken the opposing side, finally vocalizing a strong stance after many years of vague opinions.  Liz Cheney, after a stint at Fox News, officially announced earlier this year that she would be running for the US Senate in 2014.  Polls started circulating, accusing Liz Cheney of being aggressively pro-gay marriage, which prompted Liz Cheney to a vocal rebuttal.  “I am strongly pro-life and I am not pro-gay marriage,” she said in a statement. “I believe the issue of marriage must be decided by the states, and by the people in the states, not by judges and not even by legislators, but by the people themselves.”

So, Liz, how does it feel?  I know you want your Republican supporters in the state of Wyoming (a state that does not currently allow same sex marriage) to back you in the election next year, but is that worth it?  Remember when you attended family gatherings at Mary and her family’s house, treating Mary’s partner as the in-law that she is?  Remember when you celebrated holidays with smiles and hugs, with your Vice President father (who has always supported his daughter, your sister)?

As a middle child who attended my younger sister’s wedding to her beautiful wife, with the glowing absence of our older sister burning throughout the day, I can understand the hurt.  The betrayal.  The confusion.  And if you can’t understand what it’s like from a personal level, you can just follow the sisters via Facebook and Twitter.  It is almost laughable, to see two prominent and political sisters voice their discrepancies on Facebook, except that these aren’t just mere “discrepancies”.  This is about freedom, human rights, families, and history, and as Mary Cheney has pointed out, her sister Liz Cheney is on the wrong side of it.

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Maria Burnham


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