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Cheney's daughter: My baby 'is not a prop'

As a new father myself I am sensitive to Mary Cheney's argument, but it's not about the baby, is it? It's about the values of her father's (and presumably her own) party and what they represent. Dick Cheney is the second most powerful man in the world (and arguably, the first most powerful) and is by extension the leader of (neo) conservative Republicans in the United States. Central to their political platform is the "sanctity" of marriage and the "protection" of family. To them that means "no homos allowed."


"This is a baby," Cheney said Wednesday at a forum sponsored by Glamour magazine. "This is a blessing from God. It is not a political statement. It is not a prop to be used in a debate by people on either side of an issue. It is my child."

I agree and I sincerely hope she and her partner of 15 years have a healthy, happy baby. But unfortunately for her, she's in politics. And politics is policy and the policy promoted by the Republican party does not support her personal stance nor that of millions of gay Americans. When you're an integral part of the Vice President's office and his party actively works to strip the rights of millions of Americans and you happen to be in that minority group, you can't remove the personal from the political. Politics is not an abstract idea, it is the application of policy that affects real, breathing people—yes, even your kids.


1. The soldier (aka poor kids) who came back wounded from Iraq that your party parades around and gets photo ops with in every election is not a prop.

2. The people who died in the World Trade Center attacks that your father literally stood on top of with a megaphone were also not props.

3. The scared teenage girls who have to walk through a gauntlet of protestors just to get an abortion are not props.

4. The adopted babies of every gay couple that your party just wishes would go back into the closet are not props. Similarly, the gay couples themselves that your party wants to deny the normal rights heterosexual couples enjoy are not props to get you votes based on fear and ignorance.

5. The hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians who have died since your father's boss lied his way into an unprovoked and illegal invasion of a sovereign nation are also not props.

So go to hell, Mary Cheney. Just more of the typical arrogance and hypocrisy of the right, that thinks that the standards and policies you enforce on other people don't apply to your own privileged, divine-right given selves.

"2. The people who died in the World Trade Center attacks that your father literally stood on top of with a megaphone were also not props."

It was actually her father's boss.

Doh, you're right. My point still stands though.

Right on, Phil. See also Dan Savage's excellent column of this week (http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=153145).

I find it really interesting that I haven't read (and maybe I missed it) any acknowledgement from Mary Cheney of the fact that, in no small part due to hate-mongering "the gays are a threat to marriage" campaign of the party she worked for, her home state of Virginia adopted one of the most restrictive anti-gay super-DOMA laws, the so-called "Affirmation of Marriage" act, as follows: "A civil union, partnership contract or other arrangement between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges or obligations of marriage is prohibited. Any such civil union, partnership contract or other arrangement entered into by persons of the same sex in another state or jurisdiction shall be void in all respects in Virginia and any contractual rights created thereby shall be void and unenforceable." So not only can gay or lesbian couples not marry in that state (and therefore gain the panoply of special rights that heterosexuals who can marry each other get to take advantage of), but they can no longer even contract with each other in an enforceable way, to create a facsimile of those rights (by drafting wills to leave property to each other, medical directives to permit a partner to make medical decisions for the other partner in a dire situation, property agreements to purchase and own property together).

This matters to Mary, you see, for a variety of reasons. The biggie: same sex couples cannot adopt children in Virginia. When Mary gives birth, Heather will have no legal right to that child. The "Virginia is for Haters" law means that Mary and Heather (two consenting adults) cannot even agree that Heather would be the person who makes emergency health decisions for Mary or the baby in the instance of (knock wood) something going wrong during birth and delivery.

Heather is, and will remain, a legal stranger to both Mary and "their" baby--and they can send the Republican Party a big ole thank you note for that.

Do they think they are immune? That their connections to power, and their money, will keep them safe from the prejudice and discrimination that Mary's daddy has fostered?

Maybe it will - but nothing can protect them from the fact that they face a future of having to explain to their child why Mommy thought it was ok to work for people who think that his parent's relationship is an abomination, and that his other mother is no kind of mother at all.

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