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'Mary Cheney's Step Forward'

That’s the title of Hilary Rosen‘s and Elizabeth Birch‘s (both formerly of Human Rights Campaign) piece up at the WaPo on Mary Cheney. The basic theme of the column is to applaud MC for finally coming out publicly in favor or marriage equality, despite her work for a party that is actively working to deny gays and lesbians basic human rights, let alone marriage.

Yet we’ve concluded that at this moment in time, the past doesn’t seem nearly as important as the future. And though the movement we support deserves credit for much of the acceptance she is receiving, Mary’s presence on the national stage — the daughter of the vice president of the United States discussing issues related to our lives — is most welcome and has the potential to be a transforming moment for all Americans.

Read and comment.

My take — there may be potential there for “teachable moments,” but I doubt we’ll see anything of substance, unless MC finds a spine to come out of the box and publicly chastise the Right and the bigots on the Hill as they move forward with debate on the Marriage Protection Amendment. It will take a lot to undo the damage that has been inflicted on the gay community while Mary’s remained silent about her disagreements with this administration’s anti-gay policies (and still taking a paycheck).


Also, in yet another MC profile, this one in USA Today, more tap dancing emerges about why she didn’t say anything during the 2004 campaign about the gay-bashing administration’s policies that she helped along by working for the BC04 re-election.

Numerous gay rights supporters — and an infamous webcampaign called “Where is Mary Cheney?” — called on her to speak out against Bush’s stand and considered her sexuality fair game. “Fair game?” she writes in the book. “My sexuality is fair game? It was completely outrageous.”

She also was roundly criticized because she and Poe did not stand onstage with the Cheney family at the 2004 GOP convention: “We decided that we were going to be low-key. … We had talked about the possibility of going up onstage either after my dad’s speech or after the president spoke. I was happier and more comfortable staying behind the scenes.” Poe, she writes, was “more averse to stares and cameras than I am.”

Asked whether she could have used her position as daughter of the vice president to help promote gay rights, Cheney, a Bush Republican, says: “I am and have always been very open and honest about who I am, about being gay. I’m about to publish a book that devotes a whole chapter to the issue of marriage amendments. Quite honestly, I think that’s the way I can be most effective.”

Gee, her sexuality wasn’t off-limits when she was taking a paycheck from Coors as its professional homosexual liaison. It’s only fair game to speak about it when you’re getting paid, right Mary?

* Mary Cheney’s path
* All you need to know about homosexuality and Mary

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding