Mary Cheney (left) with her longtime partner, Heather Poe.
Dick Cheney is going to have another grandchild soon, this time from his openly gay daughter Mary. While the vice president expressed his joy at the announcement, advocacy groups spanning the political spectrum took the opportunity to sound off, with social conservatives bemoaning the horror of a fatherless childhood and gay rights groups pointing to Grandpa’s history of hypocrisy on the issue.
AP via Star-Telegram:
“The vice president and Mrs. Cheney are looking forward with eager anticipation” to the arrival of their sixth grandchild, McBride said.
Mary Cheney was an aide to her father during the 2004 campaign, and now is vice president for consumer advocacy at AOL. She and Poe moved from Colorado to Virginia a year ago to be closer to the Cheney family.
Family Pride, which advocates on behalf of gay and lesbian families, noted that Virginia last month became one of 27 states with a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
“Unless they move to a handful of less restrictive states, Heather will never be able to have a legal relationship with her child,” said Family Pride executive director Jennifer Chrisler.
The couple “will quickly face the reality that no matter how loved their child will be. ... he or she will never have the same protections that other children born to heterosexual couples enjoy,” Chrisler said. “Grandfather Cheney will no doubt face a lifetime of sleepless nights as he reflects on the irreparable harm he and his administration have done to the millions of American gay and lesbian parents and their children.”
For years, Mary Cheney’s openness about her sexual orientation had posed a dilemma for conservative activists who admire Dick Cheney’s stance on many issues but consider homosexuality a sin.
Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America described the pregnancy as “unconscionable.”
“It’s very disappointing that a celebrity couple like this would deliberately bring into the world a child that will never have a father,” said Crouse, a senior fellow at the group’s think tank. “They are encouraging people who don’t have the advantages they have.”
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