June 2nd, 2009
10:00 AM ET
5 years ago

Steele, Cheney differ on same-sex marriage

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A day after former Vice President Dick Cheney repeated his support for the idea of same-sex marriage, Republican party chairman Michael Steele re-stated his opposition to the idea.

"My personal view is that marriage is between a man and a woman," Steele said Tuesday on CNN's American Morning, "very much in line with what the president [Barack Obama] has said."

"...The vice president brings a very personal perspective to this issue," he also said. "I think his comments are an appropriate reflection of his family and his situation with his daughter."

At an appearance at the National Press Club Monday, Cheney reiterated his long-standing position that individuals should be able to choose the type of relationship they wish to enter into. Citing his own family's experience with the issue, he said the question of same-sex marriage was best left to the states, not the federal government.

"I think freedom means freedom for everyone," Cheney said Monday, when asked whether some form of legalized same-sex marriage is inevitable in the United States. "As many of you know," told the audience, "one of my daughters is gay – something that we've lived for a long time in our family. I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish, any kind of arrangement they wish."

Cheney also said Monday he did not think a federal law should govern the issue. Instead, he favors leaving the question of same-sex marriage to individual states. "That's the way it ought to be handled - on a state-by-state basis," he said. "Different states will make different decisions, but I don't have [a] problem with that."

Steele said Monday he also thought the battle would be worked out at the state level - that states will be the "ultimate arbiters" of what constitutes a legal marriage.

The RNC chairman also said Tuesday that Republicans should focus their scrutiny of Supreme Court nominee on Judge Sonia Sotomayor's extensive judicial record generated during nearly two decades on the federal bench.

"Her public comments are a little bit disconcerting, with respect to whether a Latina can make a better judgment than a white male,"
Steele told American Morning's Kiran Chetry. "She needs to explain that. And there's a lot of other things that she needs to go into some detail about and put in the proper context. We will be very vigorous in examining that."

Steele also slammed the Obama administration's extensive involvement with bankrupt automaker General Motors. "Government intrusion, to me, is just offensive to the market," Steele said.

soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. David

    ..."former president Dick Cheney"...

    well, perhaps he's like to be thought of as such, but I think that using the word "Vice" to properly describe him would be more in line with his history and agenda...

    June 2, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  2. Rob

    "A day after former president Dick Cheney repeated his support for the idea of same-sex marriage"

    there's an interesting mistake, cause last time i checked, he was elected as VICE President. What happened behind closed doors however seems to be coming out a lot more these days

    June 2, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  3. Josh

    No comment!!!

    June 2, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  4. Rick in WPB,FL

    Hmmm...Hey CNN... that WAS a Freudian Slip, wasn't it?
    Former President Cheney?
    The "Man behind the Curtain (so to speak)?
    The Puppet Master???

    Your true colors are leaking...

    June 2, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  5. Peoples Voice

    "influenced by his lesbian daughter". Duh, you think?

    Sure love the idiots in charge of the GOP.

    June 2, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  6. Reggie bham

    President Cheney????? Not was he between Bush and Obama?? Have I been missing 4 or 8 years??

    June 2, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  7. Will

    Wow.

    One thing I agree with Cheney on.

    Who would have thought?

    June 2, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Micheal Steele has finallygrown some cajones

    June 2, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  9. single mom

    Mmm, what will Rush say to this?

    June 2, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  10. donttreadonme

    The key statement is he said the question of same-sex marriage was best left to the states, not the federal government.

    June 2, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  11. matt

    Cheney's position is influenced by his lesbian daughter.... Really Steele? That should be a good thing

    June 2, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  12. Moderate Democrat

    "I think freedom means freedom for everyone," Cheney said Monday,

    So, what about "freedom from Privacy Invasion", you know, kind of like "Everyone should have the right to privacy like YOUR treasonas butt does". Or are you simply a hypocritical dirt bag?

    Oh Yea, you're the guy ran like a wuss down to your bunker, told the fighter pilots to stand down and thus allowed our country to get attacked on 9/11. The answer is obvious. You're a dirt bag, as is your daughter for being a huge supporter of mass genocide!

    June 2, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  13. Chipster

    Mr. Steele, your personal opinion is just that – personal. It does not give you or anyone else the right to deny another person equal protection under the U.S. Constitution. Contract do not offer the same benefits, rights, or responsibilities as marriage. Any person – and homosexuals are people – who wants to legally commit to marry the person they love should be allowed to do so. To prevent them from having the same right as opposite-sex couples is a violation of the Constitution. It should not require a change in our laws because the Supreme law of the nation does not deny that right to any person.

    If a church membership doesn't believe in same-sex marriage, they have the religious freedom to deny it within their church but NOT in other churches that allow it and certainly NOT in civil ceremonies. Why this discrimination has been allowed to continue simply makes no sense. A gay couple has no impact on my marriage or any other. What a ridiculous notion! It's just another excuse to sponsor hatred and blame it on God.

    We need more stable relationships in the world, not fewer.

    June 2, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  14. cfrench

    I don't think I've ever seen such a screwed up party in my whole life. If they can't be on the same page, at least try to be in the same book. What's really kind of sad, is it seems to take personal experience for a republican to feel empathy for someone else.

    June 2, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  15. Richard A. Spomer, Alexandria, VA

    Being someone that is Independently minded; I, personally find myself supporting GOP the Republican Party chairman Michael Steele, and his view on same-sex marriage. God created Man & Women: not man & man, or woman & woman then say go create and multiply the face of the earth.

    So if anyone thinks other wise you will be judged on such thoughts; weither one agrees or not , the facts are the facts.

    June 2, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  16. jim-in-PA

    So who is going to say the other person is "not a true Republican"?

    Scary part is this makes Cheney seem more human.

    Has anyone asked Newt about his fellings? His lesbian sister lived in my area for a while.

    June 2, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  17. Jayden,FL

    Can't they battle this out in a steel cage match!? lol

    June 2, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  18. black&white couple

    In many courtrooms today (and for years)black and hispanic defendants are being tries by all white juries....(constitutional peers)...without complaint from vast America.

    If you as a white person walked into a jury of all black people.....would you accept this as a jury of your peers?

    June 2, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  19. S Callahan

    I think Steele has got it right on this one.
    True story...a young man in his early 20's was a role model for my then young in our church. The young man 'came out' to the church (yes, announced in the church). We didn't reject him, we still embraced him, and his Mom did grieve (no future grandchildren). From my persepctive he was 'still' a role model (ethics, character, education, etc) to my child..yet he knew and accepted my views of not agreeing with his lifestyle. It was a diffcult time that challenged my views..because I and many others really loved this guy.. I felt firm in staying with the word of God..but honored God in continuing to love him. God rest his soul...he has since passed from a disease widly known amongst the gay community.

    June 2, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  20. MADinAZ

    "Steele publicly disagreed with him, suggesting that Cheney's position was influenced by his lesbian daughter"

    The Republicans get more "Jerry Springer" every day.

    June 2, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  21. TEXAS TAMI

    HA!! HA!! ....the losers are at each others throat again!!!

    June 2, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  22. I laugh at Limbaugh daily

    Well CNN got something right,he was the President,we just didnt know it for a while.Steele is nothing more than a temporary mouth piece.Maybe Cheney is a closet airport bathroom toetapper.

    June 2, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  23. Harry Jones

    Former president Dick Chaney?

    June 2, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  24. Proud DHS radical

    Something else that VP Cheney and Obama are on opposite views of.

    June 2, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  25. Chipster

    To Rob and David,
    CNN's slip is understandable (president Cheney). I'm pretty sure we all know by now who was really running the country (into the ground) for the past 8 years. What's the point in pretending otherwise?

    June 2, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
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