June 2nd, 2009
10:00 AM ET
6 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. Buffalo

    Marriage (a religious ceremony) should be done in a church by a priest or minister. If the church wishes to respect only traditional, one man and one woman, unions, marriage it it for them and their followers. If a church wishes to respect same-sex marriage; "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

    Civil unions should be done by a judge, anywhere. Like a marriage, a civil union should allow a couple joined in a civil union to have equal status to a married couple in the government's eyes (taxes, health insurance, family medical leave, wills, etc.) And, considering the ideal regarding separation of church and state, the church and their same-sex marriage opponents must butt out.

    June 2, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  2. Mark

    Of course his family influences his position. It's hard actually to know gay people and be homophobic.

    June 2, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  3. Ian Minneapolis, MN

    I'm sorry, but because something affects HIM personally he changes his "ethical" opinion. And apparently to cheney, "freedom for everyone" excludes arabs and muslims. Patriot Act anyone? he's such a hypocrite

    June 2, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  4. Steve

    Cheney has been consistent with the views since he was elected Vice President.

    What is driving many americans crazy is that Cheney has the courage to speak out about this while the current president is either A.) A coward, or B.) a biggot. Correct?

    Can anybody here who is ripping Cheney defend Obama's homophobic stance?

    June 2, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  5. Bud Burgoon-Clark

    @ Fair Is Fair:

    Soooo ... the sons of Adam committed incest with their mother to continue the human race?

    I am a devout follower of the Flying Spaghetti Monster faith. I DEEPLY resent christians legislating against my beliefs (see 1st Amendment for details).

    June 2, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  6. A. Goodwin

    This is the only thing I agree with Cheney on. Scary.

    June 2, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  7. lia

    Cheney supports same sex marriage.

    Obama does not support same sex marriage instead favoring civil unions.

    Separate but equal never means equal

    June 2, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  8. Brian

    Man, I HATE Dick Cheney. What a hypocritical douche. "Freedom for everybody"...yeah, freedom for the people he chooses.

    June 2, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  9. Post always rejected by CNN

    "Influenced by his lesbian daughter"...heck what better reason. I think people who are so upset about same sex marriage must secretly have a yearning for that themselves.

    Look at it this way, why should what someone does, that is not physically harming you – be any of your business. Who knows if same sex marriage is really the "right" way and we are all wrong for opposite sex marriage.

    June 2, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  10. Ray Fisher

    Same sex marriages should never be an issue, who cares??? But I do wonder is PETA will begin promoting marriage with animals next, the wacky left has been known to go overboard!!!

    June 2, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  11. You be da man

    Steele... Judge Sonia Sotomayor's public comments are a little bit disconcerting, with respect to whether a Latina can make a better judgment than a white male,"Read the entire Article ***I'm sure you can relate to the Statement unless you have forgotten that you are black man in America...Oh I forgot it is little different when you are an Uncle Tom *** How about the inappropriate payments to Your Sister's company !!!!

    June 2, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  12. Cindy PA

    I mean really. I can't stand Republicans. You say you are the party of values. What the Religious right fails to understand is that your political leaders just pander to you for your votes. Cheney now saying he's ok with same sex marriage says it all. He could care less about that. He probaby could care less about abortions. They try and say they run on a platform of values. Well what a joke! Wake up Religious right! Quit voting for people who claim to have values but really dont!

    June 2, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  13. peter

    This is how I see it, talk about immigrations what pops -up in your mind? Hispanics, Talk about Aids in the world what pops -up in your minds? Africans. Talk about homo sexuality, what pop-ups in your mind? Caucasian Male disease. You see! its easier for Dick Cheney to accept homosexuality as a Caucasian male in addition of having a daughter who practises imorallity!. Marriage is between AMAN AND AWOMAN anything else is sodomy!!!

    June 2, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  14. dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Debbie from VA:
    "Cheney has been saying he supports gay marriage since at least 2004. Your first reaction is to spew hate at anyone who isn't a liberal.."

    Cheney has been saying he supports gay marriage to WHOM? He had eight years in which to do something about that "support" and...nothing. He was elected along with the shrub to represent all Americans. Including the ones that might bring him some controversy from both parties. He chose silence and inaction.

    I don't call two-faced dickie names because he isn't a liberal, I'm calling him what he IS. My gay/straight brothers and sisters died in his war and I will repudiate him for it 'till the day I too die.

    June 2, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  15. nitoNY

    To all the posters quoting scriptures- who da hell cares about what the Bible says?? Keep it 2 urself. This is America. We have separation of church and state. Nobodys is forcing the church to perform gay weddings and the church shouldn't be telling people what they can and cannot do!! If the gays are gonna burn in hell for getting married than so what?! How does stopping them from getting married here on earth change anything? You want to deny certain people basic rights and claim its in the name of protecting marriage? With divorce, infedelity etc. running rampant in this country, I think your focus is in the wrong place! There's another verse in the bible you forgot to mention-Before you can take the splinter out of your neighbors eye, take the log out of your own!!

    June 2, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  16. IowaBOY

    Well, having Cheney explain his position is a tricky one. Since he is a dyed-in-red-wool-republican– you know, with all the war-loving, bigoted, nature hating, little baby jesus bible-thumping nonsense, he is bound to stand by his "family values" slogan and support his daughter– gay or straight. However, you'd have to do some homework to find out WHEN his daughter TURNED lesbian since gays are not born that way– or so the flat earth society (republicans) say.

    June 2, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  17. nitoNY

    To all the posters quoting scriptures- who da hell cares about what the Bible says?? Keep it 2 urself. This is America. We have separation of church and state. Nobodys is forcing the church to perform gay weddings and the church shouldn't be telling people what they can and cannot do!! If the gays are gonna burn in hell for getting married than so what?! How does stopping them from getting married here on earth change anything? You want to deny certain people basic rights and claim its in the name of protecting marriage? With divorce, infedelity etc. running rampant in this country, I think your focus is in the wrong place! There's another verse in the bible you forgot to mention-Before you can take the splinter out of your neighbors eye, take the log out of your own!! And those words were written in RED! Can anyone tell me why?? Hmmmm. HYPOCRITES!!

    June 2, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  18. Pepper from CA

    Gay marriage is a civil right. It is covered by the 1st and 14th Amendments. The debate is a religious one. If the GOP is making a religious stand they may. Those who choose to be a part of the GOP may. However, this issue itself is a civil rights issue. Should the US declare against gay marriage it is in essence proposing a religion that is in itself against the 1st amendment. What religion would the US be proposing? If it is Christian then which denomination? To rule against gay marriage will re-open other civil rights issues. For example: People of color marrying outside of their own race, Brown v Board on segregation. Who is a citizen and what is their right to vote? Would that change people of color and women continuing to have the right to vote?

    June 2, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  19. Noah from Chicago

    Please shut up Dick! You’re really going to hurt the cause for Equal Marriage because too many people hate you

    June 2, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  20. alvino

    phoenix86-

    Please stop trying to convince us that you IQ is 86. There is no way you are that smart. Obama has nothing to do with the GM sale of Hummer, Saturn or SAAB, you nit wit.

    June 2, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  21. Not Left or Right but Forward

    Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    June 2, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  22. Shawn

    Ummm, I'm no defender of Cheney, but of course his mind has been opened to the reality of discrimination and inequality by his daughter. This is bad according to Steele? He prefers blind and braindead ideology over reality and actual people? What an idiot.

    June 2, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  23. anita

    i see the moderator is in full support of hate speak even when the issue is one SOME LIBERALS support... BUT NOT THE POTUS

    June 2, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  24. Cassandra Washington

    Steele messed up again! Cheney actually "outed" Obama for his lack of leadership on this issue and his tiresome rhetoric.

    June 2, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  25. brs

    Fair is Fair – Well, the Bible clearly mentions a third son (Seth)… and is ambiguous on whether Adam and Eve had daughters.

    Actually Adam & Eve had 3 sons and 2 daughters and Their sons married the daughters....reason 1,224 I don't believe in Apollo, Zeus, Thor or God.

    June 2, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
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