June 2nd, 2009
10:00 AM ET
9 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. dominican mama 4 Obama

    Two things: It seems as if Steele can't make a single utterance without lining himself up to another prominent figure, in this case the President, to validate his position. Secondly, if two-face dickie felt so strongly about same-sex marriage, he had eight years to pass it through the House and turn it into law. He didn't, possibly because he saw it as political suicide at the time. Now he's all for it simply because he has nothing to lose from any possible political fallout. Imbecilic posturer. Obama is going to have to deal with this very legitimate issue. I hope, however, that he does it in his time and his way, not due to unsolicited pressure and advice from these two buffoons.

    June 2, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  2. Cindy

    Who is former "president Cheney"? I understand that news is no longer fact-checked, but at least proof read the stuff you put out. Thank you.

    June 2, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  3. Ariana

    How convenient. Since he doesn't have any real power anymore, he can't make any change. He's NOT for gay marriage...give me a break. He's just taking Megan McCain's advice that the GOP needs to be pro gay. Funny how he felt the complete opposite when he was VP-the time when he could have actually done something about it.

    June 2, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  4. Dave

    Republicans are for freedom... as long as they have a vested interest in it. Cheney is like one of those people who never care about the disabled until they suffer some kind of debilitating injury, and THEN they suddenly become this big crusader for disability accomodations. If Cheney's daughter wasn't gay, he'd never care a thing about gay rights.

    Republicans are all about selfishness... and that's ALL they're about.

    June 2, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  5. Kelby In Houston, TX

    Steele would not dare say anything against the de facto leader of the GOP Boss Limbaugh and if he does, he apologizes...but he will speak against the Dark Lord with impunity?!? WHAT?!?!

    Steele, please reconsider. You're dealing with Darth Dick Cheney!!!
    This is a man who shot a guy in the face...and made that guy apologize for it.... Ask yourself, Do you really want to go against the Dark Lord....yer done for!!!

    June 2, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  6. Kathy

    How come views are only deemed influenced by gay daughters and never straight ones?

    June 2, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  7. black&white

    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 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  8. wakeupamerica

    This is the only thing I've ever agreed with Michael Steele on.

    June 2, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  9. kendal

    Get ready for the apology from Michael Steel any minute now.

    June 2, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  10. Done with GOP

    so its appropriate if there is a gay person in your family but it is wrong to support gay marriage otherwise? getting pretty random here GOP?!??

    June 2, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  11. dominican mama 4 Obama

    ...And what's with the "former president Cheney" typo CNN? I almost threw up. Then again, that would explain a whole bunch of stuff wouldn't it?

    June 2, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  12. Frank, Las Vegas

    Gee Steele ya think? Well duh. To think that someones opinion could be influenced by their life experiences. Steele you're an idiot. As for Cheney, I bet he would change his mind about water boarding being torture if he was water boarded, just once. But he's a coward when it comes to things like that, just like he got out of the draft. Big talker when it's someone else, but when it's him, he runs and hides.

    June 2, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  13. Cedric

    Funny how he NEVER spoke on this issue when he WAS Vice President but now he'll chime in on it....

    June 2, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  14. Osama Bin Laden

    Steele WHO???

    June 2, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  15. Bill

    Yes, Mr. Steele, it is indeed easier to deny equality to people whom you do not know personally. That is the whole point of this debate. You are not the brightest bulb, are you?

    June 2, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  16. Tim

    Does this mean Cheney will demand an apology from Steele, like he did in 2004 when Kerry mentioned his lesbian daughter?

    June 2, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  17. Sniffit

    "...influenced by his lesbian daughter..."

    Yeah, funny how the reality of the whole issue comes home to roost and you suddenly see the light when it's someone you love. Suddenly it's not just a wedge issue you can throw around trying to carve up the voting market. Who'd a thunk?

    You might want to clamp it Mushmouth...this issue is just one of many that is going to destroy the GOP if it "stays the course."

    June 2, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  18. Luke Brown

    Michael Steele just proves that prejudice stems from ignorance. Of course, Cheney's view of same-gender marriage is personal. DUUUUH????

    If Steele had a gay child, he also would want his kid to grow up in an America where he enjoyed the same rights as others.

    June 2, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  19. phoenix86

    News sources outside of PCNN are suggesting that Obama is going to sell Hummer to a Chinese investor.

    We all know how well the Chinese treat their employees. Ha-ha-ha-ha

    June 2, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  20. Sean

    Wow. In one fell swoop, Steele has supported constitutional discrimination against gays, inappropriately painted a solid Supreme Court nominee as a racist, and declared "government intrusion" in big business affairs to be "offensive" when it was his party's LACK of government oversight that allowed these big businesses to drag us into our current economic crisis to begin with. Well done, Steele! It's a hat-trick of wrongness!

    June 2, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  21. Karla

    Did anyone notice the FIRST sentence in this article? President Cheney???? Also, Moderate Democrate...I agree with your view for that same privacy reasoning and Yes he is a dirt bag!

    June 2, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  22. Russell in Tenafly

    Cheney is a typical Repugnican–no principles–who changes his position when it might help his own family. It is just like the Repugnicans who switch to support stem cell research when a family member develops a neurological disease.

    Although he has adopted the right position, it is (typically for a Repugnican) for the wrong reason. If Steele turns out to have a gay kid, he will flip over, too.

    June 2, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  23. Russ

    Is that all Steele has.....repeat talking points he picked up from past Repulidiots? Limbaugh probably told him what to say.

    June 2, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  24. Mari( maybe one of my comments will be posted)

    WASHINGTON (CNN) – A day after former president Dick Cheney repeated his support for the idea of same-sex marriage, Republican party chairman Michael Steele publicly disagreed with him, suggesting that Cheney's position was influenced by his lesbian daughter.


    WOW.......... this will blow the minds of the holier-than-thou-family-values-crowd! Can't wait to hear ....... the GOP Boss-Lush-Limbaugh's comment on this!

    June 2, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  25. HSNP

    If only time travel were possible Mr. Steele could be transported back to the 1850's. He might change his tune about basic freedoms then.

    June 2, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
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