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. Chris D.

    Another day in the soap opera that is the GOP.......Keep it up....As Obama hires the competent republicans to work for America in his administration, the thinking Americans begin to see that the remaining GOP are lost, as of now...truly......

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

    Every family has gay members in it. When you deny gay rights, you deny equal rights to your own kin. Period. Think about it.
    I'm glad Cheney realized and admitted that.

    June 2, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  3. Minnesotan

    Oh, look, Cheney's contradicting his earlier statements once again. You can always tell when he's lying: His lips are moving.

    June 2, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  4. TBA

    Cheney's position is influenced by his lesbian daughter and Steele is influenced by the Ring Wing Extremist along with the Churches.

    June 2, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  5. mike,texas

    Dick admitts there was no connection between Iraq and 9/11.Thats not what he told congress.War Criminal is all he is.

    June 2, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  6. Pepou

    Steele is a cretin. Period.

    June 2, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  7. Hawkeye

    As a mother with a gay daughter in a commited relationship in Texas
    (10 years), I understand what Cheney is saying. I strongly disagree with everything Cheney has stood for in the last 8 years, but I admire his stance on this issue. . . . . because he has a gay daughter.

    The only thing that could have led Cheney to his position on gay marriage is love for his daughter. . . . . . and that I admire.

    Pandering to the religious right is a no win policy. BTW, "religious right" is a misnomer. I do not see any faith, hope or love (and the greatest of these is LOVE) exhibited by this group.

    June 2, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  8. Larry from RI

    Sure, but what does your boss RUSH think?
    I hope you had your comments cleared with him – just so you don't have to crawl back and publicly kiss his keester again?

    June 2, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  9. Angie in Pa

    Uh oh Rush is gonna scold Both of them, Shame on you both for not Checking with your leader first. I smell an apology and flip flop on this subject and Yes Cheney was the President behind the Scenes!

    June 2, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  10. Barbara

    If gay people want to be togeather,thats there right. ' But for two people the same sex to marry is totally wrong,marriage is for a man anda women. God created that law,he said go forth and multiply.It to me is a sacred renunion.Pople today make up ther e own rules. We live in a very sad world today.Our grandchildren are so confused by all this.Who will speak for the childen of gay people.There are some wonderful gay people,but they are are not thinking clearlly.God Help us all.

    June 2, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  11. Robin

    I don't care that gays want the same rights as husband/wife couples. In fact, they should be able to have the same rights. Just don't call it marriage.

    What happens when a priest, pastor, reverend, rabbi decline to perform same sex marriages because it is a contradiction of their faith?

    Will they be fined or placed in prison?

    And yes, homosexuality is in the bible and not in a positive way Leviticus 18:22.

    The bible also tells you life begins at conception (Psalm 139) and that you should not kill the unborn. Exodus 21:22-25.

    June 2, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  12. Right wing "looser"

    OOOOOH!! Dick Cheney just mentioned that *gasp* Dick Cheney's openly gay daughter is openly gay!! We must destroy him and publicly condemn him for this outrage like we did when John Kerry mentioned the same exact thing during one of the Presidential debates in 2004. How dare Dick Cheney be so disrespectful of Dick Cheney!

    June 2, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  13. fishy fish

    This guy won't last at his post with the way he is going against the Rethuglican party sharks.

    June 2, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  14. The Jellyman

    Ergo, by Mr. Steele's logic, are we are to conclude that his own position is influenced by the fact that no members of his family are gay?

    June 2, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  15. pete

    Anybody can do anything they wish but the consequences are very harsh in the end, being a homosexual in any shape or form is wrong according to the scriptures, there is a heavy penalty for all sin and this is just one of them, get Jesus, get Saved, get eternal life with God in heaven!

    June 2, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "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."

    More proof the GOP hates the federal Constitution and sees it as an impediment to their agenda. Why? They use divisiveness and wedge issue to corner pockets of the voting market. If the federal Constitution is interpreted to give EVERYONE the same rights, prohibiting one state from violating them while other states don't, then the GOP can't claim little areas of victory for itself. Uniform civil rights are anathema to the GOP because they have painted themselves into a corner. They are at a point now where their strategy needs to involve carving up the voting market in a regional manner, not just based on the issues themselves. One way to do that is claim that all sorts of civil rights issues should be left to the states...that civil rights should not have to be uniform across the country. The proof is in the pudding: why do you think we're hearing so much 2nd Amendment fear-mongering, yelling and screaming about taxes with allusions to the American Revolution and, utlimately, blather about secession? If issues like this are resolved on a federal level, it becomes much harder for the GOP to claim victories for "red states," so it further erodes their power base.

    June 2, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  17. Bob

    States as the final arbiters of civil rights? The Constitution and our history say otherwise. If the states had been the final arbiters of the civil rights of African Americans, Mr. Steele would still be entering buildings through the back door and occupying separate and unequal public facilities.

    June 2, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  18. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    I find it interesting that Steele charges that Cheney's personal experience with a gay person has lead him to support personal partner relationships.

    Does this sound familar to you?

    "I would hope that a wise white ex-vice president with the richness of his experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a black political party leader who hasn’t lived that life."
    Paraphrasing Ms. Sotomayor

    June 2, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  19. John

    Same Sex Relationships can be Recognized and Given Rights equal to Married Couples of Opposite Sex.




    If I like to eat an APPLE. Another Person has the right to eat his own choice of Fruit (ORANGE). But while the other Person is eating an ORANGE, cannot be said he is eating an APPLE. Because and APPLE is an APPLE and an ORANGE is an ORANGE.

    MARRIAGE is an APPLE, which is eaten by people of OPPOSITE SEX.
    GAY RELATIONSHIP is an ORANGE, which is eaten by people by SAME SEX.

    Therefore MARRIAGE is not equal to GAY RELATIONSHIP.
    Just like and APPLE is not equal to an ORANGE.
    Although both APPLES and ORANGES are FRUITS.

    June 2, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  20. Marcus, Great Lakes IL


    It is GM that sold its Hummer Brand, not Obama.

    Spin cycle working overtime this morning?

    June 2, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  21. Rubyredman - now here

    Richard A. Spomer, Alexandria, VA June 2nd, 2009 11:43 am ET

    .... 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.

    Are the "facts" really the FACTS?? Were you there when God "created" man and woman? Or are you following a 2000 year old, or 5000 year old book written by men?
    If you really believe in God, then you should be smart enough to know God does not make mistakes. If you really believe God created "man", then you should understand God created every kind of "man" – tall, short, fat, skinny, handsome, pale, tanned, hetero and yes even homosexual.
    So, yes God created it ALL. He even created bigots and ignoramuses, if you catch my drift..

    June 2, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  22. Melissa

    Disgusting people, these Republicans are. Sick to death of the promotion of hatred they keep pushing.

    June 2, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  23. Had It

    If the people would just change terminology:

    Marriage – recognized in church and in courts as legal and binding. Man and Woman.

    Civil Union – recognized in courts and some churches as legal and binding. Man and Woman, Man and Man, Woman and Woman.

    They all just want to hate and fight. Media especially. It "gets them ratings" (of course after all is said and done, sometimes the ratings are LOW).

    June 2, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  24. Linda

    Mr. Steele, in the making of policy, shouldn't we put ourselves in the shoes of others to understand the issue, rather than blindly supporting policies that discriminate because they don't directly affect us? The fact that Cheney is influenced by his family circurmstances shows how prejudice against loved ones can open a persons eyes to the impact of discriminatory policy ,and help them to make educated decisions.

    June 2, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  25. Jeffrey in Michigan

    The GOP implosion continues unabated...life is sweet!

    June 2, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
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