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. Mari( maybe one of my comments will be posted)

    Excuse me......... but........ where is the outrage from the far-right-GOPers.......... condemning DICK for his support of GAY MARRIAGE????

    Crickets chirping! Funny.

    June 2, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  2. wow...

    so the beast does have a heart.
    who'd of thought.

    June 2, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  3. J.P.

    Same sex marriage, abortion, etc etc etc.
    None of those silly distractions matter anymore.

    What matters is stopping the economic destruction of multiple generations of future Americans by an out-of-control president and the out-of-controll Congress that wrote the bill.

    You have to ask yourself, "Is it wrong to steal from people who have not yet been born?"

    Further, you have to ask yourself, "Is it wrong to steal from people whose own GRANDPARENTS have not yet been born?"

    Republicans in Congress, you are as guilty as the Dems. You'll be targeted at the ballot box in 2010, too.

    RE-ELECT NO ONE!
    535 random strangers chosen by similarity of SSN would be better than the current Congress. They couldn't possibly do any worse.

    June 2, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  4. David in Dallas

    For once I agree with Vice-President Cheney. I don't think I have ever agreed with him on anything else. Steele is a step-and-fetch-it idiot. Too bad President Obama has not spoken out or done anything regarding equality for GLBT Americans since he has been elected. He pandered to gays and lebsians to get their votes, but his silence and lack of action on issues such as marriage equality and 'don't ask don't tell" has spoken volumes. It reminds me of white politicians in the '50's and 60's who made promises to Blacks in order to get elected, but then did nothing to further their quest for equality once in office. Shame on Obama.

    June 2, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  5. fools, fooled by obama

    in a perfect world , all liberals would be gay, not just half of them...STOP heterophobia...

    June 2, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  6. J S Ragman

    Why didn't Cheney have the fortitude to say this while he was VP? Because is is despicable, unworthy of respect, and continuing to try and re-write history. Suddenly he cares about gay rights!? Was he afraid to admit this while working for our bible-beating Clown president?

    June 2, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  7. JonDie

    "...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..."

    Funny thing, most of these hot-headed, gun-toting, gay-hating, Bible-thumping members of these Christian Taliban groups to which the writer above belongs (perhaps because they haven't actually read what Jesus said, but more likely because they choose to ignore Jesus at the peril of their own souls) that Jesus NEVER once condemned homosexuality, even though he said, at least, twice that the divorced person risks hell.

    June 2, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  8. Jon

    Get rid of marriage in government and have everyone get a civil union. This is why we are not a democracy but a constitutional republic. To preserve the rights of all.

    June 2, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  9. Gregory Gookins

    How can Steele compare the Iraq War to the current government takeover of GM? That is a huge insult to every serviceman and servicewoman who has ever served anywhere. There are a whole hosts of reasons why we should or should not be making an expedited withdraw of troops from Iraq, none of which have anything whatsoever to do with or should be compared with the reasons for or against the government's involvement in General Motor's future. What a first class idiot this guy is. I can't believe the GOP keeps this guy on.

    June 2, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  10. al

    Freedom of choice is o.k. when it is same sex marriage but not o.k. when you are woman with an unwanted pregnancy.

    I believe Cheney is speaking out of both sides of his mouth, or as they say "speaks with a forked tongue:.

    June 2, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  11. lori

    The only thing I agree with Cheney. Marriage for all. Doesn't hurt my marriage if two women or men want to marry. I say let them.

    June 2, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. JediMasterMatt - Bethlehem, PA

    What people are failing to realize is this whole argument over 'marriage' should be moot. It should actually fall under seperation of church and state, because most people are responding to and against same-sex marriage because they see it as 'religious marriage' and not 'civil marriage'. If this debate was framed as a question of having a 'civil marriage' there is no reason why gays and lesbians should be denied equality.

    Same-sex marriage proponents need to emphasize that we are fighting for CIVIL MARRIAGE in order to win over more supporters.....who'd want a religious marriage anyway since Christians have hated and discriminated against gays and lesbians for decades???????

    June 2, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  13. Sniffit

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

    ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. No suit of this kind against a religious institution would stand against a motion to dismiss or summary judgment. We're not talking about forcing any religious institution to do anything whatsoever. This is about whether loving same-sex couples should be treated equally to the benefits of a marriage recognized by our SECULAR government as lawful and thereby receive the same LEGAL benefits, such as tax breaks and inheritence, etc., that opposite-sex couple get. Whoever told you to worry about churches being sued for not performing same-sex marriages is a LIAR who is misrepresenting the law of this land to further an agenda.

    Keep this in mind: Inserting religion into the Constitution is an invitation to the government to insert itself into religion. Keep your religion out of my government and I'll keep my government out of your religion.

    June 2, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  14. Diane

    I never thought that Dick Cheney and I would see eye-to-eye on anything. Guess I was mistaken and I freely admit it. I applaud former Vice-President Cheney for his stance on same-sex marriage. Freedom is meant for all, not just some.

    June 2, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  15. Jones in CO

    If Cheny did not have a lesbian daughter, he would be spewing the same ignorant talking points as Steele.

    Leave God out of this, she loves all her children.

    June 2, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  16. LIP

    It is okay for someone to say that their personal feeling is that marriage is between a man and a woman. This doesn't mean that we can't find it okay that a relationship between a man/man or a woman/woman is not okay. We really need to leave behind our biblical religious descriptions of what is right or what is wrong and move forward. Archaic religious doctrine surrounding marriage for Christians is just as archaic as Muslim beliefs regarding women. These are beliefs rooted in the past, a past that served us then, but is no longer appropriate.

    June 2, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  17. Tomas E

    Outlaw Marriage all together than everyone wins! If the gays can't have it, the straights don't need it and the politicians can find another "category of people" to use and abuse in their quest for power.

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

    @ John, who said "SAME SEX RELATIONSHIP cannot be called MARRIAGE."

    Either:

    1. "Marriage" is so full of religious overtone and connotations that it shouldn't be used at all in our secular laws; OR

    2. The First Amendment prevents interpreting use of the word "marriage" in our secular laws as having any religious connotations whatsoever.

    Choose. "Separate but equal" will get you nowhere.

    June 2, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  19. Dawn in Pa

    That is the only thing I agree with Darth Cheney.

    June 2, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  20. ThinkAboutIt

    The only thing I admire about Dick Cheney (and I mean only) is his support of his lesbian daughter and her right to be married.

    In regard to Steele's "suggestion" that Cheney's attitude about gays has been influenced by his lesbian daughter: No duh!

    Cheney actually knows gay people and gosh-oh-golly! He discovered that gays are just like the rest of us and should be judged by their character.

    June 2, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  21. Michele

    "freedom means freedom for everyone" unless Cheney designated you as an enemy of the state, of course. then all bets are off, innocent or guilty, expect to be drowned.

    June 2, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  22. RepubliKLANs Are Stupid As Stupid Does

    "I think freedom means freedom for everyone," Dick Cheney

    Well, Ms. Dick Cheney....remember you didn't believe freedom means freedom for "everyone" when YOU:

    1.) voted AGAINST Martin Luther Kings Jr birthday – a freedom for blacks & all Americans to celebrate his life & the civil rights struggle!

    2.) voted AGAINST freedom for Nelson Mandela after he has been incarcerated for 26yrs by an apartheid regime just because he was fighting for FREEDOMS for black South Africans!!!

    I guess when it's Ms. Dick Cheney's family, this blowhard is willing to spout his delusional ramblimgs just to protect his draconian torture legacy & his gay daughter!!!!

    June 2, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  23. Lori

    If this fool felt this way than why didn't he push for gay marriage legislation when he was VP for 8 LONG YEARS!!! You've got to be kidding me on this one. And where are all the conservatives out there defending Cheney's position now?

    June 2, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  24. Phat Elvis

    Nothing like a little life experience to rid oneself of bigotry and ignorance. Cheney should get out more, that way he wouldnt be so afraid of his own shadow.

    June 2, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  25. gl, Pittsburgh

    Michael Steele is no Obama. He keep flip flopping on his views.

    June 2, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
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