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. Dan, TX

    Sadly, if Cheney's daughter was not homosexual, we all know he'd be a rapid anti-gay voice.

    June 2, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. Nope... I dont' buy it....

    I see people giving the former V.P. his supposed due for stating something contrary to the repuboican dogma.

    pretty convenient now that he's not the one asking for votes of right wingers....

    Pretty convenient now that his daughter is out on TV every day selling her father's lies to try to keep his pasty-self out of jail.....

    nope.... I don't buy it...

    June 2, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. patNY

    If God said, go forth and multiply, why did he give Adam and Eve two sons? and then have one kill the other?

    Get my point!

    June 2, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. ANGIE

    the only reason he now supports same sex marriages is because his daugther is gay.

    June 2, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  5. ThinkAboutIt

    Regarding the Bible and those who quote it as reason to judge and hate homosexuals:

    The Bible is a political document, filled with contradictions and altered by the men who have written and re-written it for thousands of years for their own very earthly gains.

    The only message I need is to practice love, forgiveness, compassion and tolerance in my life. These ideals are not limited to the Christian faith, because they truly are universal. Practicing them is what makes me feel connected to not only others, but to God. It's not always easy, but well worth the effort!

    June 2, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. ken

    Whatever benefits Bushes and Cheneys...

    June 2, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  7. Fla.

    Cheney sure had no problem pushing a failed, federal amendment of discrimination in our US Constitution when it was politically expedient for him & his fellow neocons in 2004. Credibility, please.

    Steele also flip flops, but that unfortunately appears to be par for course with him in the RNC.

    June 2, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  8. Randolph Carter

    You know you're a right-wing nut job when Dick Cheney takes a position to the left of you on anything. Have a nice day!

    June 2, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  9. kygirl

    The only reason why Dick Cheney is supportive of gay marriage is because his daughter is gay. Had she not been gay, he would not support it. It only goes to show that Dick Cheney maintains views that are convenient to Dick Cheney (like the torture debate, the collapse of the economy, etc. etc. etc.).

    The funny thing about this is FOX News, the GOP and others have not spoken out against his position with a loud voice (as they would have if this was anyone else on the democrat side). It's sad that the GOP allows him to rule their party, even on issues they are totally against.

    June 2, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  10. Steph

    Yes, when real people that you care about are negatively affected by banning same sex marriage, one tends to soften a bit on the issue. It is much easier to say no to the civil rights of a faceless group of "others". It is harder to tell your daughter or son that they can't have equal rights under the law (no one is saying anything about what a church, synagogue or any other religious institution does on the issue...separation of church and state).

    I commend former VP Cheney (and I rarely do that) for standing up for his beliefs. I'm sure he will be attacked by the right for it.

    June 2, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  11. gl, Pittsburgh

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

    It was GM that come to the government for help. Repubicans need to find some else to complain about. GM made bad choices and they are feeling the pain of making those stupid HUMMERS!

    June 2, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  12. Dave C - NJ

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

    OK Let's talk about Leviticus, which is where the gay haters get their fuel.

    That book also says things like you cannot touch the skin of a pig, or cut your hair above the ear, and all sorts of other stone-age nonesense that made sense to folks 2000 years ago but has no place in society today where we are all crowded in and need to love and respect each other.

    June 2, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  13. Jason

    Yeah but remember when Dick was against same sex anything during the 2004 campaign and that nasty wife of his you know that chick with a dick, Lynne, was planning on passing a bill banning same sex marriage. These people have no morals. They are a disgrace to the human race.

    June 2, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  14. Democrat in MD (CNN please post. Thank you!)

    Michael Steele actually has a spine! Who would have thought......?

    June 2, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  15. I Don't Have A Passport

    et tu, Cheney?

    I hate gays because I fear them.
    I hate Muslims because I fear them.
    I hate non-whites because I fear them
    I hate non-Christians because I fear them.
    I hate all other languages because I can't speak them.
    America is the center of the world.
    Jesus was an American.

    What happened to the American where it acceptable and encouraged to think this way? I miss that America...that beautiful Republican, Conservative, Christian, White America....

    June 2, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  16. Robert

    Marriage can be only between a Man and Woman:
    Marriage cannot be between:
    1. Man and Man.
    2. Woman and Woman.
    3. Mother and Son.
    4. Siblings
    5. Father and Daughter.
    6. Man/Woman and Dog or Horse or other animals or birds.
    7. Man/Woman and a Car or a Truck or other Things.
    8. Man/Woman and a Rock.

    June 2, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  17. Charlie

    Hay Rush and Newt, you arn't going to let this one get away. Here's you chance to tell Cheney he needs to join the Dems!

    June 2, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  18. Dan, TX

    Why all the fuss. There is no Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, or God. It is lovely to believe in a supernatural being, Gods explain a lot about the things we don't understand – in fact we don't even have to understand, just have faith.

    If church goers really believed in God, they wouldn't behave the way they do, relying on the excuse that we are all weak and sinners, so it is OK if I sin. If you really believe in God, you won't sin. Most people pretend to believe in God so they can fit in. God is for the weak. Go ask George Will, conservative pundit, who does not believe in God.

    June 2, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  19. chris24

    he's right, it is HIS personal view.

    not everyone's. that is why it is each person's
    right to do as THEY see fit.

    June 2, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  20. a little sad

    What I'm curious about is why CNN did not call him on it when Steele was criticizing Obama on GM because of what the Obama administration did "6, 9, 10 months ago".

    It's June 1; Obama took office January 20. Anything done 6 months ago or longer was the previous administration.

    But don't let the fact ruin a good whine.

    June 2, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  21. Kristina, Seattle

    Cheney (for the first time in recent memory...) is right.

    June 2, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  22. Dave C - NJ

    Barbara, God didn't "create that law."
    Some self-serving clown did 2000 years ago.

    That's the same argument terrorists use...GOD'S WILL. Give me a break.

    June 2, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  23. Randolph Carter

    Robert, how about a man and two women? That'd be awesome! Have a nice day!

    June 2, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. JediMasterMatt - Bethlehem, PA

    @ Robert....your comment is so ignorant and immature, no wonder this country can't move forward and work on the real issues....its because people with such closed-minded narrow views of those who are different keep getting in the way with petty issues.

    June 2, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. Nunya

    Clearly Cheney's daughter being gay has influenced his understanding of the issue. Too bad he doesn't have more friends of varying types to have given him a realistic view of so many other issues.

    As far as the Bible and homosexuality, before you go spouting off about how it condemns it, take some time to study the issues – and I mean *actually* study the issues by seeing what both sides have to say about it, not just seeking out those that confirm whatever biases you have going in. It is not as clear cut as so many want to make it sound.

    June 2, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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