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. JediMasterMatt - Bethlehem, PA

    @ Robin.....It is contrary to your faith???

    This isn't about your faith or 'religious marriage', its about equal rights and CIVIL MARRIAGE. You need to keep your dang religion out of my life and my Constitution/Bill Of Rights.

    If you don't support same-sex marriage....DON'T HAVE ONE!

    June 2, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  2. Deb

    "Reflects his situation with his daughter..." Michael Steele you are embarassing. Don't even try to be like President Obama...you will NEVER succeed.

    June 2, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. Darth Vadik, CA

    Cheney's just trying to get into Heaven now, that's all.
    Well Dick, when your dad is Satan that is kind of hard.

    June 2, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  4. m cella

    Steele is yet another prime example of the GOP's inability to seperate church from state in an attempt

    to pander to the right wing religious whackos that make up the only base left for the party. All this talk about how marriage is defined in the Bible – written by man and boring as hell does not belong in government as set forth in our Constitution. However what can we expect from a party that has taken to setting aside those parts of our Constitution that it does not agree with.

    June 2, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  5. Charlie in Maine

    That right Steele attack Cheney on the one thing he is right about.

    June 2, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  6. Darth Vadik, CA

    I guess Steele supported the marriage when it said a marriage is between one white man and one white woman, or one colored man and one colored woman too.

    June 2, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  7. Adam in school

    wow i never actually thought i'd agree with cheney on anything but i agree with him on same-sex marriage

    June 2, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  8. Robin

    Tony in Maine June 2nd, 2009 12:53 pm ET

    Robin sez: "Look, I'm not saying that gays do not deserve to have rights and be treated with respect, but Christians have rights too, and gay marriage is a contradiction of my faith."

    Your rights end where another's begin. Christians have no right to impose their views on non-Christians.

    *sigh* Colossians 4:5-6 and 1 Timothy 1:5.

    June 2, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  9. bob in LA

    Too bad he couldn't have been so forthcoming while in the White House.
    Obviously when people open their minds to something different the heart can follow. Gay people are just that...people.

    June 2, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  10. geecee

    This is surely an incredible day when that dick, Cheney has finally admitted Iraq and 9/11 had no connection, and also believes that gay marriage should be left up to the states! Has the man had an epiphany? I doubt it, but finally I agree with him on a couple of things.

    June 2, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  11. Repugs are Thugs

    I am so sick of folk talking about Christians being wrong. If it is truly separation of church and state fine. Then every politician who is sworn into office who places his hand on the Bible should uphold its principles. If not, just raise your right hand and be done with it. We have a right to believe the Bible. Geez. Don't force your beliefs on us, and we sure won't force ours on you.

    June 2, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  12. Iain Gill

    oh please @ people accussing Dick cheney of only caring about same sex marriage because of his daughter being a lesbian- well d'uh, hello!
    you speak as if this is a selfish motive, I think most people who support same sex marriage does so because they know somebody in their lives who is gay and want to see them happy. Most people who opposse it have little or no exposure to gay friends , family members so its easy to reject it and cast dispersions.

    @the right wing religious who continue to try and force scripture down peoples throats -time is on the side of same sex marriage, a majority of those under 56 support it. Its only a matter of time before New York, New Jersey, California, Rhode Island and several others join the list of states that allow civil marriage rights to everyone.

    One person gets to judge – thats god. not you. He never gave you the right to judge other people.

    June 2, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  13. Debbie from VA

    IObviously, most of you did not do your homework. 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. I don't understand how any of you can compare this to Kerry's statements. Kerry had no right to use Cheney's daughter to make a political point. All of you name callers would have thrown a fit and called more hateful names if a Republican tried that. Try some real discourse instead of name calling. If you have facts use them.

    June 2, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  14. Texas Annie *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

    @ Robin who wrote: "...but Christians have rights too, and gay marriage is a contradiction of my faith."

    So Robin, nobody is asking YOU to marry a same sex partner.
    They're only asking for the same rights for gay couples that you enjoy as a heterosexual couple.

    I have a gay nephew who has been in a committed relationship with his partner for almost 12 years. Their relationship is WAY better than the one his heterosexual parents had– where his Mom cheated every chance she got. It's way better than another nephew of mine who is straight and preaches his hate for gays & his holier-than-thou superiority every chance he gets. He must forget that he's 1) divorced, and 2) living outside marriage with another woman right now.

    June 2, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  15. Jerzjen

    Where is all the Republican outrage? Why haven't we heard Boss Limbaugh accuse Cheney of not being a "real" Republican? Is Steele saying that Cheney's views are influenced by his experiences? Oh for shame! Does this mean that Cheney hates heterosexuals?

    June 2, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  16. PerfectTroy

    Dick Cheney's recent comments are interesting, but are in stark contrast to his opinions on the matter one to two years ago. Back then he stated that he did not support same-sex marriage. I am curious why he is voicing his support now, as opposed to when he held elected office. Maybe his position hadn't "evolved" at that point.

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

    Same Sex Marriage and Homosexuality is against Nature and Unnatural. Penis goes into Vagina and not into Anus, Mouth, Ears, Nose, because those organs are made for other uses, not Sex.

    June 2, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  18. Jake

    Michael Steele...the GOP's dancing monkey. Circus Clown. Puppet. And BIGOT!

    June 2, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  19. Adam in school

    also i would like to add it is probably true that cheney only supports same-sex marriage because his daughter is gay. But that happens alot. That is the reason that people under 30 are more supportive than people over 30 when it comes to same-sex marriage. They know openly gay people and like them and see no reason why they shouldn't be allowed to marry.

    June 2, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  20. Darth Vadik, CA

    Repugs are Thugs,

    Your right in saying that there needs to be a separation of church and state, but not every congressman and senator is sworn in on a bible. There was one who was sworn in with his hand on a Koran, plus I'm sure that there a quite a few congressmen of Jewish faith.

    June 2, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  21. John in Ohio

    Robin sez: "Look, I'm not saying that gays do not deserve to have rights and be treated with respect, but Christians have rights too, and gay marriage is a contradiction of my faith."

    When you're forced to have a gay marriage, you'll have a valid argument.

    I could say that church services are a contradiction of my faith. Can church services be banned now?

    June 2, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  22. Robin

    @Repugs are Thugs June 2nd, 2009 12:59 pm ET
    Geez. Don't force your beliefs on us, and we sure won't force ours on you


    So that means since the people of CA voted down Proposition 8, they don't want same sex marriage. Why is it still being forced on them?

    June 2, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  23. Pro-Family!

    I have gay friends, and I have friends that cohabitate. It does not mean that they should be able to use the word "Marriage." Being homosexual is a choice!!!!!! Even the American Psychologists Association has said it is a choice. Equal rights are for actual differences - skin color, gender (the one you were born and not the one you want to act like). Show me the DNA that makes you gay. You cannot show me; therefore, I do not accept it as a defendable right.

    June 2, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  24. gl, Pittsburgh

    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:.

    I agree with your message. God is against gays as he is against abortions. And in God's eyes sin is sin and no sin is greater then the otehr. So why do the far right want to have it both ways. All sin is seen as sin to God no one sin is greater then the other.

    June 2, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  25. JediMasterMatt - Bethlehem, PA

    to Repugs are Thugs...you said.... "Don't force your beliefs on us, and we sure won't force ours on you." Isn't it a little too late for that???

    That's what this whole argument is about, the Christian Right Wing wanting to ban same-sex marriage BASED on their religious views, nothing more, nothing further, they don't even bring up the words CONTITUTION or BILL OF RIGHTS because they know they would lose in a heartbeat framed under equality, so they have to use religion (religious marrige) as their wedge issue.

    June 2, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
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