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. Mary

    It is easy to discrimiante against someone you don't know or care about them. It is a very different story when one realizes that "gays" are our borthers, sisters, parents and children.

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

    Did Steele say it was a "situation"/


    June 2, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    @ Thomas E, who said "Outlaw Marriage all together than everyone wins!"

    Except standup comics...

    June 2, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  4. Travis

    Good for Cheney and sad that Steele thinks being anything but 100% hetrosexual is a "situation". Obama should follow Cheney and reconsider his archaic opposition against same-sex marriage.

    June 2, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  5. Hopeful Optimist

    Knowing Cheney's very, very simple mind as exhibited by things he's said about all sorts of things over the years, it doesn't surprise me that he would side with a controversial position as the result of his daughter's sexual orientation. I think most parents would follow suit; or at least I would hope they would. Remember, its natural to love your offspring unconditionally, and to support them in their search for a meaningful and happy life.

    What I find bothersome about Cheney is that if it didn't affect his family personally, he'd be ready to throw everyone who supports gay marriage under the bus. Just like he's always ready to send others' kids off to fight HIS wars.

    June 2, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  6. Gary

    I'm glad Mike Steele stated his own thoughts on the sex issue. Now Chaney, Limbaugh, and Rove will have to chew him out because Steele expressed himself independently!

    June 2, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  7. nadine

    I bet if Dick Cheney didn't have a gay daughter he'd be all over trying to ban gay marriage. I wonder if he had a kid that was waterboarded would he then see it as torture. So if Saddam was not a part of 911 and there were not weapons of mass distruction, why did we go into Iraq and not find Osama Bin Laden. Why was Hussein captured and killed. What did Amercan have to capture him, couldn't the in his country police him and bring him to justice without our troops having to get involved.

    June 2, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  8. Dan

    The vice president knows that marraige was created out of a religious union between one man and one women. He now only supports his daughter. Why is the term marraige so attractive? Isn't a union with the same benefits the same idea. Change the benifits authorized in a union and everyone is happy.

    June 2, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  9. matt

    God said do not judge but one day we will all have to stand before god and give an account on our lifes Jesus died for everybody and gave everybody a choice take it as you want to hear it

    June 2, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. Patrick

    As Firesign Theater once put it, Steele is leading the party "forward... into the past!"

    June 2, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  11. dave

    Cheney did not say "two consenting adults". I think that is what he means. I don't think he means more than 2 in a marriage.

    if you don't support ... don't have one.

    same sex marriage
    drug use

    June 2, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  12. Rick

    This wouldn't be an example of Dick Cheney expressing empathy, would it? Heaven forfend!

    June 2, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  13. daphne

    To Debbie from Virgina, Kerry had every right in the world to point out the lesbian daughter of Dick Cheney during the 2004 presidential campaign. She was working for the Bush / Cheny campaign and was a legitimate target – especially since she really is a lesbian and was trying to get homophobia locked into one of the branches of government. This divisive issue got Bush re-elected. She was fair game.

    June 2, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  14. B Davis

    Cheney agrees with gay marriage because his UGLY daughter is a lesbo.

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

    OOOPS – now it's getting personal. Poor Dick and stupid Steele may provide the next round of Repug entertainment.

    June 2, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  16. a southern progressive

    someone i really dont like on my side.. but in regards to this issue, i would like to say thank you to the war criminal... and say, see, everyone is a little progressive, even the evil dark lord...

    i will say this, dick cheney is a more understanding father than mine is, however mine is an ex-minister who accepts words written by someone he can not claim over the words of his own son. so kudos to dick.

    June 2, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  17. Ben

    I think people are confusing the idea of marriage with other concepts. Marriage is a religious principle that the state or federal governments should have no interest in to begin with. That is why there is such a divide between people that oppose and support the idea of same sex marriage.

    Most people would not have a problem with some type of civil union for same sex couples, but when you are using a religious term of marriage it gets a little more personal to those whose beliefs dictate that a marriage consists of a man and woman.

    It amazes me that this has become such a huge ordeal. One side wants the same legal rights as the other and the other side does not want their religious beliefs tarnished. Civil Unions is the correct answer, but both sides are too freaking stubborn to concede the other side has valid rights to protect from the other.

    June 2, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  18. Simpliticus

    It is an untenable position for Cheney to hold on the gay issue as his daughter is one, so, naturally, Steele would be at odds with the former vice president! But that opens a whole other can of worms as the straw man issue of the GOP unravels. If Cheney cannot hold to an anti-gay issue, then there really is none! And Steele is holding a can of nothing!

    June 2, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  19. Ravensun

    "It is an abomination..."

    Oh? Like anything else "unnatural," like eyeglasses, cars, and polyester clothing? The word "abomination" has changed in what it means over the centuries, folks. It used to mean "that ain't the way we do things," and now it has all sorts of nasty connotations to it.

    As for the "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" part... read the next chapter. Adam and Eve were pulled out of many and used for a single story, to illustrate what happens when you eat things you shouldn't.

    Funny, that tree that they chowed down on fruit from didn't give us much in the way of knowledge of good and evil, did it?

    June 2, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  20. Claudia in Houson

    When Cheney was still in office and asked about his daughter's lesbian relationship he became angry and refused to comment. Cheney could have done a lot while in office for gay lesbian communities then, but he didn't so who cares now. He's a fraud.

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

    When the republicans aren't criticizing the democrats then they go after each other publicly. What a bunch of idiots.

    June 2, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  22. B Davis

    Steele, you keep talking like this, my brutha, this black woman is gonna start liking you just a little bit. Give me some more, what else you gotta say that makes sense?

    June 2, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    @ Fair is Fair and patNY, who had this exchange:

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

    Well, the Bible clearly mentions a third son (Seth)… and is ambiguous on whether Adam and Eve had daughters."

    Hint: the bible is mostly a STORY.

    June 2, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  24. SlowGun

    @John in Ohio June 2nd, 2009 12:51 pm 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."


    Yup...Facts are facts
    ...but what you state above isn't fact...it's a belief.

    June 2, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  25. Eli

    I agree with Mr. Cheney's position, that the federal government should not involved. Unfortunately, the very notion of same-sex marriage has been banned in many states. What will he have us do? All the gays should relocate and move to New England because that's the only region of the country that permits same-sex marriage? That will not do. Soon the federal courts/government will get involved...it's only a matter of time. Also, there is a huge difference between religious marriage and civil marriage. I personally support the efforts of the NH governor who is striving to equal rights for gays and lesbians but at the same time a strong supporter of protecting religious freedoms.

    June 2, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
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