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. Pete

    "…The vice president brings a very personal perspective to this issue,"

    News flash – he's not the vice president any more. Thank god for that. Now if he'd just shut up and go away, we could get on with fixing the country he pretty much single-handedly broke.

    June 2, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  2. Tricia from Fresno

    I thought that we were the United States of America... where all are treated equally under the law. I didn't see the fine print that said "unless you are gay".

    June 2, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  3. William

    Who is more confused here? Steele or Cheney. It seems that the GOP is at a loss for direction or words. Stunning!

    June 2, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  4. RobK

    The question is not whether everyone should be free to enter into any union or agreement they wish, but whether the government should support those agreements with public record keeping and tax incentives. Clearly if two homosexuals want to go to a lawyer and have him draft up a legal agreement, creating a civil union, they should be free to do so.

    June 2, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  5. dominican mama 4 Obama

    To:
    Nope... I dont' buy it.... June 2nd, 2009 12:22 pm ET ...et al

    Nope, I don't buy it either!!

    June 2, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    One can only hope and pray that sometime soon we find Mushmouth in the back of a taxi in the same position as we found Eddie Murphy...

    June 2, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  7. Professor

    I've heard some homosexuals say that homosexuality is a condition that is genetically pre-determined, and that homosexuals are incapable of changing their sexual orientation.

    Next year, my Christian ministry organization will feature a speaker who will come to our town and give his personal testimony of his salvation by Jesus Christ. This speaker was a homosexual before he was saved. He will tell us how the LORD delivered him from that lifestyle, and that he is now a born again Christian and happily married to a woman.

    If it were true that homosexuals could not change their sexual orientation, then it would be impossible for homosexuals to get saved and live happily as heterosexuals. Yet, every year, a number of homosexuals convert to Christianity and become heterosexuals. It happens all the time.

    June 2, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. Scoobydob

    I used to beleive in same sex legal relationships (call it marriage or any other name you choose) but if dickem cheyney thinks it's okay something must be wrong.

    June 2, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. thetruthisoutthere

    can't believe cheney doesn't say same-sex marriage will make us "less safe"...oh wait, his daughter is gay...guess the ole' draft dodger still practices partisan politics...

    June 2, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  10. RobK

    I wonder if people really mean that "everyone" should be allowed to get married? Should the states remove restrictions on age limits, multiple spouses, and close relatives?

    June 2, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  11. once upon a horse

    when will people learn that whoever a person wants to marry is really not the goverments' business? Most of those on the right favor smaller goverment, well I agree and when it comes to personal decisions such as who to marry then politics and religious beliefs need to butt out.

    June 2, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  12. Michael K, Baltimore MD

    Leviticus also forbids consumption of alcohol and shellfish as well as shaving. So, when the fundies start showing up with long forelocks, we will have a hint that they are starting to walk the walk and not just shooting off ill-informed mouths.

    June 2, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Interesting thing about many conservatives:
    * Cheney tows the line except for gay marriage
    * Nancy Regan is conservative except for stem cell research
    * Rush Limbaugh...does he speak badly about drug addicts anymore?
    * Jim Brady (Reagan's press secretary who was shot in the head) worked for gun control
    See a pattern here? All of them are conservatives except for those areas where their lives are touched.

    June 2, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  14. Steve D

    Anyone who doesn't like religion involved in this discussion shouldn't get "married"...that originated in the bible! You can't go calling a same-sex married "HOLY Matrimony"...there's nothing holy about secular realities of this sort. Civil Union should be enough for gays...if not, and they want to call themselves married, by a minister of God, they cross the line if they aren't willing to abode by the standards of God articulated in religion. Gays can do as they please, but don't bastardize Christianity in the process, don't demean the Christian sense of righteousness/goodness and don't make God have to come down here again!

    June 2, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  15. Joseph, Los Angeles

    Is Cheney also influenced by his straight daughter? What is it with this Steele fella? I've never seen a leader who grasps for straws as much as this guy. Cheney has had this position for years; Where was Steele then? Probably scared to death to say anything negative about the then Vice-President-President.

    Steele is a chicken!

    June 2, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  16. Jim Bradshaw

    why in the heck would anyone oppose gay marriage? Would they prefer promisicuous behaivor to monogamy and commitment? Gay people pay taxes and they are Americans just like everyone else. leave them alone and let them live their lives as full members of society.

    June 2, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. James M. Holmes

    MIchael Steele can't even get this right! WOW... Is this guy a moron or what... way to pander to the same right-wing religious fanatics that see you only as a "token"... LOL

    As for Cheney, I'm upset I actually agree with him on something... Almost makes me want to rethink my opinion... haha.

    But numerous polls show the same thing about this whole debate – most people who know and love someone who is gay are more likely to see them as a human being, thus willing to give them equal rights. Those that don't know any gay people, tend to see them as some sort of evil / non human characture... thus want to withhold their "God given rights"...

    "NEW RULE" for Dick Cheney... since he has finally admitted that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, he must now quit mentioning 9/11 every time he tries to justify the invasion of Iraq in future speeches... but hypocracy and lying don't seem to phase him much. Man has no dignity or honor!

    June 2, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  18. Richard

    Why do all the liberal post sound like IDIOTS. So much hate on the left.

    June 2, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  19. Joe

    How do some of you Republican haters manage to turn Dick Cheney's view on a social issue into comments about Iraq? I don't know why I keep reading these comments, the bulk of them are "I hate Republicans" accompanied by a poorly articulated, loosely related, and usually grammatically incorrect argument, regardless of what the issue is.

    June 2, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  20. Brett from Austin

    For once, I agree with Dick Cheney and DISAGREE with Obama and the Republican Party. Steele, shut your face and go back to butting heads with Rush Limbaugh. If the Republican voice is to say "no", then boy you certainly found it.

    June 2, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  21. Steve D

    Anyone who doesn't like religion involved in this discussion shouldn't get "married"...that originated in the bible! You can't go calling a same-sex married "HOLY Matrimony"...there's nothing holy about secular realities of this sort. Civil Union should be enough for gays...if not, and they want to call themselves married, by a minister of God, they cross the line if they aren't willing to abide by the standards of God articulated in religion. Gays can do as they please, but don't bastardize Christianity in the process, don't demean the Christian sense of righteousness/goodness and don't make God have to come down here again!

    June 2, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  22. James M. Holmes

    "I think freedom means freedom for everyone," Cheney said Monday

    I'm sure the people being denied Habues Corpus in Gitmo will find this statemenet ironic... since FREEDOM doesn't exist without Habeus Corpus!

    June 2, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  23. LASTP

    It will take the man another 8 years to admit torture is illegal. By that time he will be coming out of jail with his daughter Elizabeth to admit it together.

    June 2, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  24. LADYMARY

    While I don't believe in gay "marriage", I would support civil unions with all the same rights and responsibilities granted to all legally joiined couples. I think the main reason they are pushing to call it 'marriage" is because they are pushing an agenda to make a homosexual lifestyle considered mainstream.

    June 2, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  25. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Of course, Mr. Steele will side with Lord Limbaugh and the rest of the conservative prima donnas of the Republican party and will now throw Cheney under the bus! To say that his statement favoring same-sex marriage is because his daughter is a lesbian is a given! Can't you come up with a better reason that that, Mr. Steele? You simply stated the obvious! What a moron!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 2, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
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