Imagine, for a moment, that we are back in the year 2004. It was a time of daily headaches for people who cringed at the sound of then-President George W. Bush's stupid voice or the sight of then-Vice President Dick Cheney's pure, angry Batman villain evil. But now, it appears that Dick Cheney's quietly advocating for marriage equality in Maryland. What is this new devilry?
Maryland legislators are set to debate and vote on The Civil Marriage Protection Act, which was introduced by the state's pro-marriage equality governor Martin O'Malley. Lobbying has been heated on both sides. On the "vote no" side, calls have been flooding in from everyone from the Catholic Church (Oh, goody. Them again.) to that home schooled 14-year-old who was worried that the gays would affect her family. But pro-gay marriage advocates have voiced their opinions as well. One conservative lawmaker who eventually decided to vote for marriage equality says that his voicemail is full of supportive messages from the likes of Mayor Bloomberg, pro-gay RNC Chair Ken Mehlman and... former Vice President and human embodiment of heartless sneering evil Dick Cheney?
Apparently Cheney's a well-known supporter of gay marriage rights, and for that, we have his daughter to thank. His second daughter Mary is gay and lives with longtime partner Heather Poe in Virginia. The couple has two children.
Let's pause and reflect on the fact that this Dick Cheney is the same Dick Cheney who was around when the Bush administration proposed the Federal Marriage Amendment, a constitutional amendment that would have limited marriage to heterosexual couples by barring domestic partnership or civil union benefits to same sex couples. At the time, Dick Cheney said he was personally in favor of marriage being defined at the state level, but that because he was a member of the Bush administration, he supported the amendment.
Mary's been credited with getting Dick to change his tune on gay marriage, but what, exactly, she did to make his robotic heart grow three sizes is yet unknown.
Maryland Lawmakers under National Pressure on Marriage Bill [Baltimore Sun]