November 27, 2013 | by Chris Johnson
Mary Cheney to host Ind. marriage equality fundraiser

Dick Cheney, Lynne Cheney, Mary Cheney, Liz Cheney, gay news, Washington Blade

The Cheney family has drawn media attention for its public dispute on same-sex marriage (Photo public domain).

In the week after she criticized her sister for opposing marriage equality, Mary Cheney has announced she’ll headline a fundraiser to stop the passage of an amendment that would ban marriage rights for gay couples in Indiana.

In an e-mail sent out to supporters of Freedom Indiana on Tuesday, Cheney announces she’ll take part in a fundraiser scheduled to take place in Indianapolis on Dec. 11.

“Freedom means freedom for everyone,” Cheney writes in the e-mail. “For me, that’s not just another saying. It’s who I am — the core of what I believe. No one should be denied the fundamental liberties we all deserve.”

Cheney’s use of “freedom means freedom for everyone” recalls the use of the phrase by her father, former Vice President Richard Cheney, when he came out for marriage equality during a National Press Club appearance.

Mary Cheney also takes an indirect dig at her sister, Liz Cheney, who declared during an appearance on Fox News Sunday that she opposes marriage equality despite as she pursues a run for U.S. Senate in their family’s home state.

“Speaking out against HJR-6 isn’t a matter of politics,” Mary Cheney writes. “It’s about family. It’s about everyone feeling welcome in the state they call home. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do to protect my wife Heather and our two children. And then I think about the thousands of same-sex couples and their families in Indiana who would be directly impacted by HJR-6, I’m committed to standing together and working across party lines to keep this amendment out of Indiana’s constitution.”

Mary Cheney, who was unable for an interview with the Washington Blade, previously generated media attention last week when she shared a Facebook post from her spouse, Heather Poe, that criticized Liz Cheney for opposing same-sex marriage. Later, Mary Cheney said in an email that she wouldn’t support her sister’s campaign.

To become part of the state constitution, the anti-gay marriage amendment in Indiana must must be agreed to in the state legislature by two separately elected general assemblies. Afterward, it comes to the ballot and will be ratified if approved by a majority of voters.

The amendment has already been approved once by the Indiana Legislature in 2011. Anti-gay groups are setting their sights on passing the amendment for the second round in 2014.

Although Mary Cheney has criticized her sister over the marriage issue, the lesbian Republican donated $2,500 dollars to the 2012 presidential campaign of Mitt Romney, who campaigned on a U.S. constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Jennifer Wagner, a spokesperson for Freedom Indiana, said her organization has been working on bringing Mary Cheney in support of the campaign even before the flap with her sister.

“She reached out to us after the launch of our campaign in August about doing an event,” Wagner said. “We’ve been working with her ever since to get it scheduled.”

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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