September 17, 2014 at 11:36 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Mary Cheney: Backing gay rights will help GOP become majority party
Mary Cheney, LCR, gay news, Washington Blade

Mary Cheney spoke at the Log Cabin Republicans Spirit of Lincoln Dinner on Wednesday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

For Mary Cheney, backing gay rights isn’t just the right course of action for the Republican Party in moral terms, it’s also the path that’ll help the GOP at the polls.

The lesbian political consultant and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney made the case for Republicans to back gay rights during her keynote speech Wednesday at the National Log Cabin Republicans annual “Spirit of Lincoln” dinner in D.C.

“Simply and clearly affirming the rights and dignity of gay men and women will not make us a weaker party — it will help make us a majority party,” Mary Cheney said. “We haven’t come this far without an awful lot of confidence in the justness of our cause.”

Cheney said support for gay rights is a natural fit for Republicans because “freedom and equality” are the founding principles of the party.

“I am not a conflicted conservative, struggling to reconcile personal views with settled principles,” Cheney said. “Sometimes you hear people speak as if freedom and equality for gay Americans requires some sort of radical departure from the ideals of the party of Lincoln. And this never fails to amaze me — because I always thought freedom and equality were the ideals of the party of Lincoln.”

Cheney said she considers herself a conservative because she believes in the free market; doesn’t “skip from the First Amendment to the Third” and is “proud to be a responsible gun owner”; shares the Reagan view that man isn’t free unless government is limited; and considers family the cornerstone of society.

“I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I will say it again – all families — regardless of how they look, how they’re made or where they live — all families deserve to be treated with the same respect, dignity, legal rights and recognitions as every other — I firmly believe that,” Cheney said.

Cheney, who was well-received by the audience of gay conservatives, made headlines earlier in the year over a family tiff in which she publicly rebuked her sister Liz Cheney for declaring her opposition to same-sex marriage, who was running as a candidate for U.S. Senate in Wyoming.

Cheney recalled her own father’s endorsement of marriage equality 14 years ago, saying efforts like his have helped change minds leading to growth in support for the idea.

“Fourteen years after my dad first spoke those words in a nationally televised debate, they don’t seem quite so daring as they did back then,” Cheney said. “And one reason for that is that Log Cabin, and other like-minded efforts, have got people thinking. You’ve accepted the challenge of persuading. You have been persistent and offered reasoned arguments, not just blunt demands and accusations. And quite frankly that makes all the difference.”

Other attendees at the dinner were Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) as well as Republican congressional candidates Carl DeMaio and Richard Tisei.

Read Mary Cheney’s full remarks here.

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

  • And the thing the GOP wants most is the supreme court – 1 or 2 evangelical southern baptists and its all over for gays and other minorities. re any sort of acceptance

    Whats behind all the anti obama biz in the GOP – their most reliable and most conservative or worse voting block is the old confederacy

    Heres an example of a southern baptist dominated group, the FRC They are a hate group per the SPLcenter who also go after the kluxers and destroyed with lawsuits most of the branches of that hideous organization of extremist right wing protestants

  • Not only have Log Cabin Republicans not made "demands and accusations;" they have obediently capitulated to their party's bigotry at basically every turn, most recently by endorsing Mitt Romney despite his support for every item on the agenda of anti-gay fanatics, including the federal marriage amendment, and his repellent crusade against gay couples in Massachusetts. LCR has shown that there is literally no principle of gay equality on which it won't sell out. I don't consider abject capitulation and refusal ever to exert any meaningful pressure to be politically astute. This sounds like a rather pathetic effort to pass off conniving cowardice as some kind of perverse principle.

  • "Cheney recalled her own father’s endorsement of marriage equality 14 years ago"

    Funny, but I recall the presidential ticket she refused to actively campaign against 10 years ago – the one whose victory resulted in two viciously anti-LGBT votes on the Supreme Court.

    And, for some reason, I can't recall her war criminal daddy actively doing one damn thing to substantively stop hate or enact anything that even looked remotely like any kind of equality.

  • Too little too late, babes. She could've said this before Obama made it popular. Cheneys are irrelevant. I would respect a "Log Cabin Libertarian" group because that would truly call for small government… so small it wouldn't want jurisdiction over folks' marriages. ..but Republicans want big government telling us who we can marry & subsidizing corporations. Selective big government. Republicans are not conservatives. They are hypocrites. Libertarians are conservatives

  • Mary [Cheney], please! So you said one good thing in a speech filled with so much other bullet points of crap that I threw up a little in my mouth just reading it. Among other things, there is the Magical Thinking of “not [being] a Republican with reservations….some sort of radical departure from the ideals of the party of Lincoln.” Sorry, but THAT party has ALWAYS opposed civil rights for gays—if it hadn’t, your remarks, contradictory and hallucinatory as they were, wouldn’t be news. Of course, you can’t be too harshly judged for misrepresenting what your warmongering monster father said about marriage equality when most gays of all stripes saw in it what they WANTED to see, too. In fact, if one reads it closely he contradicted himself. An objective rewrite of what your father actually said would be: “freedom means freedom for everybody—UNLESS they live in a state that chooses to deny it to them.” And, yes, Boys & Girls, that was once the opinion of both Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton. too. Yeh, some of us can dare criticize BOTH sides. In fact, if there is ONE good thing to say about Log Cabin it is that it filed the lawsuit against DADT that played a huge role in forcing homophobic then-SECDEF Robert Gates into no longer [overtly] opposing repeal because he didn’t want the court ending it immediately. And, again, yes, so soon most people forget that Obama, Inc., ruthlessly FOUGHT that lawsuit, and demanded [and got} a halt on the District Court’s ordering an immediate end to discharges. Still, for all this Democratic Administration’s past and ongoing mistakes, Ms. Cheney shows no signs of ever catching up, let alone her Party. Fail.

  • Mary Cheney resigned from the Republican Unity Coalition (RUC) in 2003 , a gay/straight Republican alliance with Senator Alan K. Simpson as Advisory Board chairman and President Gerald Ford serving on its Advisory Board—the only former President ever to serve on a Board of an LGBT group. The RUC never heard from Mary Cheney again. The timing was 2003, immediately after the RUC came out hard against Rick Santorum's outrageous comments on sodomy laws ('man on dog') and Bush communications advisor Mary Matalin's defense of Santorum and her attack on the RUC, on "Meet the Press" with Tim Russert. Russert was clueless. This was just prior to the Supreme Court overturning Lawrence v Texas, the Texas sodomy law that Santorum defended. Following her resignation, Mary Cheney went back into the George W. Bush campaign. These are the facts.

  • The Log Cabin Repugnican are blindly TRYING to be part of the "Oligarchy" that is the Repugnican party.
    They can't hear the laughter coming from the powers that be
    They are in such denial, and so delusional, voting for some "Rainbow in the Sky" over their own very "SELF"
    Truly sad and pathetic
    AND: Mary Cheney actually believes her "daddy" did no wrong !

  • So Mary Cheney found a mouth to defend her rights as a Lesbian instead of just being used as a doormat while her father was VP and being told to keep silent so christian conservatives would not be offended. Her behavior during those years was a disgrace and shameful. Will the Blade allow me the free speech to say so or stifle it? After all you know what I’m saying is true.

    Fat chance the GOP will embrace gay rights any time soon. Their base is christian conservatives and they are always afraid that these people will splinter off into a third party and siphon off votes they need. Gays only matter to them when they need to appear to be compassionate.

  • Too many Log Cabin Republicans put their own greed over their own nurturing instinct, while kissing the butt of their hero, the callous and wrong-headed Ayn Rand collected Social Security who I studied for years. She was so hell-bent on over-compensating against mother Russia and communism, that she bent her so-called "objective logic" way too far to the far-right extreme when it comes to politics, economics and even some social issues.

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