Mary Cheney Contributes to Anti-Gay Candidate
The openly lesbian daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney has made a financial contribution to an anti-gay Ohio politician whose record includes opposition to rights for gay and lesbian families.
Rob Portman, a Republican who formerly held a Congressional seat for the state of Ohio, served as an appointee in the George W. Bush administration, leaving his Congressional seat in 2005 in order to accept the post of United States Trade Representative. In 2006, he succeeded Joshua Bolten as the director of the Office of Management and Budget.
While a member of Congress, Portman cast vote in 2004 in favor of a Constitutional amendment barring gay and lesbian families from marriage.
In 1999, he opposed and adoption rights for Washington, D.C. gay and lesbian families, reported an Aug. 31 story at Raw Story.
Now Portman is running for the Senate seat that will be left vacant by Ohio Sen. George Voinovich’s expected 2011 retirement.
Mary Cheney had raised GLBT hackles when she worked for Coors Brewing Co. as the company’s director of outreach to the gay community.
But she also ran afoul of anti-gay religious and social conservatives when she and her life partner Heater Poe had a baby two years ago.
Some conservatives decried the couple’s entree into parenthood, claiming that the child was consciously being "denied" a father.
However, Cheney herself refuted claims that children without opposite-sex parents fail to develop as well as children with mtwo mixed-gender parents in the house.
Right-wing claims to that effect are based on studies of how well children develop in households headed by single mothers. But those studies do not reflect the realities of how children thrive in an attentive, loving two-parent home.
As Cheney herself noted, "Every piece of remotely responsible research that has been done in the last 20 years has shown there is no difference between children raised by same-sex parents and children raised by opposite-sex parents.
"What matters is being raised in a stable, loving environment," Cheney added.
Anti-gay conservatives also lashed out at the former Vice President when, at an address at the National Press Club earlier this year, the elder Cheney told his audience that, "Freedom means freedom for everyone," and stood up for the rights of gay and lesbian families like his daughter’s.
Said Dick Cheney, "As many of you know, one of my daughters is gay, and it’s something that we’ve lived with for a long time in our family.
"I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish," Dick Cheney continued.
Social conservatives pounced on the former Vice President’s comments, with Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber declaring that Cheney was advocating "sexual anarchy."
Said Barber, "If freedom to marry means, as [Cheney] said, that people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish, well then, he’s virtually endorsing polyamory and polygamy, and incestuous marriage, and bestiality."
Mary Cheney’s donation of $1,000 to Portman’s campaign, which Cheney contributed in May, seems to have been made strictly along partisan lines, since the anti-gay Portman is a Republican, whereas two other contenders for the seat--Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher and Jennifer Brunner, the Ohio Secretary of State, both Democrats--have indicated support for legalizing marriage equality in the state of Ohio, Raw Story reported.
In the past, Mary Cheney has said that sexual orientation should be "a non-issue for the Republican Party," and has advocated for the fair and equal treatment of gay and lesbian Americans before the law.