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Skyline - Houston, Texas

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Does Cheney Love His Grandson?

Granny usually posts on domestic issues involving inequality for citizens such as those affecting gays, but sometimes I do. Cheney's two-faced bigotry enrages me.

It's time for Dick and Lynne to prove whether they love their new grandson or not.

Bush is now threatening to veto the DC Appropriations bill because it no longer includes gay-bashing language that the GOP has put in there for years. The language banned the DC government from using federal funds to in any way support domestic partner benefits, civil unions and the like (not that the DC government was using federal funds, but it was a nice chance for the GOP to gay bash anyway). Now that the Democrats have dropped the GOP gay-bashing language from the bill, George Bush is threatening a veto.

First off, has Bush learned nothing from the fact that his vice president has a daughter, Mary Cheney, who is a lesbian, and who just had a child - in DC - with her lesbian partner, Heather Poe? What Bush is saying is that should Heather end up in a hospital in DC, dying, Mary won't be allowed to see her because she's not "family." What Bush is saying is that if Mary and Heather's baby, Samuel David Cheney, ends up in a DC hospital with a serious illness (and forget him if he ends up in Virginia) only one parent (we're not sure which) will be allowed to visit because both clearly aren't the biological parent of their baby. (And it's interesting that Mary and Heather, who live in Virginia, chose to come to DC to have their baby - a city in which they have far more rights as a lesbian couple than they have in Virginia. Yet now those rights are in danger of being taken away by the man Mary helped get elected. Way to go, mom.)

Second, Bush supports civil unions for gay couples. He said so on ABC right before the 2004 elections. From the NYT:
In an interview on Sunday with Charles Gibson, an anchor of "Good Morning America" on ABC, Mr. Bush said, "I don't think we should deny people rights to a civil union, a legal arrangement, if that's what a state chooses to do so."
So, why is he now going to veto legislation that supports his own policies? Answer: because Bush has nothing left to stand for. As he sinks lower in the polls he can only define himself by saying "no," and by falling back on tried and true Republican cliches: lowering taxes; scaring the public; and bashing gays (and their babies). And if Bush has to say no to Samuel David Cheney, Mary and Heather's baby, in order to appease the bigots at the Family Research Council, then the baby is toast. Hell, the baby is the easiest target (reminds me of an old ad from the Children's Defense Fund (at left)).

George Bush is willing to veto Mary Cheney's baby. And not a word from Dick Cheney or Lynne Cheney about the legislative child abuse Bush is about to inflict on their grandson. It's bad enough Dick and Lynne Cheney sat by for so many years as the GOP (and Dick's own boss) bashed their daughter, but you'd think that the Cheneys would finally come to the defense of their own innocent grandson, Samuel David. The Cheneys have a simple choice. They can side with their own flesh and blood, or they can side with the people who bashed Mary and Heather and their newborn child.

So the question remains, Dick and Lynne, do you love the kid or not?

UPDATE: Pam has more.

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Cheney Poses With Newborn Grandson, But Not His Lesbian Daughter

By Jennifer Chrisler, AlterNet. Posted May 28, 2007.

Cheney and his wife posed in a photo with their new grandson. While the media ate it up, they failed to question why the newborn's two mothers -- Mary Cheney and her partner Heather, were not included.

A picture is worth a thousand words. In this case the silence is deafening.

Picture the photo of the Vice President and his wife and their newborn grandchild -- fresh from delivery and still wrapped in his hospital-issue receiving blanket. What's missing here? The child's parents, of course.

The fact that this White House chose to announce the birth of Vice President Cheney's grandson -- Samuel David Cheney -- with a photo of the baby without either one of his two mothers in sight should come as no surprise. This administration continues to try to have its cake and eat it too when it comes to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans.

Think about it. Samuel is the Cheney's sixth grandchild -- but can you recall seeing photos of any of the other grandchildren? The only thing that makes Samuel's birth newsworthy at all is that his birth mother, Mary Cheney, is both a lesbian and the daughter of the man who is second in command of an administration that has been more destructive to the lives of LGBT parents and their families than any other group in American history.

By virtue of Mary's status as the Vice President's daughter, she and her partner, Heather Poe, continue to be arguably the most prominent Republican lesbian couple in the country. Mary's pregnancy has been covered by the media since it was first announced. The couple welcomed their first child, Samuel, into the world earlier this week. And yet the mothers are not included in the photo that was sent out to announce the birth of their child.

A more astute media might be asking why there is no photo availability of the entire family, but that is not happening. As a result of the absence of a compelling and truly representative visual to accompany the story, there has been minimal media coverage of the latest addition to one of the nation's most prominent LGBT-headed families. Once again, this administration has manipulated the media for its own purposes -- and the media has allowed them to do so. And, once again, LGBT-headed families remain largely faceless and invisible to the majority of America.

As a lesbian mother and an advocate for full equality for LGBT-headed American families, I have followed Mary Cheney's pregnancy with great interest and empathy. I have read and appreciated her statement that their baby is a "gift from God" -- for is that not true of all children?

I certainly believe that about mine. I have also read Mary's statement that, in her view, their child is "not a political statement." I wish that were also true. I absolutely join Mary and Heather in their desire to live in a world -- and to raise their son in a world -- in which that were the case. However, the unfortunate reality is that our children and our families are politicized -- but not by us. Mary and Heather's invisibility in the public announcement of their own son's birth is proof of that reality.

It is no secret that President Bush and Vice President Cheney's re-election campaign strategy centered around mobilizing the most conservative elements of the Republican Party by targeting LGBT people and their families. Ballot initiatives about same-sex marriage were introduced in many states with the specific intent of bringing religious conservatives to the polls.

However, when asked about his daughter Mary's sexual orientation, Vice President Cheney has consistently asserted his love and support for his daughter. In addition, the Vice President was described by an official White House spokesperson as "looking forward with eager anticipation" to the birth of his sixth grandchild. Additionally, when asked specifically about Mary and Heather becoming parents, President Bush replied that he thought Mary would be "a loving soul to her child" and "a fine mom." Mary's partner, Heather, reportedly even receives protection from the Secret Service.

Nevertheless, in a cowardly move to mollify their conservative base, the administration stripped Samuel's lesbian mothers from the picture heralding his arrival. It simply doesn't get any more political than that.


See more stories tagged with: cheney, lgbt

Jennifer Chrisler is the Executive Director of Family Pride, the nation's only organization dedicated to achieving equality for gay families and their children. She and her spouse are raising twin boys.


Ingrid said...
I have not been online very much but are sooo right. Isn't it obvious even to a staunch Republican who's anti-gay AND knows all about Mary??Great post! Ingrid
Saturday, June 30, 2007 9:32:00 AM
Granny said...
I started to post this (the threatened veto) when I saw it yesterday and ran out of time.You did a much better job than I would have done.I wouldn't have made the connection between Bush veto and the Cheney granddaughter as quickly.
Saturday, June 30, 2007 10:00:00 AM
Ingrid said...
btw ladies, you guys have been awarded the 'rockin' girls blogger' award.. check it out. It's well deserved and I love to refer anyone to your site. You guys are real troopers!Ingrid
Saturday, June 30, 2007 11:56:00 AM

The Future Was Yesterday said...

It's Cheney's definition of "Tough Love."

Bush's veto is intended to prevent just such a "horrible" thing from happening again....snicker!

Saturday, June 30, 2007 4:01:00 PM



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