Don’t Bet on Gay Marriage Fading as a GOP Issue

Dispute between the Cheney sisters shows issue remains pertinent to party’s primary voters.

NEW YORK, United States: Elizabeth(L) and Mary Cheney, daughters of Vice President Dick Cheney attend the Republican National Convention at Madison Square Garden in New York City 01 September, 2004. Convention delegates formally nominated President George W. Bush for another four-year term 31 August and he will accept the party's nomination during a prime-time televised speech 02 September.
National Journal
Alex Roarty
See more stories about...
Alex Roarty
Nov. 18, 2013, 5:09 a.m.

The fight over gay mar­riage isn’t go­ing away with­in Re­pub­lic­an Party. 

The New York Times re­por­ted Sunday that Liz and Mary Cheney, daugh­ters of former Vice Pres­id­ent Dick Cheney, are en­gaged in a nasty and in­creas­ingly pub­lic dis­pute over Liz’s op­pos­i­tion to same-sex mar­riage, a po­s­i­tion she’s taken while run­ning for Sen­ate in Wyom­ing. Mary, a les­bi­an, is mar­ried to an­oth­er wo­man and con­sequently has not been shy about cri­ti­ciz­ing her sis­ter’s op­pos­i­tion. 

“What amazes me is that she says she’s run­ning to be a new gen­er­a­tion of lead­er,” Mary Cheney told the Times. “I’m not sure how stick­ing to the po­s­i­tions of the last 20 or 30 years is the best way to do that.”

Liz Cheney, in an e-mail to the news­pa­per, said that she loved her fam­ily and has al­ways “tried to be com­pas­sion­ate to­wards them.:

Liz’s polit­ic­al cal­cu­lus is clear: Run­ning as an in­sur­gent con­ser­vat­ive against a pop­u­lar in­cum­bent Re­pub­lic­an, Sen. Mi­chael En­zi, she can’t af­ford to look mod­er­ate. And even as the broad­er pub­lic grows more ac­cept­ing of gay mar­riage, Re­pub­lic­ans, and es­pe­cially so­cial con­ser­vat­ives, re­main strongly op­posed to same-sex mar­riage. Can­did­ates like Liz Cheney who want to po­s­i­tion them­selves as a con­ser­vat­ive du jour must still op­pose the meas­ure — even if it makes fam­ily re­unions es­pe­cially awk­ward. 

As Gal­lup re­por­ted in Ju­ly, 66 per­cent of Re­pub­lic­ans said they would op­pose mak­ing gay mar­riage leg­al in all 50 states (nearly an identic­al num­ber of con­ser­vat­ives said the same). Among those who at­tend church weekly, the num­ber rises to 73 per­cent.

The cross pres­sures of primary voters and the gen­er­al pub­lic are sure to put GOP can­did­ates in a bind for the next sev­er­al elec­tions. Al­though op­pos­ing gay mar­riage won’t hurt the Re­pub­lic­an nom­in­ee in Wyom­ing, it will in battle­ground Sen­ate states like Vir­gin­ia and New Hamp­shire. And most dis­tress­ing for the GOP, it could harm who­ever ends up cap­tur­ing the party’s pres­id­en­tial nom­in­ee in 2016. 

The fight over gay mar­riage isn’t go­ing away with­in Re­pub­lic­an Party.  The New York Times re­por­ted Sunday that Liz and Mary Cheney, daugh­ters of former Vice Pres­id­ent Dick Cheney, are en­gaged in a nasty and in­creas­ingly pub­lic dis­pute over Liz’s op­pos­i­tion to same-sex mar­riage, a po­s­i­tion she’s taken while run­ning for Sen­ate in Wyom­ing. Mary, a les­bi­an, is mar­ried to an­oth­er wo­man, and con­sequently has not been shy about cri­ti­ciz­ing her sis­ter’s op­pos­i­tion.  “What amazes me is that she says she’s run­ning to be a new gen­er­a­tion of lead­er,” Mary Cheney told the Times. “I’m not sure how stick­ing to the po­s­i­tions of the last 20 or 30 years is the best way to do that.” Liz Cheney, in an e-mail to the news­pa­per, said that she loved her fam­ily and has al­ways “tried to be com­pas­sion­ate to­wards them.”  Liz’s polit­ic­al cal­cu­lus is clear: Run­ning as an in­sur­gent con­ser­vat­ive against a pop­u­lar in­cum­bent Re­pub­lic­an, Sen. Mike En­zi, she can’t af­ford to look mod­er­ate. And even as the broad­er pub­lic grows more ac­cept­ing of gay mar­riage, Re­pub­lic­ans, and es­pe­cially so­cial con­ser­vat­ives, re­main strongly op­posed to same-sex mar­riage. Can­did­ates like Liz Cheney who want to po­s­i­tion them­selves as a con­ser­vat­ive du jour must still op­pose the meas­ure ““ even if it makes fam­ily re­unions es­pe­cially awk­ward.  As Gal­lup re­por­ted in Ju­ly, 66 per­cent of Re­pub­lic­ans said they would op­pose mak­ing gay mar­riage leg­al in all 50 states (nearly an identic­al num­ber of con­ser­vat­ives said the same). Among those who at­tend church weekly, the num­ber rises to 73 per­cent.  The cross pres­sures of primary voters and the gen­er­al pub­lic are sure to put GOP can­did­ates in a bind for the next sev­er­al elec­tions. Al­though op­pos­ing gay mar­riage won’t hurt the Re­pub­lic­an nom­in­ee in Wyom­ing, it will in battle­ground Sen­ate states like Vir­gin­ia and New Hamp­shire. And most dis­tress­ing for the GOP, it could harm who­ever the party’s 2016 pres­id­en­tial nom­in­ee is.The fight over gay mar­riage isn’t go­ing away with­in Re­pub­lic­an Party. The New York Times re­por­ted Sunday that Liz and Mary Cheney, daugh­ters of former Vice Pres­id­ent Dick Cheney, are en­gaged in a nasty and in­creas­ingly pub­lic dis­pute over Liz’s op­pos­i­tion to same-sex mar­riage, a po­s­i­tion she’s taken while run­ning for Sen­ate in Wyom­ing. Mary, a les­bi­an, is mar­ried to an­oth­er wo­man, and con­sequently has not been shy about cri­ti­ciz­ing her sis­ter’s op­pos­i­tion. “What amazes me is that she says she’s run­ning to be a new gen­er­a­tion of lead­er,” Mary Cheney told the Times. “I’m not sure how stick­ing to the po­s­i­tions of the last 20 or 30 years is the best way to do that.”Liz Cheney, in an e-mail to the news­pa­per, said that she loved her fam­ily and has al­ways “tried to be com­pas­sion­ate to­wards them.” Liz’s polit­ic­al cal­cu­lus is clear: Run­ning as an in­sur­gent con­ser­vat­ive against a pop­u­lar in­cum­bent Re­pub­lic­an, Sen. Mike En­zi, she can’t af­ford to look mod­er­ate. And even as the broad­er pub­lic grows more ac­cept­ing of gay mar­riage, Re­pub­lic­ans, and es­pe­cially so­cial con­ser­vat­ives, re­main strongly op­posed to same-sex mar­riage. Can­did­ates like Liz Cheney who want to po­s­i­tion them­selves as a con­ser­vat­ive du jour must still op­pose the meas­ure ““ even if it makes fam­ily re­unions es­pe­cially awk­ward. As Gal­lup re­por­ted in Ju­ly, 66 per­cent of Re­pub­lic­ans said they would op­pose mak­ing gay mar­riage leg­al in all 50 states (nearly an identic­al num­ber of con­ser­vat­ives said the same). Among those who at­tend church weekly, the num­ber rises to 73 per­cent. The cross pres­sures of primary voters and the gen­er­al pub­lic are sure to put GOP can­did­ates in a bind for the next sev­er­al elec­tions. Al­though op­pos­ing gay mar­riage won’t hurt the Re­pub­lic­an nom­in­ee in Wyom­ing, it will in battle­ground Sen­ate states like Vir­gin­ia and New Hamp­shire. And most dis­tress­ing for the GOP, it could harm who­ever the party’s 2016 pres­id­en­tial nom­in­ee is.
What We're Following See More »
STAFF PICKS
These (Supposed) Iowa and NH Escorts Tell All
4 hours ago
NATIONAL JOURNAL AFTER DARK

Before we get to the specifics of this exposé about escorts working the Iowa and New Hampshire primary crowds, let’s get three things out of the way: 1.) It’s from Cosmopolitan; 2.) most of the women quoted use fake (if colorful) names; and 3.) again, it’s from Cosmopolitan. That said, here’s what we learned:

  • Business was booming: one escort who says she typically gets two inquiries a weekend got 15 requests in the pre-primary weekend.
  • Their primary season clientele is a bit older than normal—”40s through mid-60s, compared with mostly twentysomething regulars” and “they’ve clearly done this before.”
  • They seemed more nervous than other clients, because “the stakes are higher when you’re working for a possible future president” but “all practiced impeccable manners.”
  • One escort “typically enjoy[s] the company of Democrats more, just because I feel like our views line up a lot more.”
Source:
STATE VS. FEDERAL
Restoring Some Sanity to Encryption
4 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

No matter where you stand on mandating companies to include a backdoor in encryption technologies, it doesn’t make sense to allow that decision to be made on a state level. “The problem with state-level legislation of this nature is that it manages to be both wildly impractical and entirely unenforceable,” writes Brian Barrett at Wired. There is a solution to this problem. “California Congressman Ted Lieu has introduced the ‘Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications Act of 2016,’ which we’ll call ENCRYPT. It’s a short, straightforward bill with a simple aim: to preempt states from attempting to implement their own anti-encryption policies at a state level.”

Source:
STAFF PICKS
What the Current Crop of Candidates Could Learn from JFK
4 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Hillary Is Running Against the Bill of 1992
4 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

The New Covenant. The Third Way. The Democratic Leadership Council style. Call it what you will, but whatever centrist triangulation Bill Clinton embraced in 1992, Hillary Clinton wants no part of it in 2016. Writing for Bloomberg, Sasha Issenberg and Margaret Talev explore how Hillary’s campaign has “diverged pointedly” from what made Bill so successful: “For Hillary to survive, Clintonism had to die.” Bill’s positions in 1992—from capital punishment to free trade—“represented a carefully calibrated diversion from the liberal orthodoxy of the previous decade.” But in New Hampshire, Hillary “worked to juggle nostalgia for past Clinton primary campaigns in the state with the fact that the Bill of 1992 or the Hillary of 2008 would likely be a marginal figure within today’s Democratic politics.”

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Trevor Noah Needs to Find His Voice. And Fast.
5 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

At first, “it was pleasant” to see Trevor Noah “smiling away and deeply dimpling in the Stewart seat, the seat that had lately grown gray hairs,” writes The Atlantic‘s James Parker in assessing the new host of the once-indispensable Daily Show. But where Jon Stewart was a heavyweight, Noah is “a very able lightweight, [who] needs time too. But he won’t get any. As a culture, we’re not about to nurture this talent, to give it room to grow. Our patience was exhausted long ago, by some other guy. We’re going to pass judgment and move on. There’s a reason Simon Cowell is so rich. Impress us today or get thee hence. So it comes to this: It’s now or never, Trevor.”

Source:
×