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
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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.
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