Wednesday, August 25, 2004

It’s Family

Vice President Dick Cheney shocked the family-values storm troopers of the Republican party yesterday by saying – apparently for the first time in public – that he had a gay child and that he believed “that ‘freedom means freedom for everyone’ to enter ‘into any kind of relationship they want to.'” [New York Times]

This is basically what he said four years ago when he debated Joe Lieberman during the 2000 campaign. The conservatives are all twitterpated because this flies in the face of the constitutional amendment pushed by Bush.

Say what you will about Cheney – and there’s plenty to say – you have to give him at least some credit for saying that gay marriage is ultimately not a matter for the government to be meddling in and the idea of a law that would be literally carved in stone is unappealing. I am willing to bet that the most vocal advocates of the Federal Marriage Amendment either have no openly gay siblings or children, or they are in deep denial for their own tormented personal reasons if they do. But any parent who has a gay child – or a straight one – can only truly want one thing for that child: to be happy and to be able to live their life with all the freedoms and responsibilities that this life offers. We may snicker at the “family values” crowd, but that’s because they have proved themselves time and again to be hypocrites, not because we disparage their goals. And while Vice President Cheney has proved himself to be a dark and shadowy figure in matters of governing and policy, I will give him his due as a father who stands by his child even at the risk of the wrath of Phyllis Schlafly (speaking of poor role models for mothers of gay children…) and the rest of the congregation of the Church of I Hate You [Jed Bartlet].