NEW YORKAnti-gay groups are furious over Vice President Dick Cheney's seeming dismissal of a federal ban on gay marriage, especially because President Bush himself has gone on record supporting such a ban.
Sarcastically calling Cheney's remarks in Iowa yesterday "convoluted," Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said at a press conference (video) here Wednesday that no one could figure out why Cheney said what he did. "For many pro-family voters," Perkins said, "protecting traditional marriage ranks ahead of the economy and job creation as a campaign issue." Perkins stopped short of seeking to dump Cheney from the ticket. Perkins's group was originally an offshoot of Colorado Springs radio preacher James Dobson's Focus on the Family empire. At one time, the FRC was headed by former presidential candidate Gary Bauer.
In remarks yesterday, Cheney said he and his wife, Lynne, "have a gay daughter, so it's an issue our family is very familiar with." He pointedly said that heretofore, individual states have decided "what constitutes a marriage." Cheney's daughter Mary is an out lesbian who hasn't spoken publicly on the issue in many months, much to the consternation of gay activists. She's a highly paid employee of the Bush-Cheney campaign.
Cheney's views are opposite of those of Bush, who recently came out against same-sex marriage, calling for a federal ban on them. That ban was voted down when Republican senators joined Democrats to defeat the measure.
"If the Vice President perceives the problem of activist judges and their actions, as he stated in his remarks," said Perkins, "then how can he not endorse the same solution the president and his pro-family allies have proposed? We urged Vice President Cheney to support President Bush and a constitutional amendment on marriage."
In Iowa, Cheney promised he wouldn't let his personal predilections get in the way of Bush administration policy.