Politics

Congresswoman Liz Cheney regrets throwing lesbian sister under the bus in 2013 interview

Rep. Liz Cheney's official portrait
Rep. Liz Cheney's official portraitPhoto: US House Office of Photography

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) has come around on marriage equality, which she vociferously opposed years ago. She says that she has not reconciled with her lesbian sister Mary Cheney years after she threw her under the bus in a 2013 interview to signal her opposition to LGBTQ rights.

“I was wrong. I was wrong,” the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney said on 60 Minutes this weekend. “I love my sister very much. I love her family very much, and I was wrong.”

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“It’s a very personal issue and very personal for my family. I believe that my dad was right and my sister and I have had that conversation.”

In 2013 – two years before the Supreme Court would rule that states can’t ban same-sex couples from getting married – Liz Cheney made headlines when she brought up her sister to show just how much she opposes marriage equality in a Fox News interview.

“I love Mary very much, I love her family very much,” she said at the time, explaining that she believes “in the traditional definition of marriage.”

“This is just an issue on which we disagree.”

At the time, Liz Cheney was in a GOP primary battle for a seat in the U.S. Senate from Wyoming. She made a number of extreme statements during that campaign, like that then-President Barack Obama “literally declared war” on the Constitution.

Her father, even though he was on the ticket in one of the most homophobic campaigns in history, had already said that he supported marriage equality.

The Cheney family isn’t prone to making their disagreements public, but Liz Cheney’s words drew a sharp rebuke from Mary Cheney’s wife Heather Poe.

“Liz has been a guest in our home, has spent time and shared holidays with our children, and when Mary and I got married in 2012 — she didn’t hesitate to tell us how happy she was for us,” Poe wrote in a Facebook post.

“To have her now say she doesn’t support our right to marry is offensive to say the least.”

As a GOP Congresswoman Liz Cheney has solidly opposed LGBTQ rights, getting a score of “0” for years on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard.

But this past year seems to have changed her. She has been attacked for months by fellow Republicans for criticizing Donald Trump’s claims that he actually won the 2020 election and for condemning the January 6th Capitol Insurrection. Her GOP colleagues voted to strip her of her leadership position in the caucus, she is facing a serious primary challenger, and prominent Republicans have denounced her publicly.

“This is an issue that we have to recognize as human beings that we need to work against discrimination of all kinds in our country, in our state,” Liz Cheney said in the 60 Minutes interview.

“We were at an event a few nights ago and, and there was a young woman who said she doesn’t feel safe sometimes because she’s transgender, and nobody should feel unsafe,” she continued. “Freedom means freedom for everybody.”

GLAAD points out that Liz Cheney voted against the Equality Act just this year, the bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal civil rights legislation, banning anti-LGBTQ discrimination in employment, credit, housing, and several other areas.

So it appears that either her evolution has been very recent or it just applies to marriage.

 

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