Current Affairs

Grandfather Cheney urged to help gay families

Marc Shoffman December 6, 2006
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A gay family group are calling on Vice President Dick Cheney to consider the US administration’s attitude towards gay rights now that his daughter is set to have a baby with her lesbian partner.

The front page of the Washington Post’s website announced today that Mary Cheney, Vice-President Cheney’s gay daughter, is pregnant.

Mary and her partner of 15 years, Heather Poe, are described as “ecstatic” about the arrival of their first child, due in late spring, but Family Pride has warned that they may find their rights as a family restricted due to negative policies towards same sex couples in the majority of US states, including their home of Virginia.

Jennifer Chrisler, chief executive of Family Pride, said: “The news of Mary Cheney’s pregnancy exemplifies, once again, how the best interests of children are denied when lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens are treated unfairly and accorded different and unequal rights and responsibilities than other parents.

“As Mary and Heather enter into the life-changing roles of parents, they will quickly face the reality the reality that no matter how loved their child will be – by its mothers and its grandparents, aunts uncles, cousins and close family friends – he or she will never have the same protections that other children born to heterosexual couples enjoy.

“Mary and Heather currently live in Virginia. Unless they move to a handful of less restrictive states, Heather will never be able to have a legal relationship with her child.”

Ms Cheney is due to give birth in late spring, a spokeswoman for the Vice President, told the paper, “The vice president and Lynne Cheney (his wife) are looking forward with eager anticipation to the arrival of their sixth grandchild.”

Ms Chrisler added, “The tragedy here is that this climate of hostility toward the LGBT community has only worsened during the Administration of which Vice President Cheney – or Grandfather Cheney in this context – has been second in command. Vice President Cheney has been complicit in the largest full-scale attack on the LGBT community in modern history.

“He, his President and his political party have repeatedly targeted the LGBT community and LGBT families for scapegoating as part of their calculated political strategy and have attacked at all levels the rights and protections his own daughter will need to ensure a strong, healthy, legally protected family.

“Grandfather Cheney will no doubt face a lifetime of sleepless nights as he reflects on the irreparable harm he and his Administration have done to the millions of American gay and lesbian parents and their children.”

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