Former Vice President Dick Cheney’s daughter, Liz, is running in a Republican Senate primary in Wyoming. But her candidacy has opened some deep wounds within her family.
Mary Cheney and her wife Heather Poe unloaded on Liz, who is Mary’s sister, for reiterating her opposition to same-sex marriage during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
“Listen, I love Mary very much. I love her family very much,” Liz Cheney said. “This is just an issue in which we disagree.”
Mary Cheney, also a Republican, responded in a Facebook post. She wrote that her sister is “just wrong—and on the wrong side of history.”
In a separate Facebook post, Poe said that she was “very disappointed” in Liz Cheney’s “offensive” comments.
“I can't help but wonder how Liz would feel if as she moved from state to state, she discovered that her family was protected in one but not the other,” Poe wrote. “Yes Liz, in fifteen states and the District of Columbia you are my sister-in-law.”
Liz Cheney is running against three-term incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi (R), but her campaign has had a tough time getting off the ground. A poll commissioned by a pro-Enzi super PAC showed him with a fifty-plus point lead over Cheney, Politico reported last week.
Cheney has been criticized by the American Principles Fund, a conservative group that aired an ad hitting her for backing gay rights. Cheney has repeatedly said she opposes same-sex marriage.
But the feud goes beyond Wyoming. It’s also indicative of the Republican Party’s struggle to grapple with an electorate that’s becoming more and more supportive of same-sex marriage.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll in March showed that 58 percent of Americans support gay marriage. That includes a majority of self-identified Republicans between the ages 18 and 49.
The entire feud has the former vice president caught in the middle. Dick Cheney has worked to help her daughter’s campaign. He also supports same-sex marriage, but believes that states should decide the issue.
Update, 1:50 PM
Dick and Lynne Cheney have issued a statement on the dispute between their daughters, Liz and Mary:
This is an issue we have dealt with privately for many years, and we are pained to see it become public. Since it has, one thing should be clear. Liz has always believed in the traditional definition of marriage. She has also always treated her sister and her sister's family with love and respect, exactly as she should have done. Compassion is called for, even when there is disagreement about such a fundamental matter and Liz's many kindnesses shouldn't be used to distort her position.
Jordan Fabian is Fusion's politics editor, writing about campaigns, Congress, immigration, and more. When he's not working, you can find him at the ice rink or at home with his wife, Melissa.