Liz and Mary Cheney
Cheney Family Fractured on Marriage Equality

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com November 18 2013 3:45 PM ET

Dick and Lynne Cheney have stepped into the public fray over their family's position on marriage equality after one of their daughters, Wyoming U.S. Senate hopeful Liz Cheney, said she opposed marriage rights for same-sex couples, despite her sister, Mary Cheney, being gay.

Liz Cheney said on Fox News Sunday that she opposed a federal constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and supported the State Department’s offering of benefits to same-sex partners of employees, but she also said she endorsed “the traditional definition of marriage.” She reiterated that she loved her sister Mary, who is married to a woman.

Mary Cheney countered on her Facebook page, “Liz — this isn’t just an issue on which we disagree — you’re just wrong — and on the wrong side of history.” Heather Poe, Mary's wife, also said on Facebook that Liz Cheney's words were offensive.

Now their parents Dick and Lynne Cheney are stepping in to publicly address the sisters' disagreement.

"This is an issue we have dealt with privately for many years, and we are pained to see it become public," parents Lynne and Dick Cheney, the former vice president, said in a statement Monday, according to Politico. "Since it has, one thing should be clear. Liz has always believed in the traditional definition of marriage."

They added that Liz Cheney 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."

Earlier this year, Liz Cheney said she is "not pro-gay marriage" even though her sister is a lesbian, but her father has stated his support for marriage equality.