Dick Cheney 'Pained' by Public Flap, Sides With Daughter Liz

Image: Dick Cheney 'Pained' by Public Flap, Sides With Daughter Liz

Tuesday, 19 Nov 2013 08:04 AM

By Cathy Burke

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Former Vice President Dick Cheney took the side of his U.S. Senate candidate daughter Liz in her high-profile spat over gay marriage with lesbian sister Mary, saying Monday that he was "pained" that the family dispute had become so public, Politico reported.

Cheney and his wife, Lynne, issued a statement noting that the gay-rights issue was one "we have dealt with privately for many years."

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"[We] are pained to see it become public," the parents wrote. "Since it has, one thing should be clear. Liz has always believed in the traditional definition of marriage."

The parents said 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."

The family feud erupted over the weekend when Liz Cheney told Fox News Sunday she supported "the traditional definition of marriage" -- a position she took earlier in her challenge to Sen. Mike Enzi in the Wyoming GOP primary.

"I love Mary very much, I love her family very much," she said. "This is just an issue on which we disagree," Liz Cheney told Fox News Sunday.

Liz Cheney also made her views clear in August, when she issued a statement saying: "I am strongly pro-life and I am not pro-gay marriage. I believe the issue of marriage must be decided by the states, and by the people in the states, not by judges and not even by legislators, but by the people themselves," Politico reported at the time.

But her Sunday remark triggered a quick response from Mary Cheney, who shot back on Facebook, "Liz — this isn't just an issue on which we disagree, you're just wrong — and on the wrong side of history."

Later, Mary Cheney's wife, Heather Poe, weighed in, posting on her Facebook page:

"Liz has been a guest in our home, has spent time and shared holidays with our children. To have her now say she doesn’t support our right to marry is offensive to say the least."

A poll sponsored by the super PAC The Wickers Group found last week that Enzi leads Liz Cheney 69 percent to 17 percent.

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