On Friday, Maryland legislators voted to pass a marriage equality bill. Care2′s Miranda Perry noted that a “day of dramatic and emotional debate” preceded the vote in the Maryland House of Delegates, where the measure passed by a vote of 71-67. One behind-the-scenes supporter was said to be former Vice President Dick Cheney, whose daughter, Mary Cheney, is a lesbian; Cheney and his wife have spoken publicly on talk shows about her and her family.
Maryland Republican Delegate Wade Kach voted in favor of the measure; his support is described as “stunning” in the Baltimore Sun. The New Civil Rights Movement explains (via Igor Volsky) that, as recently as last Monday, Kach was opposed to the marriage equality measure and had even co-sponsored a bill defining marriage as only between a man and a woman. Cheney reportedly left a voice mail for Kach offering to speak to him.
The New Civil Rights Movement underscores the importance of Cheney’s throwing his political support behind marriage equality legislation. The Huffington Post observers that Cheney has spoken out more and more about his support for same-sex marriage since leaving the White House. Said Cheney in 2009,
“I think that freedom means freedom for everyone. As many of you know, one of my daughters is gay and it is something we have lived with for a long time in our family. I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish. Any kind of arrangement they wish.”
Indeed, Cheney’s advocacy on behalf of gay marriage indeed puts “him in the rare position of being more progressive than President Barack Obama on a policy issue.” As political activist John Aravosis observes, Cheney’s reported support “poses a bit of a dilemma for Democrats,” especially in an election year.
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