December 07, 2006

Mary Cheney Expecting, Activists On Both Sides Take Their Cheap Shots

First of all, I'd like to extend my congratulations to Mary Cheney and her partner, Heather Poe, on their happy news. Too bad so many people see this event as a political football. And CNN is joyously stirring the pot.

On the Left, we have a gay activist group beating the drum about how sad it is for Mary that her father's evil boss and his Right-Wing minions are denying her and Heather the right to be happy.

Family Pride, which advocates on behalf of gay and lesbian families, noted that Virginia last month became one of 27 states with a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

"Unless they move to a handful of less restrictive states, Heather will never be able to have a legal relationship with her child," said Family Pride executive director Jennifer Chrisler.

The couple "will quickly face the reality that no matter how loved their child will be. ... he or she will never have the same protections that other children born to heterosexual couples enjoy," Chrisler said. "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."

A couple of points here. First, beyond the President's support for a Constitutional Amendment legally defining marriage as between one man and one woman (which probably doesn't have a prayer of ever happening), the Administration has done nothing to deny Mary Cheney and Heather Poe anything. The people of the Commonwealth of Virginia made that call.

Secondly, if groups like Family Pride weren't so aggressive in pursuing a redefinition of marriage, then bans such as the one that passed in Virginia would be viewed as unnecessary as a defensive measure. Support for the kind of legal rights afforded under a civil unions statute would be much easier to achieve. But anything short of complete legalization and validation of gay marriage is unacceptable to these folks.

And notwithstanding Family Pride's protestations, I'm sure "Grandfather Cheney" will be more likely facing a lifetime of joy at the prospect of another grandchild, rather than the "sleepless nights" that Ms. Chrisler no doubt hopes will plague him.

On the Right, there are some expressing dismay:

Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America described the pregnancy as "unconscionable."

"It's very disappointing that a celebrity couple like this would deliberately bring into the world a child that will never have a father," said Crouse, a senior fellow at the group's think tank. "They are encouraging people who don't have the advantages they have."

"Unconscionable" is not exactly the word you should expect about a pregnancy from someone who claims to champion the value of human life. And Ms. Crouse might be surprised to find that Mary Cheney's desire to have a child probably has nothing to do with "encouraging" people who don't even need encouragement if they truly desire the same thing.

My point here is that people can have differing opinions on the issue of gay marriage. But when public policy advocates on both sides are more focused on treating such occasions as opportunities to advance their own cause than allowing Cheney and her family to enjoy the moment and repecting their privacy, it really disgusts me. And shame on CNN for seeking these people out to give them that opportunity.

Posted by: Gary at 10:25 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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