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Gay-Marriage Remarks Spark Cheney Family Feud

Liz Cheney campaigns in Casper, Wyo., after announcing her U.S. Senate bid in July. Her views on same-sex marriage have recently taken center stage.
Matt Young
Liz Cheney campaigns in Casper, Wyo., after announcing her U.S. Senate bid in July. Her views on same-sex marriage have recently taken center stage.

A family feud between Liz and Mary Cheney, the daughters of former Vice President Dick Cheney, played out in awkward fashion Sunday.

Liz Cheney, who is running for Wyoming's U.S. Senate seat, sparked the dispute on Fox News Sunday, saying she "believe[s] in the traditional definition of marriage" even though her sister, Mary, a lesbian, is married to a woman.

"I love Mary very much. I love her family very much. This is just an issue on which we disagree," Cheney told host Chris Wallace.

Shortly after her appearance on the show, Mary Cheney's wife, Heather Poe, sharply criticized her sister-in-law on Facebook.

"Liz has been a guest in our home, has spent time and shared holidays with our children, and when Mary and I got married in 2012 — she didn't hesitate to tell us how happy she was for us," Poe wrote, as The New York Times first reported. "To have her now say she doesn't support our right to marry is offensive to say the least."

Mary Cheney then followed up with a Facebook post of her own.

"Liz — this isn't just an issue on which we disagree — you're just wrong — and on the wrong side of history," she wrote.

This isn't the first time Mary Cheney has publicly criticized her sister's views on the issue. She also took to Facebook in August, after her sister first declared her opposition to same-sex marriage, to write: "For the record, I love my sister, but she is dead wrong on the issue of marriage."

According to The Times, the two sisters have not spoken to each other since the summer and are not planning on spending Thanksgiving together. As for Christmas, the Cheney family will all celebrate together in Wyoming, but Mary Cheney said she "will not be seeing" her sister, The Times reports.

Dick Cheney came out in support of same-sex marriage after he left office in 2009.

Liz Cheney is attempting to run as a more conservative alternative to Sen. Mike Enzi, who opposes gay marriage, in the Republican primary. But she has trailed by a large margin in polls.

American Principles Fund, a conservative superPAC run by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's daughter, has aired advertisements in Wyoming attacking Cheney for being inconsistent on same-sex marriage.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Adam Wollner
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