Lynn Cheney And The Lavender Smokescreen
Lynn Cheney And The Lavender Smokescreen
by Mary Pitt
Yesterday the world was agog with the vitriolic attacks by Lynn Cheney on the honor and the goodness of John Kerry for his reference to the homosexuality of her daughter, Mary, in response to the question by Bob Scheiffer at the final Presidential debate.
Tongues are wagging and heads are bobbing in contemplation of her angry comment that "This is NOT a good man!" Say what? The fact that Mary Cheney is a Lesbian came as no shock to anyone but has been common knowledge for a very long time. Miss Cheney has been seen at public functions accompanied by her "friend" and she is active in her father's campaign. Recently, the vice-President was questioned about his support for a Constitutional amendment to outlaw gay marriage and he explained his reason for differing from the President on the matter as being his parentage of a gay daughter.
Some years ago, Mary's Lesbianism was a well-kept "family secret". At the beginning of the 2000 election campaign, Mrs. Cheney was questioned about her daughter's sexual preference and she "whiffed" it, changing the subject and not giving a straight answer but stating, "I love both my daughters. However, politics being a difficult situation in which to keep secrets buried, Mary was totally "outed". We have no way to know whether this publicity caused the young lady any injury or hurt feelings but the family knew it was a strong possibility before her father entered into the fray of electioeering. However, any damage has not been apparent to the public eye. She is a highly-educated, exceptionally competent young person who is well equipped to make her own decisions and to lead a happy and productive life.
This outburst by Lynn Cheney would not have created this uproar if it were not for the fact that it is the Republican Party which has made an issue of homosexuality in pandering to the "religious right" by condemning these people in terms ranging from "an abberration" to the statement of Allen Keyes that Mary Cheney, specifically, is a "selfish hedonist". It is also the Republican Party that is up in arms at the prospect of state laws that would permit gay marriage.
The attitude of the Democratic Party has been one of acceptance and willingness to apply the equal rights for which our nation has been known to all people without regard for their race, religion, sex or sexual preference. The remarks of Mr. Kerry were not derogatory but were stated as an indication of approval of her value as a person. It was President Bush who was at a loss for an intelligible response to the question of whether gay people have chosen to be "that way" or whether they were born "that way". It is the strong suspicion that this is the fact that Lynn Cheney attempted to obscure by her bitter attack on Mr. Kerry at the conclusion of the debate.
The fact is that homosexuality is still a mystery to science. No psychologist or physiologist has been able to determine the answer and those people who are following whatever drive leads them into that lifestyle appear to be as comfortable with their state as are those of us who are heterosexual. The Evangelicals are convinced that it is a mortal sin which they have made by choice and that if they cannot be "converted" they must be constrained from acting upon what appears to be their natural urge. The practical politicians see a lot of votes out there and do not question, in general, the biological reason for the culture.
Historically, the government has ignored the situation as societal pressures have kept the conflict under control, but recently a great deal of the population has begun to question the concept that there anre some who "deserve" to be second-class citizens who have no right to choose a life-mate in keeping with their emotions, to live together openly without condemnation, to bestow rights of inheritance upon that chosen partner, or to otherwise follow the practices that heterosexual persons take for granted. It would seem that our children who are compelled to follow that alternative lifestyle are as human as we and should be as protected by our Constitution as the rest of us.
Mrs. Cheney should stand up for her daughter as being a whole, competent person who happens to be gay instead of using her for political capital or attempting to hide her as political liability. She should applaud Senator Kerry for his acceptance and his reference to her daughter as an example of the value of people who are "different" and did not choose to be so. And she should be willing to announce to the super-Christians that God made her that way and they are wrong to question His wisdom. Unless and until she is willing to openly and publicly support her daughter, she should go back to soft-pedaling the situation and "whiffing" any questions regarding this lovely person whom she has labored so long to "protect" by denying her.
Mary Pitt is a septuagenarian Kansan who is self-employed and active in the political arena. Her concerns are her four-generation family and the continuance of the United States as a democracy with a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people". Comments and criticism may be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org .