(Photo: Reuters/Ruffin Prevost)
The daughters of former Vice President Dick Cheney are clashing over same-sex marriage, with the elder sister, running for the Republican Senate primary in Wyoming, facing criticism from her younger sister and her wife for supporting traditional marriage.
"I was watching my sister-in-law on Fox News Sunday (yes Liz, in fifteen states and the District of Columbia you are my sister-in-law) and was very disappointed to hear her say 'I do believe in the traditional definition of marriage,'" wrote in a Facebook post Heather Poe, the same-sex partner of Mary Cheney, with whom she has two children.
"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 continued.
"To have her now say she doesn't support our right to marry is offensive to say the least. I can't help but wonder how Liz would feel if as she moved from state to state, she discovered that her family was protected in one but not the other. I always thought freedom meant freedom for everyone."
Liz Cheney had explained her support for traditional marriage on several talk shows on Sunday, insisting that she loves her sister and her family very much, but "this is just an issue on which we disagree."
The younger sister agreed with her wife's Facebook post, however, and added in a separate note directly addressing the Republican Senate hopeful: "This isn't just an issue on which we disagree, you're just wrong - and on the wrong side of history."
Liz Cheney has been criticized in some conservative circles for having a soft stance on gay marriage, but she has repeatedly clarified that she supports traditional marriage.
"I am strongly pro-life and I am not pro-gay marriage," Liz Cheney said in a statement to The Daily Caller in August. "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."
In July 2012, Dick Cheney admitted that he has long supported his younger daughter and same-sex marriage, but did not reveal his position during the 2000 presidential campaign because he feared it could have harmed former President George W. Bush's chances of winning.
"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. The question of whether or not there ought to be a federal statute to protect this, I don't support. I do believe that historically the way marriage has been regulated is at the state level. It has always been a state issue and I think that is the way it ought to be handled today, on a state-by-state basis. Different states will make different decisions. But I don't have any problem with that. I think people ought to get a shot at that," Cheney said at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. in June 2009.