Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Mary Cheney Speaks

New York Times
January 31, 2007

Mary Cheney Publicly Defends Her Pregnancy

Mary Cheney, the lesbian daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, today for the first time publicly defended her decision to become pregnant and asserted that same-sex couples are equally capable of raising children as heterosexual couples.

“When Heather and I decided to have a baby, I knew it wasn’t going to be the most popular decision,” Ms. Cheney said, referring to her partner of 15 years, Heather Poe. She then gestured to her middle — any bulge disguised by a boxy jacket — and asserted: “This is a baby. This is a blessing from God. It is not a political statement. It is not a prop to be used in a debate, on either side of a political issue. It is my child.”

Ms. Cheney, 37, was speaking at a panel discussion sponsored by Glamour magazine at Barnard College in Manhattan. The baby, whose sex she has not publicly disclosed, is due this spring and will be the sixth grandchild for the vice president and his wife. Ms. Cheney, who is vice president of consumer advocacy for AOL and lives in Virginia, has not said how she became pregnant.

Her father became testy last week during a CNN interview when the host Wolf Blitzer asked what he thought of conservatives — specifically James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family— who are critical of his daughter Mary’s pregnancy.

In refusing to answer, Mr. Cheney told Mr. Blitzer  that he was “over the line.”

Ms. Cheney said in a brief interview after the panel that she was not speaking for her father, but that when she saw the interview, she also felt Mr. Blitzer had crossed a line. “He was trying to get a rise out of my father,” she said.

Today at the panel discussion, inside a stuffy room decorated by portraits of stern-looking former Barnard presidents, Cindi Leive, the editor of Glamour, asked Ms. Cheney if she had anything to say to critics like Mr. Dobson.

Mr. Dobson wrote in Time magazine last month that years of social research “indicates that children do best on every measure of well-being when raised by their married mother and father.” He also wrote that his group believes that “birth and adoption are the purview of married heterosexual couples.” (Two of the researchers whom Mr. Dobson cited in his article have complained that Mr. Dobson distorted their views and said they disagreed with his conclusions.)

Ms. Cheney noted Mr. Dobson’s distortions of the research he cited and added: “Every piece of remotely responsible research that has been done in the last 20 years has shown there is no difference between children raised by same-sex parents and children raised by opposite-sex parents; what matters is being raised in a stable, loving environment.”

She said  Mr. Dobson was entitled to his opinion, “but he’s not someone whose endorsement I have ever drastically sought.”



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