Cheney positions himself to Obama's left

The former vice president comes out for same-sex marriage

By Alex Koppelman

Published June 1, 2009 7:35PM (EDT)

Advocates for same-sex marriage may have just suffered a serious setback: Former Vice President Dick Cheney agrees with them. During an appearance at the National Press Club, Cheney was asked for his thoughts on the issue. He replied:

I think that freedom means freedom for everyone. 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 the 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, on a state-by-state basis... But I don't have any problem with that. People ought to get a shot at that.

I'm kidding about the political implications here, of course. Despite Cheney's continuing unpopularity, it's unlikely that his position will have a real impact.

That said, Cheney's remarks do provide an interesting contrast to another prominent politician's position on same-sex marriage. As Andrew Sullivan notes, "this makes [Cheney] more supportive of full marriage equality than Barack Obama."

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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