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Sisters Liz and Mary Cheney Clash Over Marriage Equality

Sisters Liz and Mary Cheney Clash Over Marriage Equality

Liz Cheney said this week that she doesn't support same-sex marriage, and now the National Organization for Marriage wants her to prove it.

Liz Cheney's sudden revelation this week that she's "not pro-gay marriage" triggered an outraged post on Facebook by her lesbian sister on one side, and on the other the National Organization for Marriage is questioning her sincerity.

After a first date 20 years earlier, Mary Cheney married Heather Poe in 2012 in Washington, D.C. and the couple has two children together. "For the record, I love my sister, but she is dead wrong on the issue of marriage," Cheney wrote on Facebook, reports The New York Times.

Liz Cheney, who is a longshot candidate running for U.S. Senate in Wyoming by challenging incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi, said this week that, "I am strongly pro-life and I am not pro-gay marriage," according to a statement issued by the campaign on Friday and, "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."

Liz Cheney had reportedly faced attacks in Wyoming that painted her as supportive of marriage equality. And based on previous interviews, it's often seemed that might be the case. "I think my family has been very clear about this that we think freedom means freedom for everybody," she said during an interview on MSNBC on May 28, 2009. She was invoking a line often employed by her father, former vice president Dick Cheney, when explaining his support for marriage equality.

Even Mary Cheney, in her Facebook post, used the same line. "Freedom means freedom for everyone," she continued. "That means that all families — regardless of how they look or how they are made — families are entitled to the same rights, privileges and protections as every other. It's not something to be decided by a show of hands."

But even in that interview, Liz Cheney was vague, perhaps intentionally. She said several times that states should be allowed to decide whether same-sex couples can marry without revealing her own position on that question. Instead, she said she opposed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, supported equal benefits for same-sex couples and called anything less discrimination.

NOM President Brian Brown was quick to attack Liz Cheney's claim that she is "not pro-gay marriage" as insincere and pressed her to prove it.

"Liz Cheney now says she is not 'pro gay marriage', but she has long opposed a constitutional amendment to protect marriage as the union of one man and woman," he said in a statement issued on Friday. "If she truly supported protecting marriage, she would change her position and support both a Wyoming constitutional amendment and federal amendment to protect marriage."

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