Policy: Law

On the Slide: Cheney parents back candidate Liz over Mary in public gay-marriage feud

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Gay Marriage,Wyoming,Campaigns,PennAve,Liz Cheney,Mike Enzi,Zack Colman,Gay rights,Law,Dick Cheney

The holidays are about family, being together and stewing that your parents may have sided with your older sister because she's running for public office.

People might forgive Mary Cheney if she refused to pass the cranberry sauce at her family's Thanksgiving dinner after parents Dick -- the former vice president -- and Lynne backed sister Liz's comments that she doesn't support same-sex marriage.

Mary is a lesbian, married to Heather Poe. The two responded angrily on Facebook when Liz, who is running against longtime Sen. Mike Enzi in conservative Wyoming's Republican primary, said on "Fox News Sunday" that she opposes gay marriage.

The Cheney parents chose to defend Liz's views, saying they're long-held — an attempt, critics said, to help their candidate daughter enhance her conservative credibility, of which Wyoming voters have been skeptical, and who is struggling to close a large deficit in polls. The former veep had made previous statements in support of gay marriage.

Still, Mary's slide might be short-lived.

Voters' attitudes about gay marriage -- even among Republicans -- are changing, Gregory Angelo, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, wrote in an editorial for USA Today.

He noted that Republicans such as Sens. Mark Kirk, of Illinois and Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, have recently voiced support for same-sex marriage and that younger voters are more likely to approve of it.

"The world has changed. And it is Mary, not Liz, who stands with a plurality of the next generation of Republican voters on the issue of marriage equality," Angelo wrote.

He continued that some Republicans might need more time to embrace that view — Liz Cheney included. But he warned Republicans, "If we wait too long, we are destined for defeat" in future elections.

It also could take a little while for the Cheney sisters to resolve their dispute.

But in their fallout, there's at least a lesson or two to be learned — like, don't take your spat to social media.

"I would like to say this goes without saying, but it doesn't go without saying, because people have trouble controlling themselves in a moment of anger,” Gail Saitz, a New York City psychiatrist and a "Today Show" contributor, said in a column titled "Don't be a Cheney sister: How to avoid sibling squabbles this Thanksgiving."

That's fair. But if the sisters Cheney are still sparring at Christmas, who wouldn't be glued to a live-tweet of the family's gift exchange?

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