Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, comes out in favor of gay marriage this Sunday on CBS’s “60 Minutes.”
For Cheney, the questions about why she previously opposed gay marriage, before her sister Mary embraced it as a couple, has been one of the most difficult she’s faced during her political career.
“I am, I believe, a traditionalist. And I did not believe that the definition of marriage should be changed. But I was wrong,” Cheney said in the interview, adding that her longtime stand against gay marriage was “evolving” and made her rethink her opposition to the practice. “I’ve come to the point where I now support gay marriage.”
Her interview, which was taped in mid-December, comes at a time when the conservative support of gay marriage is slipping. According to a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll, 45 percent of Americans said they believed gay marriage should be legal while 53 percent of Americans said it should not.
Last week, while participating in a panel to promote her new book, “Promise Me, Dad,” Cheney’s mother, Lynne Cheney, acknowledged in the interview that her daughter’s recent evolution was one of the major challenges in what was “so hard for all of us and our family to come to terms with and accept as a way of life.” She said, “I think our views have evolved. It was hard for all of us and our family to come to terms with and accept as a way of life.”
“Our family and friends have had experiences over the course of our entire lives,” she said. “And my family is and was — some of whom have been just openly loving and supportive, others have been very difficult. And I think that part of it is because, you know, you struggle with your own views and change them based on the facts and what you see on the ground.”
When asked about what she could do as a politician to change attitudes toward the practice, Cheney responded, “I wish I could have changed the world more as a public official.”
But a top Senate Democrat, Dick Durbin of Illinois, seemed amused by the allegations from Cheney’s interview.
“This is, I think, the only time that I’ve heard, ‘I was wrong’ come out of an American politician. I don’t know that that’s ever happened before. But that’s certainly a variation on the ‘I’m sorry I said things I shouldn’t have,’ ” he said.
Of all political figures, perhaps the best-known liberal in the U.S. Senate may be questioning whether Cheney has changed her opinions.