Vice President’s openly-gay daughter and partner, Heather Poe, expecting baby in late spring; Cheney looking forward to birth of 6th grandchild
WASHINGTON Mary Cheney, the openly gay daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne, is pregnant.
Mary Cheney, 37, and her partner of 15 years, Heather Poe, 45, are expecting a baby, said Lea Anne McBride, a spokeswoman for the vice president. The baby is due in late spring.
“The vice president and Mrs. Cheney are looking forward with eager anticipation to the arrival of their sixth granddaughter,” McBride said.
The vice president’s other, older daughter, Elizabeth Cheney, is on leave as deputy assistant secretary of state after having her fifth child with her husband in July.
Mary Cheney was an aide to her father during the 2004 campaign, as was Elizabeth, and now is vice president for consumer advocacy at AOL.
McBride declined to elaborate on the circumstances of Mary Cheney’s pregnancy. Mary Cheney and Poe moved from Colorado to Virginia a year ago to be closer to the Cheney family. Virginia is one of seven states where voters approved anti-gay-marriage amendments during the midterm election in November.
Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of Family Pride, a national organization that advocates for GLBT people and their families, said news of Mary Cheney’s pregnancy exemplifies the inequities faced by GLBT-headed families.
“As Mary and Heather enter into the life-changing roles of parents, they will quickly face the reality that no matter how loved their child will be by its mothers and its grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and close family friends he or she will never have the same protections that other children born to heterosexual couples enjoy,” Chrisler said in a statement released Wednesday. “Mary and Heather currently live in Virginia. Unless they move to a handful of less restrictive states, Heather will never be able to have a legal relationship with her child.”
Chrisler also pointed out that a “climate of hostility” toward the LGBT community has worsened during the Bush administration, for which Vice President Cheney has been “second in command.”
She accused the vice president of having been “complicit in the largest full-scale attack on the LGBT community in modern history. He, his president and his political party have repeatedly targeted the LGBT community and LGBT families for scapegoating as part of their calculated political strategy and have attacked at all levels the rights and protections his own daughter will need to ensure a strong, healthy, legally protected family.”
“Grandfather Cheney will no doubt face a lifetime of sleepless nights as he reflects on the irreparable harm he and his administration have done to the millions of American gay and lesbian parents and their children.” Chrisler said.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, December 8, 2006.