Vice President, wife visit lesbian daughter, grandson at hospital
WASHINGTON Vice President Dick Cheney’s daughter Mary delivered an 8-pound, 6-ounce baby boy on Wednesday, May 23, the first child for her and her female partner of 15 years, Heather Poe.
Samuel David Cheney was born at 9:46 a.m. at Sibley Hospital in Washington, the vice president’s office announced. Vice President Cheney and his wife, Lynne, paid a visit to their new and sixth grandchild a few hours later.
Mary Cheney announced in December that she and Poe had decided to start a family. Her decision to become pregnant and raise a child with Poe was criticized in some conservative circles. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, asserted that children need to be reared by heterosexual married couples, for instance.
The vice president bristled at questions on the topic.
But gay rights advocates this week heralded the child’s birth a step toward recognition for all LGBT families.
Jennifer Crisler, executive director of the LGBT family organization Family Pride, issued a statement on Thursday, May 24, saying her organizations joins other LGBT families in congratulation the family.
“Vice President Cheney’s newborn grandson and his two mothers put yet another face on our families for the American public,” Crisler said. “We wish the family the best.”
Terry Boggis, director of the Center Kids program at the NYC Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community center, in a statement issued Thursday, said the Cheney-Poe family can help advance the rights of LGBT families despite their reluctance to be in the public eye.
“Though I’m sure they’re not seeking to be a poster family, I hope the high visibility afforded by the Cheney name helps move the American public to a more compassionate and broad appreciation for what families can look like,” Boggis said.
Mary Cheney was an aide to her father during the 2004 campaign and now is vice president for consumer advocacy at AOL.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, May 25, 2007.