When I read in a blog piece by my activist friend Michael Petrelis that Mary Cheney, the lesbian daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, recently donated $2,500 to Mitt Romney’s campaign to be the Republican presidential nominee, an old ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) chant echoed in my brain: “Shame, shame, shame!”
Is the woman on drugs? Does she really believe that Romney will defend her marriage to her girlfriend, Heather Poe, or her right to be raising children with two Mommies? Her right-wing father and mother (as well as Laura Bush and other conservative buddies) may be fine with her little family, but Romney’s not.
On the same day that President Obama recently said that he supports the right of queers to say I Do, Mary’s candidate was reiterating his position against it. Said the Mitt Wit: “Well, when the issues were raised in my state of Massachusetts, I indicated my view, which is I do not favor marriage between people of the same gender, and I do not favor civil unions if they are identical to marriage other than by name.” He also backs a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman, not two women.
Earth to Mary: the man you gave money to thinks you’re an abomination.
Obviously, Mary Cheney takes much more than her sexual orientation into consideration when she throws her support, and her wealth, behind a candidate.
Mary Cheney was born into privilege. She has never wanted a day in her life. She’s been able to come out of the closet because of the work that queer radicals and others have done over the past four decades. We made it safe for Cheney to be an out lesbian who can fit in and live in the privilege to which she’s grown accustomed.
By donating to Romney, Mary is protecting that class privilege. Why else endorse a man who opposes her marriage? Preserving her cushy lifestyle is more important to her than making life better for the LGBT community. Not that Obama is any kind of knight in shining armor for the 99% of us who have less and less these days, but Romney is sure to make our plight a whole lot worse.
Does Mary Cheney comprehend what it means that Romney opposes ObamaCare (as imperfect as it is, it’s a step in the right direction), supports tax breaks for companies shipping jobs overseas, and says that he may eliminate the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which funds Section 8 and public housing?
Poor and working-class queers need guaranteed healthcare, jobs, and affordable housing. Across the nation, nearly 40% of homeless youth identify as queer. The latest Williams Institute study on poverty in the queer community shows that we are as poor as, and in some instances poorer than, every other community.
Obviously, she doesn’t give a damn about any of that.
Mary Cheney: a lesbian a ruling-class family can be proud of.