The Dick Cheney Tolerance Myth
I was surprised to see Sam Stein of The Huffington Post report Dick Cheney’s remarks on gay marriage as the former vice president taking a “more progressive tilt” than President Obama. Here’s what Cheney said:
I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish. Any kind of arrangement they wish. The question of whether or not there ought to be a federal statute to protect this, I don’t support. I do believe that the historically the way marriage has been regulated is at the state level. It has always been a state issue and I think that is the way it ought to be handled, on a state-by-state basis.
Obama has absolutely waffled on this since, say, 1996, when he claimed to support “legalizing same-sex marriages.” But during the 2008 presidential race his position was that 1) he believed that marriage was between a man and a woman, 2) individual states could legalize gay marriage if they so chose, and 3) Californians should vote against Proposition 8. He also opposed “similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states.” There’s not much difference between Obama and Cheney on this, except that Cheney didn’t oppose Proposition 8 (he didn’t support it, either). Both men, when in power, have gritted their teeth and waited for states to sort the matter out.