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    December 16, 2006

    Bush avoids getting Keye'd

    Posted by: Chris

    Cheneypoe President Bush narrowly avoided getting "Keye'd" this week when People magazine asked him about news that Mary Cheney, the vice president's daughter, his expecting a baby along with her partner Heather Poe.  In a 2005 interview with the New York Times, the president said, "I believe children can receive love from gay couples, but the ideal is — and studies have shown that the ideal is where a child is raised in a married family with a man and a woman."

    Asked by People about whether the news from Cheney, who managed her father's re-election campaign in 2004, had changed that view, Bush sidestepped.  "Mary Cheney is going to make a fine mom, and she's going to love this child a lot," he said, according to a transcript of the interview. "And I'm happy for her."

    The mere fact of Cheney's 15-year relationship with Poe has wreacked havoc on social conservatives for years now, because their abstract rhetoric about gay people takes on an especially harsh tone when applied to a living, breathing gay person — especially one with whom they have such close ties.

    Mayakeyes Just ask Allen Keyes, the erstwhile GOP presidential candidate who jumped in the 2004 Illinois Senate race against Democrat Barack Obama.  In an interview during the Republican National Convention that year with Sirius OutQ, Keyes called homosexuality a form of "selfish hedonism."  Asked whether that meant Mary Cheney is a "selfish hedonist," Keyes fatally failed to sidestep. "Of course she is," he replied.  "That goes by definition. Of course she is."

    In the ensuing media furor about calling the veep's daughter such a name, Keyes only stepped deeper into the doo-doo, telling the Chicago Tribune that if his own daughter were a lesbian, he would tell her that she was sinning and should pray.  That came across harsh even in the abstract, but made Keyes look even more heartless a few months later, when his "own daughter," Maya Marcel-Keyes, came out publicly — at a Valentine's Day rally for Equality Maryland, a gay rights group.

    Of course, Keyes gets integrity points for at least being consistent in applying his abstract views to even his own flesh and blood.  But the larger point about self-righteous divisiveness isn't lost on many people in the "mushy middle" on gay rights, even when someone like George W. tries to distances himself from his own rhetoric.



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    1. KJ on Dec 16, 2006 11:20:53 AM:

      With Keyes being a notable and incomprehensible exception that perhaps proves the rule, it is my observation that having a loved one come out is the most powerful "weapon" at our disposal for changing the hearts and minds of those who fear what they do not know.

      Haters of Mary (and Heather) on the right, I understand. Their haters on the left, I cannot comprehend. They would seem to have a monochomratic view of what the GLBT political and religious community should look like, and if one does not meet that "standard", they are nor part of the club.

      What drew me out at mid-life was when I discovered community, both poltical and spiritual, that would allow me to be exactly who I was as my sexual orientation became known, and as a result, the beliefs of those around me were challenged, and for the most part, changed. If the GLBT community were as lacking in diversity as some of its propoents would seem to wish, I think that I wouldn't have bothered.

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