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AFP・時事2006年 5月15日 (月) 10:11
Mrs. Bush: Don't Campaign on Marriage Ban
By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer
Sun May 14, 10:43 PM ET
Some election-year advice to Republicans from a high-ranking source who has the president's ear: Don't use a proposed constitutional amendment against gay marriage as a campaign tool.
Just who is that political strategist? Laura Bush.
The first lady told "Fox News Sunday" that she thinks the American people want a debate on the issue. But, she said, "I don't think it should be used as a campaign tool, obviously."
"It requires a lot of sensitivity to just talk about the issue — a lot of sensitivity," she said.
The Senate will debate legislation that would have the Constitution define marriage as the union between a man and a woman early next month, Majority Leader Bill Frist said on CNN's "Late Edition."
President Bush supports the amendment, but Vice President Dick Cheney does not. Cheney's daughter, Mary, is a lesbian and has been speaking out against the marriage amendment as she promotes her new book, "Now It's My Turn."
Mary Cheney wrote that she almost quit working on the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004 because of Bush's position on gay marriage. Asked Sunday about reports that White House political adviser Karl Rove and other Republicans want to use the issue to mobilize conservatives for the midterm election, Cheney said she hoped "no one would think about trying to amend the Constitution as a political strategy."
"I certainly don't know what conversations have gone on between Karl and anybody up on the Hill," Cheney added in her appearance on Fox. "But you know, what I can say is look, amending the Constitution with this amendment, this piece of legislation, is a bad piece of legislation. It is writing discrimination into the Constitution, and, as I say, it is fundamentally wrong."
But Frist said he would defend the amendment even to Dick Cheney.
"I basically say, Mr. Vice President, right now marriage is under attack in this country," Frist said on CNN. "And we've seen activist judges overturning state by state law, where state legislatures have passed laws defining marriage between a man and a woman, and that's being overturned by a handful of activist judges around the country. And that is why we need an amendment to come to the floor of the United States Senate to define marriage as that union between one man and one woman."
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Cheney's gay daughter hits Bush stance on gay marriage
Sun May 14, 4:11 PM ET
The lesbian daughter of US Vice President Dick Cheney hit out at President George W. Bush's support for a constitutional amendment proscribing gay marriage.
Mary Cheney, 37, told Fox News Sunday that the idea, which was backed strongly by Bush's Republican Party during his 2004 re-election campaign and continues to be promoted by many conservatives today, was "a bad piece of legislation".
"I think that is what the federal marriage amendment is, it is writing discrimination into the constitution.
"It is writing discrimination into the constitution and, as I say, it is fundamentally wrong."
"I would also hope that no one would think about trying to amend the constitution as a political strategy," she added.
Cheney, who worked on her father's campaign staff in 2004, said she very nearly quit the reelection effort over the issue.
In the wake of controversial moves to make same-sex marriage legal in California and other states, conservatives pushed strongly to have the constitution amended to define marriage as strictly between a man and a woman.
The effort failed in mid-2004, but a number of individual states passed their own initiatives to restrict marriage to traditional male-female couples.
Cheney, who has just published a book, "It's My Turn", covering in part her experience during the campaign, said she was troubled by the stance of the party she was backing.
"President Bush obviously feels very strongly about this issue ... Quite honestly, it was an issue I had some trouble with, as I talk about in the book. I came very close to quitting my job on the re-election campaign over this very issue."
But she said she was also "very angry" when Bush and Dick Cheney's opponents in the campaign, Senators John Kerry and John Edwards, challenged the Bush stance by publicly pointing out that Mary Cheney was a lesbian.
"It was a cheap and blatant political ploy" when Edwards used her as an example in debating the issue with her father, Mary Cheney said.
Speaking separately on Fox News Sunday, Bush's wife Laura noted the issue of gay marriage still sparked debate across the country.
"I don't think it should be used as a campaign tool, obviously," she said.
"But I do think it's something that people in the United States want to debate. And it requires a lot of sensitivity to talk about the issue, a lot of sensitivity."
Daughter's book reveals little about Cheney
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
By MARGARET CARLSON
Ask any gay people what they dreaded most about coming out and it's telling their parents, who often are the last to know.
In Mary Cheney's book, "Now It's My Turn," revealing this to the most famously conservative folks in Casper, Wyo., was a non-event.
When a girlfriend broke up with her, Mary, a high school junior, was so upset she ran a red light and hit another car. Once home, she decides to tell Mom she's gay, adding that her revelation is not the "world's most creative excuse" for crashing the car. Mom weeps because she fears how harshly a "prejudiced society" will treat her. Mary explains that facing up to discrimination is easier than keeping a secret. They embrace.
Dad is next and he says, "You're my daughter and I love you and I just want you to be happy."
That's about all there is to being gay in a gay-loathing party until 2000, when Dick Cheney emerges from private life as chief executive officer of Halliburton Co. to accept the GOP VP nomination. In that campaign, we heard and saw a lot from the Cheneys' other daughter, Liz, married with children, and almost nothing about Mary.
Dad refuses to speak to what Mary calls various "pitiful lowlifes" who so much as ask one question about her sexual orientation.
That changed a bit in 2004 when we heard more about Mary as she traveled the country with her father as a top campaign aide and was referenced by both Democratic candidates. Now, when it's Mary's turn to tell us about Mary, she has given us 239 pages in which the emotional heart of the story about her and her parents is dispatched by page 35 in two paragraphs.
In that way, Mary Cheney is like many relatives of the rich and famous who pen books thinking we want to know about them when all we want is a glimpse through them into the inner lives of the principals. Occasionally, with movie stars there's a "Mommie Dearest" shocker. When you move to the sub-genre of White House offspring with literary aspirations, there is almost certain disappointment.
Even when a disenchanted relative acts out the outpouring never yields as many insights into the person whose psyche we seek to plumb as into that of the underappreciated kin.
The Eisenhowers and Roosevelts have been both prolific and dry. Margaret Truman stuck to murder mysteries. I'm more likely to win the lottery than see a book by Chelsea Clinton that touches on the most mysterious political marriage of modern times. But I'm betting someday at least one of the Bush twins is tempted to tell all.
Cheney's book is not the worst of the type. Although short on insights into her father, Cheney gives us a few humanizing peeks at the man.
During the 2000 election recount when there was no official transition office, the vice president-elect worked at a round table in the family kitchen, eschewing a non-secure cell phone line for a pink Princess phone rescued from the attic. Before a shredder is hooked up, an intern stands by to cut up every sheet of paper into small bits.
Mary Cheney comes across as a winning personality, who lashes out only when someone mentions her sexuality for political purposes -- unless the mentioner is Dear Old Dad, who is faulted for nothing in this book.
Somehow Cheney, who leaves a bucolic life in Colorado with her longtime partner, Heather Poe, for a high-profile post in a campaign that brandishes an anti-gay agenda is shocked when her personal life becomes political fodder.
When vice presidential candidate John Edwards, a "total slime," mentions her sexual orientation in a debate, Cheney says she glared at him and mouthed the same epithet her Dad had used recently to suggest what Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy might do to himself in his spare time.
OK, have a rant, even if the language is a little salty for the family values folks. But if Edwards is a slime, what does that make President Bush, who has ratcheted up the prejudice her mother worried about 20 years earlier by supporting a constitutional amendment that would enshrine discrimination in the United States' most sacred document?
The proposed amendment banning gay marriage set off a "knot in the pit of her stomach" and she considered returning home to Boulder. But all is fine now. In an interview on ABC promoting her book, she says Bush is "a very good man" who "on these issues, hasn't caught up."
The proposed ban on gay marriage didn't go away with the campaign. This book comes out just as the Senate is poised to vote on it. What kind of family values can the Cheneys have if they stay quiet while the president would strip their daughter, who couldn't be more devoted, of the rights that protect the happy life she has?
Margaret Carlson, author of "Anyone Can Grow Up: How George Bush and I Made It to the White House" and former White House correspondent for Time magazine, is a Bloomberg News columnist.