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Rep. Liz Cheney: 'I was wrong' to oppose same-sex marriage in the past

"I love my sister very much. I love her family very much, and I was wrong," the Wyoming congresswoman admitted.

Rep. Liz Cheney: 'I was wrong' to oppose same-sex marriage in the past
Cover Image Source: U.S. Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) on July 27, 2021, at the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jim Bourg-Pool/Getty Images)

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) admitted in a new interview that aired Sunday that she was wrong to oppose gay marriage in the past; a position that once left her political family divided. Speaking to "60 Minutes" correspondent Lesley Stahl, the 55-year-old also accepted that her father — former vice president Richard B. Cheney — was right in breaking with many in his party by supporting same-sex marriage. Liz Cheney famously spoke out against gay marriage in 2013 ahead of a failed Senate bid, despite her younger sister, Mary Cheney, marrying a woman in 2012.


"I was wrong. I was wrong," Liz Cheney said when asked how she would defend her 2013 stance. "I love my sister very much. I love her family very much, and I was wrong. It's a very personal issue and very personal for my family. I believe my dad was right, and my sister and I have had that conversation." According to The Washington Post, the Wyoming congresswoman made headlines in 2013 when she publicly opposed same-sex marriage as she campaigned to challenge then-Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi, a bid from which she ultimately withdrew.


"I love Mary very much, I love her family very much. This is just an issue on which we disagree," Liz Cheney told Fox News Sunday at the time. "I believe in the traditional definition of marriage." She took fire from Mary Cheney and her wife, Heather Poe, shortly afterward. "Liz — this isn't just an issue on which we disagree, you're just wrong — and on the wrong side of history," Mary Cheney wrote in a note shared on Facebook. In a separate note, Poe called out her sister-in-law for publicly condemning their right to be married despite previously expressing support for the couple in private.


"Liz has been a guest in our home, has spent time and shared holidays with our children, and when Mary and I got married in 2012 - she didn't hesitate to tell us how happy she was for us," she wrote. "To have her now say she doesn't support our right to marry is offensive, to say the least. I can't help but wonder how Liz would feel if as she moved from state to state, she discovered that her family was protected in one but not the other. I always thought freedom meant freedom for EVERYONE." Although Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne Cheney, tried to referee the public spat between their daughters, tension remained long after Liz Cheney abandoned her campaign.


"I love my sister and I'm not going to say any more about it because of my, just my respect for her. My views on it are clear," Liz Cheney said in 2016. However, it's clear from her "60 Minutes" interview Sunday that her views on LGBTQ rights have since evolved dramatically. In addition to admitting she was wrong in opposing same-sex marriages, she also spoke about also wanting to ensure that transgender people feel safe. "This is an issue that we have to recognize, you know, as human beings — that we need to work against discrimination of all kinds in our country, in our state," Liz Cheney said.


"We were at an event a few nights ago and there was a young woman who said she doesn't feel safe sometimes, because she's transgender, and nobody should feel unsafe. Freedom means freedom for everybody," she added. Yet, in February, Cheney voted against the Equality Act, which would have amended the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes.


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