The fight between Liz and Mary Cheney over gay marriage is both sad and symbolic. It’s sad because they are thoughtful, caring, and conservative sisters who love each other, and the issue of gay marriage is driving a wedge between them—“big time.” Their fight is symbolic because the issue also is driving a wedge between the Republican Party and voters, especially young voters.
Many young Americans agree with Mary Cheney: Gay marriage is a fundamental right, and those who disagree are “on the wrong side of history.” Other voters are less strident in their support, but they think of themselves as tolerant people. They support civil unions. They enjoy reruns of Will & Grace. They enjoy being a part of the lives of their gay friends and family members. When they see people like Mary Cheney, her wife, Heather Poe, and their beautiful children, they see a family with value—even if they also believe that “marriage” is between a man and a woman.