June 2, 2009
Obama Issues Gay Month Proclamation, Cheney Endorses Same-sex Marriage
President Obama issued a proclamation honoring "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Pride Month 2009," while former Vice President Dick Cheney issued his support for same-sex marriage on a state-by-state basis.
"Forty years ago, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City resisted police harassment that had become all too common for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community," Obama's proclamation states. "Out of this resistance, the LGBT rights movement in America was born. During LGBT Pride Month, we commemorate the events of June 1969 and commit to achieving equal justice under law for LGBT Americans."
Cheney said at the National Press Club yesterday that "people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish, any kind of arrangement they wish." Cheney's position appears to put him to the left of President Obama, who has said he supports civil unions, rather than same-sex marriage.
Cheney has become a leading critic of the Obama administration over foreign policy decisions, but Dan Eggen writes that yesterday, he parted ways with Obama on a social issue.
He added, however, that he does not support a federal role in the matter. "Historically, the way marriage has been regulated is at the state level," Cheney said. "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."
Cheney has long departed from conservative orthodoxy on the issue of same-sex marriage. He said during the 2000 presidential campaign that the matter should be left to the states, and he caused a small uproar during the 2004 race by appearing to distance himself from a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, a measure that was strongly supported by his boss, President George W. Bush.