The virulently anti-gay Family Research Council is mighty upset with Dick Cheney for supporting marriage equality in Maryland. Robert Morrison, an FRC “senior fellow,” writes a weird, meandering blog post slamming Cheney. Try to make sense of this:
Dick Cheney probably never met Mae West. For younger readers unfamiliar with one of Hollywood’s original blond bombshells, I’ll simply say: sailors in World War II called their large life jackets Mae Wests. (This is a family blog, after all.)
Mae West famously said: “Marriage is a great institution, but I’m not ready for an institution.” How strange that Mae West had a better understanding of civil marriage than a former Vice President of the United States, a man who was twice elected to national office by pro-family voters.
Did he really just cite a line from Mae West opposing marriage as evidence that she understood marriage better than Dick Cheney? Yep, he did. Just weird.
Dick Cheney is said to be worth hundreds of millions. His family may not suffer the devastation that comes from the breakdown of marriage. But in his recent book, Coming Apart, Charles Murray shows how the loss of marriage for the white working class in America has already had catastrophic consequences.
And yet Murray has now changed his position and is supporting marriage equality:
“I have never,” he said, “made a public statement about that before, but the fact is this: My wife and I have maybe half a dozen friends who are gay and are in couples. I mean they’re marriage-like situations. Some of them are guys and some of them are gals. In all of those cases, they’re acting like married people. They appear to have loving, faithful relationships that they take very seriously.”
More than that, he added, “a couple of them have kids that they are as attentive [to] and loving of as any other parents, and so I say to myself, I still have real problems with using the word marriage for anything except a union which has as its main purpose child-bearing and so forth.”
Still, he explained, “on the other hand, it’s really made me rethink the nature of my opposition, because let’s face it: Heterosexuals have made a mess out of marriage in the last couple of decades — the last half-century, actually — in ways which leave us in a weak position to suddenly say, ‘Oh, this wonderful institution that we’ve done so well with, you’re trying to interfere with.’”
As a result, Murray said, “I have backed off from leading the fight against gay marriage or even participating in it, and I’m willing to say that this is one instance in which [a new idea is] working out better than I would have expected it to, as I see it.”
Nothing like citing an authority who says you’re wrong.
Like Dispatches on Facebook: