Press Room

August 23, 2004


HRC: Bush Administration Can’t Have It Both Ways on Marriage

'President Bush must be feeling the heat,' said HRC President Cheryl Jacques.

- The Human Rights Campaign responded today to comments made by Vice President Dick Cheney.

"President Bush must be feeling the heat," said HRC President Cheryl Jacques. "Millions of Republican families, like the Cheneys, have gay friends and family members and are offended by President Bush's efforts to put discrimination in the Constitution. As Vice President Cheney makes clear, this is a personal issue that affects hard-working, tax-paying Americans. The Bush administration can't have it both ways."

At a rally today in Davenport, Iowa, Vice President Cheney made the following comments, according to the Associated Press.

"Lynne and I have a gay daughter, so it's an issue our family is very familiar with. With the respect to the question of relationships, my general view is freedom means freedom for everyone. テ People ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to. The question that comes up with the issue of marriage is what kind of official sanction or approval is going to be granted by government? Historically, that's been a relationship that has been handled by the states. The states have made that fundamental decision of what constitutes a marriage."

According to the AP, Cheney then cited earlier comments he made in the vice presidential debate and said his answer today was the same it was then.

During the vice presidential debates on Oct. 5, 2000, Cheney said:

"I think different states are likely to come to different conclusions, and that's appropriate. I don't think there should necessarily be a federal policy in this area. テ I think we ought to do everything we can to - to tolerate and accommodate whatever kind of relationships people want to enter into."

On Jan. 10, 2004, Vice President Cheney again reiterated his support for states' regulating the issue. He told The Rocky Mountain News:

"I stated those during the course of the 2000 campaign, that I thought when it came to the question of whether or not some sort of legal status or legal sanction were granted to a same-sex relationship, that that was a matter best left to the states. That was my view then. That is my view now."

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.