I was both happy and saddened to read about the drama in the Cheney family. Mary Cheney has long been out as a lesbian and is in a long term marriage and has children. Her parents have supported her and her dad even came out pro gay marriage while still in the Bush administration. Not my favorite guy but I give him props for doing what was right.

Liz Cheney, Mary’s sister is currently running for a Senate seat in Wyoming. I would say overall her political party affiliation is Tea Party Republican. As such she has come out against gay marriage. Mary claims that she didn’t know her sister’s view on this until her recent public comments.

This past week Mary Cheney’s wife Heather Poe had enough and said this on FaceBook:

“I was watching my sister-in-law on Fox News Sunday (yes Liz, in fifteen states and the District of Columbia you are my sister-in-law) and was very disappointed to hear her say “I do believe in the traditional definition of marriage.”
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.
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.”

This was the part I was happy to read about. Mary Cheney’s politics have been confusing to me to say the least, and it was good to see her and her wife stand up for their family. At the same time it saddens me to see her father struggle between his daughters. The rift is so big at this point that the sisters are reportedly not speaking.

I believe Liz Cheney loves her sister. I even suspect she has positive feelings towards Mary’s wife and family. But that is not enough. Especially when you are in a position of power to change things. I have heard the “love the sinner hate the sin” line before. However, it doesn’t work that way from this side of it. If you cannot fully accept part of who someone is, nor accept that they have the right to choose whom they want to spend their life with, then you don’t really love them.

Many of us live with some version of the conflict Mary Cheney finds herself in right now. We have been treated differently by those who say they love us. Sometimes we get treated differently by people that support us and marriage equality. It is a tough place to be in.  There are many different ways to cope including cutting off family contact, lying to family, and keeping it the big unspoken elephant in the room. We all have to find our way. To those that think it is okay to say they love their LGBT friend or relative but they still can’t support marriage equality I want to say to you it is not okay. It may allow you to reconcile things in your mind but your family member is caused pain by your lack of support. They know that you don’t really fully accept them.

Perhaps that knowledge won’t change anyone’s mind. People have the right to their beliefs, but you also should own how your beliefs might affect those around you.