Mary Cheney, daughter of Dick Cheney, is pregnant with her second child. She and partner Heather Poe are expecting their new addition in November, according to True/Slant.
Mary has hardly been a beacon of the LGBT movement, even donating to anti-LGBT political candidates, but she is one of the country’s most recognizable lesbian moms. This means, as I’ve said before, that despite her lackluster record, she may in fact be the kind of bridge we need to win over more people in support of our cause. The fact is that we’re not going to gain equality by turning everyone into liberals (much as I might like that). We’re going to win equality by convincing centrists and conservatives (though perhaps not ultra-conservatives) to join liberals in supporting our rights.
Mary Cheney, despite her weak record as an activist, is one of the few LGBT Americans with national recognition whom the mainstream won’t write off by virtue of being an entertainer, subject to that industry’s tendencies toward liberalism and general eccentricity.
This leaves Mary in the headlines as an LGBT American, a parent, not dismissible as a knee-jerk liberal, and connected to the corridors of power. The LGBT community is mad at Mary for not having been vocal about LGBT rights, and for backing the campaigns of those who are against them. We should be. But her mere existence may help persuade people that LGBT rights are more than just some liberal hogwash. Imagine what could happen if she really applied herself.
One further point: When Mary had her first child, many criticized Dick Cheney for appearing in a publicity photo with his wife Lynne and their grandson, but not Mary and Heather. As Abigail Garner of Damn Straight pointed out, however (via Michael Petrelis, with whom I don’t always agree, but who seems right in this case), that was consistent with the publicity photos for his previous grandchildren via his straight daughter Elizabeth. Two grandparents, grandkid, and no parents. I have never before defended Dick Cheney, but I do prefer to get my facts right. Having said that, I also think it would be a tremendous step if this time around, he and Lynne did appear with Mary, Heather, and their kids. Wishful thinking? Yeah, probably.
Regardless of what any of us may think of Mary, however, I wish her and Heather the same I would for any expectant parents: a peaceful final months of pregnancy and time with their expanded family.