Conservatives equated Mary Cheney's sexual orientation with abortion, adultery, alcoholism, and now obesity


In the five days since the third presidential debate, conservatives in the media have drawn comparisons between Senator John Kerry's reference to Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter, Mary Cheney, as a lesbian and hypothetical statements about abortion, adultery, alcoholism, and obesity.

Here's what Kerry said during the October 13 presidential debate in response to moderator Bob Schieffer's question, "Do you believe homosexuality is a choice?":

KERRY: We're all God's children, Bob. And I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she's being who she was, she's being who she was born as.

Following are the comparisons some conservative media figures have drawn:

Comparisons to abortion

  • MSNBC analyst Pat Buchanan said Kerry's "use [of] the cold, hard word 'lesbian'" was "like finding a conservative who's a right-to-lifer and going on television and saying, 'I'm sorry, my friend's daughter had an abortion.'"
  • Radio host Rush Limbaugh told his listeners to imagine that "a Democrat presidential candidate, unnamed" had a daughter that had "a couple of abortions. And the president would have said ... 'I know the senator's daughter's had at least one. We don't really know how many.'"

Comparisons to adultery

  • Responding to Kerry campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill's comment that, because Mary Cheney and her parents had been open about her sexuality, it was "fair game" for Kerry to discuss, CNN co-host Tucker Carlson said on the October 14 edition of CNN's Crossfire: "So does this mean that the children of candidates, Republican candidates, are fair game? If there's another candidate whose child is, I don't know, involved in an adulterous affair, you're going to talk about it on television?"

Comparisons to alcoholism

  • FOX News Channel FOX & Friends co-host E.D. Hill compared Kerry's response to criticism over his reference to Mary Cheney to telling "an alcoholic's family ... '[T]hat kid of yours sure is a wino, but you know, you're really dealing with it well and I'm sure that he has no choice about being a wino.'"

Comparisons to obesity

  • Nationally syndicated radio host and frequent FOX News Channel contributor Mike Gallagher, as guest host of the October 16 edition of FOX & Friends: "What if the question was, 'Listen, there's a big problem in America with obesity. We do know there is. It's a health care thing.' And what if the answer had been, well, you know, Edwards's wife has talked about the struggles she's had with weight, I mean, right away people would have said, 'Come on.'"
Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, LGBTQ
2004 Elections
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