Is Mary Cheney Trying to Keep Her Pregnancy Private?

December 9th, 2006 7:21 AM

You can sense that when the liberal media covers the pregnancy of Mary Cheney, there’s a glee there, like when they find an evangelical preacher with a crystal meth problem (although it must be said that in their current glee, Mary is the heroine, and again, the religious right is wrong). Some conservatives have argued that Mary Cheney probably just wants her privacy, and it’s the activists who’ve hijacked the story. But do we know that to be true?

The story broke on Wednesday morning in the gossip column of the Washington Post, and gossips Roxanne Roberts and Amy Argetsinger don’t say who told them, but I think it’s fair to bet that Mary Cheney told them. She may have called them up. They might have heard about it, and called her up. But the idea that Mary Cheney doesn’t really want to be a crusader for gay marriage on this story doesn’t match her record of gay-left activism (albeit mixed with her support for the GOP and her terrorist-fighting dad).

Mary Cheney wrote an entire book about her gay Republican life, played up in May by ABC News (as she has been in the last 24 hours). Jake Tapper’s stories were pretty down the middle, but I had to shake my head at Diane Sawyer’s introduction on Good Morning America: "And now we turn to Mary Cheney, the vice president's openly gay daughter, who is pregnant with her first child. She and her partner Heather are expecting the baby in late spring. And conservative Vice President Cheney and his conservative wife say they are excited about their sixth grandchild, though many of their conservative backers say, 'nope, this crosses a final line.' ABC's Jake Tapper goes inside the divide."’

After the 2000 election, Mary Cheney joined a group called the "Republican Unity Coalition" with former Sen. Alan Simpson to raise a ruckus inside the GOP, to remove all opposition to homosexuality from the platform and make it a political "non-issue." (It could be called the Republican Unaninimity Coalition.) Before that, she was a diversity officer for the Coors brewing company, helping the beer maker to be more supportive of homosexual causes. She wants to be a public activist. You could do this quieter than she's doing it. (Here's how the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force tried to figure out how much they should like her, and gay activists have always felt that Mary Cheney should have opposed her father's re-election to be true to the cause.)

For social conservatives, this story is tough to respond to, since the media love this formulation that the Cheneys are delighted by the birth, and somehow social conservatives have invaded the baby shower and destroyed all the presents. Gay activists love to make their cause always about one sainted set of individuals, victimized by society's discrimination and misunderstanding, and never about an entire societal trend.

I wouldn't want to pass judgment and overgeneralize on whether Cheney and Poe will be crappy mothers (or worse than Britney, which is exactly where your marry-the-gays crowd will gravitate), and I would not want to insist they can't find a man to donate the missing half of the baby equation. But they are implicitly (and the gay left is explicitly) making an anti-discrimination, redefine-marriage argument. To fail to speak up is to consent to the trend.

Bringing up a baby as fatherless on purpose to serve a sexual/political/lifestyle goal is a wee bit self-centered, especially as it’s rolled out by activists as the latest pamphlet/fundraising tool.

These spotlighted women may have the best of intentions and be loving guardians. But once it becomes a crusade for so-called "gay marriage," it stops being about two individuals and starts being about public policy, and the birth announcement goes from private joy to public squabble. If society is faced with the choice of "gay marriage," yea or nay, then it is not just about one set of individuals, but about the generalized public good. Social conservatives should profess that parents with a mother and a father are a better ideal, and they should note that Vice President Cheney’s position on these issues is not consistent with social conservatism.