Mary Cheney, preggers

Dateline: Wed 13 Dec 2006

Why hasn't there been more local attention paid to the recent announcement that Mary Cheney is pregnant?

Here's what AP reported last Friday, after the Washington Post broke the story a week ago today:

"Mary Cheney, the gay daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne, is pregnant.

"Mary Cheney, 37, and her partner of 15 years, Heather Poe, 45, are expecting a baby, said Lea Anne McBride, a spokeswoman for the vice president. The baby is due in late spring.

" 'The vice president and Mrs. Cheney are looking forward with eager anticipation to the arrival of their sixth granddaughter,' " McBride said.

"Mary Cheney was an aide to her father during the 2004 campaign, and now is vice president for consumer advocacy at AOL.

"McBride declined to elaborate on the circumstances of Mary Cheney's pregnancy. Mary Cheney and Poe moved from Colorado to Virginia a year ago to be closer to the Cheney family."

If ever there was evidence that the definition of family is changing in America, this is it -- Ubermensch Dick Cheney has a gay daughter AND she's pregnant AND she and her partner actually want to be closer to the old man, who kills ducks, for Godsake (and sometimes misses, but that's last year's news).

For all the hand-wringing, angst and high drama the notion of gay sex, gay marriage and gay procreation elicits from (some) Republicans, this story seems to have been very underplayed.

Why? Are Republicans ashamed, (the Cheneys excluded)? Do Dems steer clear because it proves the other side is, indeed, both human AND gay? Or is it reluctance on the part of partners Cheney and Poe to go terribly public with their past and this particular piece of good news?

I heard Cheney interviewed a year or so ago by Terri Gross on NPR. Cheney made it clear that when her dad was running for veep, her partner didn't relish the attention, so they were careful to keep a low profile. I know Chney's unwillingness to be a poster woman for lesbians and couplehood has irked, angered and hurt some gays.

Still, this seems to be one of those developments that challenges a lot of myths. Is that why we're afraid of it? Is it too real?

comments: ruth@ruthholladay.com

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