Mary Cheney boosting gay marriage amendment foes in state
By TOM LoBIANCO The Associated Press December 11, 2013 5:59PM
FILE - In this Sept. 1, 2004, file photo, the daughters of Vice President Dick Cheney, Elizabeth, left, and Mary, sit in Madison Square Garden during the Republican National Convention in New York. On Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, Mary Cheney rallied opponents of an effort to write Indianas gay marriage ban into the state constitution, at a fundraiser for Freedom Indiana, an umbrella group fighting against the marriage amendment. Mary Cheney has garnered national attention recently over a spat with her sister, Liz Cheney, who opposes gay marriage and is running to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
Updated: January 14, 2014 12:33PM
INDIANAPOLIS — Mary Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, on Wednesday rallied opponents of an effort to write Indiana’s gay marriage ban into the state constitution.
The daughter of the former Republican vice president attended a fundraiser for Freedom Indiana, an umbrella group fighting against the marriage amendment. Mary Cheney, a lesbian married in Washington, D.C., spends much of her time travelling the nation advocating for gay marriage throughout the states.
Cheney has garnered national attention recently over a spat with her sister, Liz Cheney, who opposes gay marriage and is running to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming.
Mary Cheney’s appearance Wednesday night marked the first high-profile catch for Freedom Indiana, as the group looks to sway lawmakers while building a campaign fund ahead of a potential 2014 ballot fight.
Supporters of writing the marriage ban into the constitution say it is needed to keep the issue from potentially being decided by a judge. However, the constitutional amendment would go beyond simply banning gay marriage; it also would bar lawmakers from approving civil unions and employers from extending benefits for same-sex couples.
Lawmakers will consider the amendment during the 2014 session, which being in about a month. If the General Assembly approves the amendment, it would go before voters on the 2014 ballot.
Republican legislative leaders, who oversee supermajorities in both the House and Senate, have said the issue is not a priority for them, but it could still dominate the two-month session.
If the measure heads to the ballot, it is sure to spark an expensive battle between the opposing sides, likely drawing in even more national figures such as Cheney.