Mary Cheney welcomes baby boy

Ann Turner | May 25, 2007

Mary Cheney and her partner Heather Poe
LOS ANGELES — Mary Cheney, daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, and her partner Heather Poe are welcoming a new baby boy into the family. Samuel David Cheney, weighing in at 8 lbs., 6 oz., as yet has no idea of the controversy surrounding his conception and birth.

Cheney has been under the gun since she came out as a lesbian, both from gay rights groups for not using her political connections to push harder for gay rights – and from anti-gay groups critical of her sexuality and her decision to raise a child with her partner.

Cheney, vice president for consumer advocacy at AOL, met Poe when they both played ice hockey during college in Colorado. Cheney announced in December that she and Poe were starting a family. She did not say how the child was conceived. Samuel David Cheney is the vice president's sixth grandchild.

Mary Cheney's sexuality unexpectedly became a talking point during the 2004 campaign when presidential candidate John Kerry referred to her being a lesbian during a debate, when asked whether homosexuality is determined at birth.

�We're all God's children,� Kerry said in response to the question. �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. I think if you talk to anybody, it's not a choice.�

Vice President Cheney and his wife, Lynne, lashed out at Kerry for the mention, with Lynne Cheney calling the reference a �cheap and tawdry political trick.�

"When Heather and I decided to have a baby, it wasn't going to be the most popular decision ever," Cheney said, referring to her partner of 15 years, Heather Poe, according to the New York Times.

Dick Cheney had a run-in with CNN's Wolf Blitzer when asked he thought of conservatives who are critical of his daughter's pregnancy – specifically James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family. Dobson asserts that children should be raised by heterosexual, married couples. According to the AP, Cheney told Blitzer he was "over the line."

�Every piece of remotely responsible research that has been done in the last 20 years on this issue has shown there is no difference between children who are raised by same-sex parents and children who are raised by opposite-sex parents,� the Times quoted Mary Cheney saying. �What matters is that children are being raised in a stable, loving environment."

Cheney has also faced opposition from within the gay community. She was criticized for not being tough enough on her father and the Bush administration in her memoir Now It's My Turn: A Daughter's Chronicle of Political Life. She has also angered the gay community by supporting and working for her father�s campaigns; and for not talking about gay rights during Cheney�s 2004 campaign, when same-sex marriage became a political issue. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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