DENVER – Vice President Dick Cheney (search), who has said states should handle the issue of gay marriage (search), now says he would support President Bush if he proposes a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
Cheney, whose daughter is a lesbian, told The Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News in interviews published Saturday that he still believes states should handle the issue, but that he would support Bush's decision.
"What I said in 2000 was that the question of whether or not some sort of status, legal status or sanction, ought to be granted in the case of a relationship between two individuals of the same sex was historically a matter the states had decided and resolved and that is the way I preferred it," Cheney told the Post.
In the interview with the News, Cheney said that is still his opinion.
Bush has said he respects homosexuals' rights but draws the line at gay weddings. He asked government lawyers to research ways to legally define marriage as a union between a man and a woman after courts in Massachusetts and other states recognized the right of gays to the civil benefits of marriage.
"At this stage, obviously, the president is going to have to make a decision in terms of what administration policy is on this particular provision, and I will support whatever decision he makes," Cheney told the Post.
Although there already is a federal law — the Defense of Marriage Act (search) — that defines marriage as between a man and a woman, some argue that gay marriage should be banned to prevent states from acting independently.
Cheney's daughter, Mary, did not comment on the interview. A well-known figure in the Colorado gay community, Mary Cheney has worked for the Colorado Rockies baseball team and the Coors Brewing Co. where, among other duties, she worked on outreach to gays and lesbians.
She also worked as a personal aide to her father in the 2000 presidential campaign, and joined the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign last July as the Director of Vice Presidential Operations.