Wyoming Republican Senate candidate Liz Cheney's opposition to gay marriage has caused a full-on feud with her sister, Mary Cheney, and her sister's wife, Heather Poe.
In a rare interview with The New York Times Sunday evening, Mary Cheney said she will not be seeing her sister at Christmas and the two have not spoken since the summer.
The rift between the two daughters of Vice President Dick Cheney had spilled into public view earlier that day during a Sunday morning television interview. Liz Cheney, formerly a cable TV pundit herself, appeared on "Fox News Sunday" and said that she supported "traditional marriage."
Poe was watching the interview and hit back on Facebook. "Liz has been a guest in our home, has spent time and shared holidays with our children, and when Mary and I got married in 2012 -- she didn't hesitate to tell us how happy she was for us," Poe wrote. "To have her now say she doesn't support our right to marry is offensive to say the least."
Poe then took a shot at her sister-in-law's move from Northern Virginia to near Jackson, Wyo., where the Senate candidate bought a home in May 2012 and began her campaign in July 2013. "I can't help but wonder how Liz would feel if as she moved from state to state, she discovered that her family was protected in one but not the other," Poe wrote.
Mary Cheney shared the post on her own Facebook page and added, "Couldn't have said it better myself. Liz -- this isn't just an issue on which we disagree -- you're just wrong -- and on the wrong side of history." When The New York Times asked whether her comments might complicate her sister's campaign, Mary Cheney said, "OK."
Poe's Facebook post appeared to suggest that Liz Cheney didn't have a problem with gay marriage until she moved across the country and launched a primary challenge against Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.). The post seemed to reinforce the notion that Cheney adopted a more conservative position out of political expediency.
Indeed, Cheney, who is positioning herself as a right-wing challenger to Enzi, is also being attacked for being soft on gay marriage. The American Principles Fund, a conservative super PAC, has spent $75,000 in ads against her.
Prior to running for the Senate, Liz Cheney had not publicly expressed outright support for gay marriage, but had said in a 2009 MSNBC program, "We think freedom means freedom for everybody, and this is an issue that states have to decide for themselves."
Enzi opposes same-sex marriage as well. When asked whether the senator had any comments on the Cheney dust-up, a spokesman replied, "Nope."
As vice president, Dick Cheney had opposed a constitutional amendment against gay marriage that the George W. Bush administration pushed for. He came out for marriage equality in 2009. As for his daughters' differences, he said in an October interview with CNN, "l'll let my daughters speak for themselves."
UPDATE: 1:39 p.m. -- A spokeswoman for Dick and Lynne Cheney emailed a statement to HuffPost saying that their daughter Liz has always believed in "traditional marriage":
This is an issue we have dealt with privately for many years, and we are pained to see it become public. Since it has, one thing should be clear. Liz has always believed in the traditional definition of marriage. She has also always treated her sister and her sister's family with love and respect, exactly as she should have done. Compassion is called for, even when there is disagreement about such a fundamental matter and Liz's many kindnesses shouldn't be used to distort her position.
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