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Dick Cheney Was 'Surprised' By 'Attack' On Liz Cheney Over Anti-Gay Marriage Stance

12/03/2013 08:40 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

Former vice president Dick Cheney was "surprised" that his openly gay daughter, Mary, and her wife used Facebook to "attack" his other daughter, Wyoming Senate candidate Liz Cheney (R), for her opposition to gay marriage.

"We were surprised that there was an attack launched against Liz on Facebook, and wished it hadn't happened," Cheney said Tuesday, according to ABC News. "It's always been dealt with within the context of the family and frankly that's our preference."

The public feud between the Cheney sisters began when Liz, who is challenging Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) in next year's GOP primary, insisted that she believes in the "traditional definition of marriage" during a November appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"I do believe it's an issue that's got to be left up to states," she said. "I do believe in the traditional definition of marriage."

Mary Cheney's wife, Heather Poe, responded to her sister-in-law's remarks on her Facebook page.

"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. To have her now say she doesn't support our right to marry is offensive to say the least," Poe wrote.

Cheney agreed with her wife's assessment of her sister's comments, saying she "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," she wrote on her own Facebook page.

A New York Times report on the spat revealed that the issue had driven a wedge between the sisters, to the point where they have not spoken since the summer.

The former vice president and his wife, Lynne, then released a statement on the feud.

"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," the statement read. "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."

According to ABC News, Cheney, who voiced his support for same-sex marriage in 2009, said he would not comment further on the matter.

“That’s as far as I’m going to go on the subject,” he said. “Don’t waste your time.”

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