Mary Cheney is an American political worker, best known as the younger daughter of Dick Cheney, former vice president of the United States of America. Mary was born in Madison, Wisconsin, and raised in Virginia, where she attended the ‘McLean High School.’ Following her high-school graduation, she joined ‘Colorado College.’ She later completed her master’s degree in business from the ‘University of Denver.’ In the early 2000s, Dick Cheney was appointed as the vice president of the country. Both his daughters, Liz and Mary, served as his close confidantes. During the first Bush–Cheney presidential campaign, Dick denied the rumors that Mary was lesbian, despite the fact that she had already announced her sexual orientation. The ‘Conservative Party’ was not pro-LGBT, and this created a lot of confusion regarding Mary’s political allegiance. However, following the end of his term in 2009, Dick became a vocal supporter of his daughter’s gay marriage. In 2013, Mary’s sister, Liz, stated during her election campaign that she did not support the concept of same-sex marriage. However, this was a contradictory statement, considering the fact that Liz had accepted her sister’s lesbian marriage earlier. Mary is now happily married to Heather Poe and is the mother of two children.
Childhood & Personal Life
Mary Claire Cheney was born on March 14, 1969, in Madison, Wisconsin, U.S., to Dick and Lynne Cheney. She was the younger of Dick’s two daughters. She grew up with her older sister, Liz. The sisters were quite close to each other as kids.
In 1975, when she was still a child, her father was appointed as the new chief of staff of the ‘White House.’ President Gerald Ford lost the 1976 elections, and hence, Dick and his family moved back to Wyoming, his home state. The family settled in Casper.
Mary attended local schools there and had a normal childhood. She spent a lot of her time riding bikes, fishing, camping, and occasionally visiting her grandparents. She was close to her father and did her bit for his debut congressional campaign by handing out leaflets and banners in her school and street.
By the early 1980s, Dick was serving in the ‘House of Representatives,’ and the family had moved to McLean, Virginia. Mary often accompanied her father on his trips to Wyoming and back. It was during one of those trips that Mary confided in her father that she was lesbian.
She had developed an early interest in politics, following in the footsteps of her elder sister. In 1988, she appeared as a page in the ‘Republican Convention.’ However, she resigned when she witnessed that the costume she was supposed to wear was similar to how the ‘Soviet Youth’ dressed up.
She graduated from the ‘McLean High School’ in Mclean, Virginia. She later joined ‘Colorado College,’ from where she graduated with a business degree in the early 1990s. Following this, she completed her master’s degree in business from the ‘University of Denver’ in 2002.
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Following her graduation from ‘Colorado College,’ she worked as a promotional manager of the baseball team ‘Colorado Rockies.’ She then worked as a public relations manager, and toward the late 1990s, she began working at a law firm.
In 2000, George W. Bush decided to run for president and appointed Dick to search for candidates for the position of the U.S. vice president. Mary left her law firm and began working actively with her father, without any serious political experience. It was said that she even stored some secret papers in her house.
Soon, George Bush became the president, and Dick took over as the vice president. The ‘Conservative Party’ of America had a tough stand on the LGBT issue, and they did not want same-sex marriage to be legalized. However, Dick had already accepted his daughter’s sexual orientation. He thus refrained from talking about it in public.
Mary realized the awkwardness of the situation and said that she did not want to be known as the vice president’s lesbian daughter. She also said that she would do anything she could to help her father’s campaign.
In 2000, Dick talked proudly about his elder daughter, Liz, and her family. However, he did not say a word about Mary. By then, Mary’s sexual orientation was an open secret, and many pundits claimed that Mary’s presence in the campaign could be a good sign for the ‘Republican Party.’ Mary’s mother denied her daughter was lesbian on a national news channel that year.
In 2002, Mary joined the ‘Republican Unity Coalition,’ which was a gay–straight alliance of the party. She also claimed that a person’s sexuality should neither be politicized nor be made into an election issue for the ‘Republican Party.’
In 2004, she further joined the Bush–Cheney administration to lend her support to the upcoming presidential election. In 2004, the Bush administration promoted the ‘Federal Marriage Amendment,’ which denied the authenticity and legality of same-sex marriages and only accepted heterosexual marriages as “real.”
Mary was obviously not too happy with the turn of events, but she did talk about it publicly and continued campaigning for the ‘Republican Party.’ However, Dick had a slightly liberal stand on the whole LGBT marriage issue. In 2004, he said that the state governments should be given the power to decide whether or not to legalize gay marriages.
When Dick was invited to public debates, he was made to face tough questions by the ‘Democratic Party’ members. They would often drag his daughter’s name into the debates. Although Dick never openly mentioned Mary, he later stated that on one such instance, the whole conversation about his daughter’s sexuality made him “very angry.”
Following the end of her father’s term as the vice president, Mary took a break from active politics and devoted herself to a few politically inclined non-profit organizations. She later began two non-profit organizations, ‘Alliance for America’s Future’ and ‘Alliance for Freedom.’ She later also laid the foundation of ‘Partnership for America’s Future,’ which is no longer active.
In 2006, she published her autobiography, ‘Now It’s My Turn: A Daughter’s Chronicle of Political Life.’ The book featured detailed accounts of her relationships with her family members and how her being homosexual had become a topic of discussion of the entire nation at one point. Despite the book being highly awaited, it was a disappointment when it was released. Neither was it praised by critics nor was it a commercial success. It sold only about 6,000 copies in a month.
Family & Personal Life
Mary Cheney was quite close to her elder sister, Liz, when they were younger. In 2013, Liz was running for a senate seat from Wyoming. During her campaign, she proclaimed that she did not support same-sex marriage. Miffed by this, Mary wrote a ‘Facebook’ post criticizing her sister and said that she will not support Liz for her senate candidacy. She also said that Liz was trying to portray her own sister as a second-class citizen.
However, Mary’s partner, Heather, said that Liz had been happy for her sister when she had married her and signalled that Liz had later denounced her sister only for political gains.
Mary had begun dating Heather Poe in 1992. They got married in 2012. She has given birth to two children through sperm donors, and the family now lives together in Great Falls, Virginia.
In 2018, a biographical film on Dick Cheney, titled ‘Vice,’ was released. The movie featured Alison Pill as Mary.