White House officially recognizes legal status of gay couples and parents

Something rather historic happened this past week. The White House, for the first time ever on its Web site (that I know of), recognized the legitimacy of gay couples as both married and as parents. It was done, innocuously enough, when the White House published a photo of Vice President Dick Cheney’s new grandson, the child of the VP’s lesbian daughter and her lesbian spouse. The White House not only published a photo of the child with the VP and his wife, but the caption was even more telling:

Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne Cheney, welcomed their sixth grandchild, Samuel David Cheney, Wednesday, May 23, 2007. He weighed 8 lbs., 6 oz and was born at 9:46 a.m. at Sibley Hospital in Washington, D.C. His parents are the Cheneys’ daughter Mary, and her partner, Heather Poe. White House photo by David Bohrer

Did you catch that last sentence? The White House officially recognized a lesbian couple as co-equal parents of a child. That not only is a recognition of the legitimacy of gay parents – i.e., if one person is the birth mother and the other the mother’s partner, both are the “parents” of the child, per the White House – but the White House is also, implicitly, recognizing the legitimate couple status of two gay people in love, i.e., they are not simply two unrelated gay people, they are parents, akin to your parents, akin to a married couple. Why do I say that the White House is de facto recognizing gay marriage? Because either Mary or her lover, or both, are not the biological mom of this child – with two women, only one can be the biological parent. For the White House to recognize both as parents means that they are recognizing the legitimacy of the two women as one entity, the parent. Anyway, it’s a hell of a statement by any White House, let alone one of the most conservative in history, and one that prides itself on being so anti-gay.

JSpot asks a very good question about why the baby’s photo is on the White House Web site:

So now a question for grandpa: Isn’t it just a bit disingenious to say that your daughters’ family is private & off limits and to get so pissy with reporters for being “out of line,” and then you’ve got this photo on the home page of an official government website?

Hey, its not like we think you are personally a homophobe, and your love for your daughter is obvious. But given your role in an administration that denies your grandson a legal relationship with the mom who you credit as a parent on the White House website, isn’t it time to explain this incongruity?


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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