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Liz Cheney: ‘I was wrong’ in opposing same-sex marriage in the past

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) tells ‘60 Minutes’ that she was wrong to have opposed same-sex marriage, a stance that led to divisions in her family.

Rep. Liz Cheney says she was wrong to have opposed same-sex marriage in the past, a stand that once split her family.

The Wyoming Republican, a fierce critic of former President Trump, also told CBS News’ “60 Minutes” that she views her reelection campaign as the most important House race in the nation as forces aligned with Trump try to unseat her. She voted to impeach Trump over his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

In the interview aired Sunday night, Cheney said she had little affection for President Biden, who she believes has embraced polices harmful to the economy and to national security, such as the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. “But the alternative cannot be a man who doesn’t believe in the rule of law, and who violated his oath of office,” Cheney said of fellow Republican Trump.

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Cheney was an ascendant Republican leader before the Jan. 6 riot, but she is now increasingly defined by her public opposition to Trump and his hold on the GOP. Cheney, 55, said that she still talks with her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, every night and that they share the same views on rejecting Trump.

Liz Cheney famously broke with her family in 2013 by opposing same-sex marriage ahead of a failed Senate bid. Her opposition caused a rift with her sister, Mary, a married lesbian. Mary’s spouse, Heather Poe, posted on Facebook that year that her sister-in-law’s position was offensive and that “I always thought freedom meant freedom for EVERYONE.”

In the “60 Minutes” interview, Cheney said that her opposition to same-sex marriage was misguided and that she channeled Poe’s Facebook post in explaining why she changed her position.

Republicans face a midterm dilemma: Trump has an iron grip on the party, but he risks alienating swing voters.

“I was wrong. I was wrong,” she said. “It’s a very personal issue — and very personal for my family. I believe that my dad was right. And my sister and I have had that conversation. ... Freedom means freedom for everybody.”

While still opposed to gun control, abortion and the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” the Wyoming congresswoman finds herself on the outs for voting to impeach Trump, who continues to falsely claim election fraud despite results having been certified by states and despite Republican election officials and courts rejecting dozens of legal challenges.

After voting to impeach Trump, Cheney lost her leadership post as chair of the House Republican Conference. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) put her on a nine-person committee to investigate the Jan. 6 assault. Cheney serves as the panel’s vice chair.

Trump has vowed to defeat Cheney in next year’s primary election by backing Republican Harriet Hageman, an attorney. Cheney, seeking a fourth term, said nothing less than the authority of the Constitution is at stake.

“I think it’s going to be the most important House race in the country in 2022. And — and it will be one where people do have the opportunity to say, ‘We want to stand for the Constitution,’” Cheney said. “A vote against me in this race, a vote for whomever Donald Trump has endorsed, is a vote for somebody who’s willing to perpetuate the big lie, somebody who’s willing to put allegiance to Trump above allegiance to the Constitution, absolutely.”

Cheney criticized House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) for sticking with Trump after the assault on the Capitol.

“What he’s done is embrace Donald Trump,” she said. “And if I were doing what he’s doing, I would be deeply ashamed of myself. I don’t know how you explain that to your children. When you are in a situation where you have somebody who did what Donald Trump did, it is absolutely clear he cannot continue to be somebody you embrace.”


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