Kirsten Andersen

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Wyoming Senate primary pits pro-gay ‘marriage’ Republican Cheney against pro-marriage incumbent Enzi

Kirsten Andersen
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Co-written by Ben Johnson.

CHEYENNE, WY, July 18, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Liz Cheney announced that she will challenge three-term incumbent Senator Mike Enzi, R-WY, in what promises to be an ugly and expensive primary. Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney styles herself a Tea Party conservative and is attempting to run to Enzi's right.

However, in a race that features few differences of policy, one distinction stands out: Liz Cheney, like her father, supports same-sex “marriage.” Mike Enzi does not. Cheney also supports federal benefits for same-sex couples and called on the U.S. Senate to repeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

Cheney, whose sister Mary is a lesbian who “wed” another woman in Washington, D.C., last year, told MSNBC in 2009 that she opposes a Constitutional amendment defining a marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

“Well, look, I think, you know, my family has been very clear about this, that we think freedom means freedom for everybody,” she said. “'I think it's wrong to discriminate, in those relationships, based on someone's sexual preference.”

However, she favors a state-by-state strategy over the nationwide legalization of same-sex unions, saying, “this is an issue that states have to decide for themselves.”

If elected, Cheney would become the fourth GOP Senator to openly support gay “marriage.” 

Enzi, on the other hand, co-sponsored a constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage in 2008. "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman," the amendment read.

He also has a 100 percent pro-life voting record with the National Right to Life Committee.

It is unclear how Cheney's position on redefiing marriage will affect her overall chances in the Wyoming Republican primary, which she seems to be trying to set up as a contest to see who can out-conservative whom.

Becky Vanderbergh of WyWatch PAC, a Wyoming-based pro-family political action committee, told LifeSiteNews.com on Wednesday that, while her group does not take positions on federal races, “as a registered Wyoming State PAC who stands for the sanctity of life, marriage, and constitutional freedoms, we hope whoever the voters in Wyoming choose is going to be strong in these areas.”

“We also hope that voters will pay close attention to who is donating to candidates to make sure that outside special interest groups are not funding or supporting an agenda that does not align with the conservative principles that most Wyoming voters hold dear,” Vanderbergh told LifeSiteNews.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

American Family Association issues analyst Bryan Fischer wrote on Wednesday that Cheney's unconventional views on marriage should cost her the support of traditional values proponents, who might be otherwise attracted to Cheney’s bold style.

The challenger “lights a fire under many conservatives, particularly on national defense and foreign policy issues,” Fischer wrote. While “Liz Cheney will be an undeniably appealing candidate, and conservatives will be tempted to turn a blind eye toward her support for...deviancy,” Fischer added, “we do so not only at our peril but at the peril of the future of our country.”

Cheney, who styles herself a Tea Party patriot, moved to Wyoming from the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., only a year ago and has very few differences with Senator Enzi over matters of policy. She has not criticized Enzi’s solidly conservative voting record. National Journal ranked Enzi the eighth most conservative senator in Washington last year.

Instead, she is hinting that Enzi’s 12 years in the Senate may have made him too personally comfortable with his colleagues across the aisle. “I believe it is necessary for a new generation of leaders to step up to the plate,” she said.

“We've got to stand and fight, and we have to defend what we believe in,” she added. “We have to not be afraid of being called obstructionists.”

Cheney's attempt to cling to the Tea Party may be less than convincing, as one of the movement's foundational figures, Senator Rand Paul, has endorsed Enzi.

“I’ve told him I’ll do anything I can to help him,” said the Kentucky senator, who has a distinguished father of his own.

Paul and Cheney could hardly be further apart on foreign policy or civil liberties issues.

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