This is what Liz Cheney as US president would mean for LGBTQ+ rights
Liz Cheney has hinted she may enter the 2024 presidential election. She’s got a dubious track record on LGBTQ+ rights but, as a Republican, has opposed former president Donald Trump – but could this win her votes?
She was among the ten House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for his role in the 6 January attack on the Capitol Building. Of the ten, four retired, and at least four of the remaining politicians lost their primaries, the Washington Post reported.
The three-term congresswoman from Wyoming suffered a landslide defeat in the primary election and will lose her seat in the US Congress. Cheney faced fierce opposition due to her speaking out against former president Donald Trump and his far-right followers.
Cheney said in her concession speech there is a “willingness to embrace dangerous conspiracy theories” which led to the 6 January attack, and added Trump knew that voicing these beliefs would “provoke violence and threats of violence”.
Cheney acknowledged her primary election is over but believed the “real work” began soon after. The sentiment sounded like an all-but-official bid to gain the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election.
‘Whatever it takes’
Cheney vowed during an appearance on NBC’s Today show to do “whatever it takes” to keep Trump – who she said continued to “pose a very grave threat and risk” to the US – from returning to the Oval Office.
When asked if that meant she was thinking about a presidential bid, Cheney admitted she’s “thinking about” it.
“That’s a decision that I’m going to make in the coming months, and I’m not going to make any announcements here this morning – but it is something that I am thinking about,” Cheney replied.
The big question looming over her potential candidacy run would be how she expects to take down Trump, who is expected to run again and still has strong support in the Republican party.
She would also potentially face off against Trump’s former vice president Mike Pence, who is considered a “strong contender” for a presidential nomination.
Liz Cheney’s record on LGBTQ+ rights
Cheney won the praise of many liberals for standing up against Trump and for her time on the committee which investigated his supporters at the 6 January attack. But the ousted Wyoming state representative has had a rocky history when it comes to her support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Cheney spoke out in support of marriage equality – but this was a U-turn from her previous stance. She admitted she was “wrong” to oppose same-sex marriage in the past – which fuelled an immense rift between her and her sister Mary, who is openly gay and married.
Their father Dick Cheney, the former vice president under president George W Bush, voiced his strong support for same-sex marriage years earlier.
“I love my sister very much,” Cheney said. “I love her family very much and I was wrong.
“It is a very personal issue and very personal for my family. I believe that my family was right.”
Cheney also said in the interview that meeting with a trans woman changed her perspective further on LGTBQ+ rights.
She recalled how the young woman doesn’t “feel safe sometimes because she’s transgender” and felt that “nobody should feel unsafe”.
Liz Cheney voted in favour of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would codify same-sex marriage into federal law. The act would safeguard marriages for LGBTQ+ couples if the Supreme Court ever overturned Obergefell v Hodges, which has been a concern since the court’s abortion (Roe vs Wade) ruling in June.
Cheney’s conservative voting track record
However, in many other areas her voting record is in line with many other Republican politicians in the US.
Cheney voted against the Equality Act, which would ban anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination nationwide, in 2021. The legislation passed in the House but has languished in the Senate ever since due to the chamber’s filibuster rule.
She has supported abortion bans, voted against giving law enforcement agencies more time to conduct background checks for gun sales, rejected a bill combating brutality and racial discrimination by police; and opposed expanding the Affordable Care Act.
In the context of the presidential primary, Liz Cheney would need a decent backing from Republicans and Democrats to go up against both Trump and Pence in the primary, if they run as expected.
Trump has retained much of his support within the Republican Party for his fierce opposition to LGBTQ+ rights. By GLAAD’s recollection, Trump attacked the queer community over 190 times during his presidency, fostering an anti-LGBTQ+ atmosphere from the White House.
He hasn’t stopped his vile anti-trans rants and spread of misinformation about the community since leaving the Oval Office.
Pence, the former governor of Indiana, is also known for his fierce opposition to LGBTQ+ rights. He opposed same-sex marriage rights multiple times in the past and has forged ties with the anti-LGBTQ+ conservative think tank Heritage Foundation.
He claimed repealing the military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy would turn the armed forces into a “backdrop for social experimentation”.
Pence also sought to end the anti-LGBTQ+ policy in the military by restoring a full, blanket ban on openly queer service members.
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