In September, Rep. Liz Cheney admitted she was wrong to oppose same-sex marriage.
The acknowledgement, made during a 60 Minutes interview, came eight years after Cheney said, while campaigning for U.S. Senate in 2013, that she opposed same-sex marriage. Her stance then put her at odds with others in her family. Her sister, Mary, is a lesbian who is married to a woman. Her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, has backed same-sex marriage since 2009
“I was wrong,” Rep. Cheney said in the 60 Minutes interview. “I love my sister very much. I love her family very much, and I was wrong. 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.”
Cheney’s support for marriage drew national headlines. But in many ways, her changed stance on the issue mirrors a broadening acceptance of same-sex marriage in Wyoming, both in politics and among the general public.
As of 2017, 62% of Wyomingites backed same-sex marriage, which was legalized by the courts here in 2014. Although Wyoming is one of the nation’s most conservative states by many measures, its version of conservatism traditionally tends to leans libertarian, with a focus less on social issues than fiscal ones. In that sense, Cheney is falling in line with the broader sentiment in Wyoming — and the rest of the nation.
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Rep. Liz Cheney sits for an interview with the Star-Tribune in May at the newspaper’s office in Casper. Cheney publicly changed her stance on same-sex marriage this year.
Support for legal same-sex marriage stands at 70% nationally, according to a 2021 Gallup poll. That’s the highest rating since the outfit began polling on the issue in 1996. Since 2015, when the Supreme Court ruled that states must recognize same-sex marriages, support has increased 10 points.
“Are we being progressive? No, we’re just being realistic that society has changed,” said state Rep. Dan Zwonitzer, R-Cheyenne, who is gay himself. “People’s views on same-sex marriage have evolved astronomically in a generation.”
Conservatism dominates Wyoming politics. Republicans enjoy a supermajority in the Legislature. They hold all five statewide offices including governor. Even on the local level, Wyoming trends red in most towns and cities.
But that doesn’t mean the state has legislatively railed against the LGBTQ community. The Legislature has not passed an anti-LGBTQ bill since 1977, even as many other conservative states have gone in that direction in recent years, said Sara Burlingame, a former lawmaker and executive director of Wyoming …….