I commented here and here that President Bush’s effort to write antigay discrimination into the U.S. Constitution had sparked a creative backlash.

In San Francisco this weekend, the backlash took the form of longtime gay couples from across the nation formalizing their commitment by obtaining long overdue marriage licenses — in apparent violation of a California state law denying government recognition of gay citizens’ marriages.

In cyberspace, that backlash became personal on Friday. John Aravosis and Robin Tyler on Friday launched DearMary.com, a warning shot at the family of Vice President Cheney.

Question: Are either or both forms of backlash constructive?

Here’s the press release:

February 13, 2004

John Aravosis, John@DontAmend.com, Co-Chair, DontAmend.com

VP’s lesbian daughter Mary now center of amendment debate


WASHINGTON, DC – A new Web site today thrust US Vice President Dick Cheney’s openly lesbian daughter Mary to the center of the nationwide debate over gay marriage. DearMary.com is soliciting public letters to Mary Cheney that will be published on the Web site and in nationwide newspaper and magazine ads paid for by money raised via the site.

“DearMary.com brings the battle home for Dick Cheney, literally,” said John Aravosis, creator of the Web site and national co-chair of DontAmend.com, a national civil rights organization opposing any effort
to add anti-gay amendments to the US Constitution (DearMary.com is a project of DontAmend.com.)

“If the Vice President thinks gay relationships are such a threat to society that we need to amend the US Constitution, then he needs to explain why a lesbian in a same-sex relationship is running his re-
election campaign,” Aravosis added. “Are we a threat or aren’t we?”

Mary Cheney, 34, has been openly lesbian for years, and worked as a “professional homosexual” advocating for the gay community while working as the paid gay liaison at Coors, and while serving on the
board of the national Republican gay rights group, the Republican Unity Coalition (RUC). Mary Cheney has since quit the RUC and now runs her father’s re-election campaign where she is reportedly earning $100,000 a year (source: Washington Post).

“Mary Cheney is a lesbian in a committed relationship,” said Robin Tyler, national co-chair of DontAmend.com. “Even though she cannot take responsibility for her father’s actions, she can and should take responsibility for her own. Just because her father is the vice president is beside the point. Is it moral for Vice President Cheney to put his boss before the welfare of his family? It is time for the
child to have the courage to publicly stand up to the father and say, ‘don’t do this, it is just plain wrong.’ Other children in far less privileged positions have done it. So, where is Mary Cheney?”

During the 2000 election, then vice presidential candidate Cheney said during a debate that he believed the gay marriage issue should be left to the states. Just a few weeks ago in an interview with the Colorado press, VP Cheney flip-flopped, saying he’d now support a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

“Vice President Cheney attacks our families, yet seems to think his family is irrelevant to the debate,” said Aravosis. “The vice president is a hypocrite. He is selling his daughter to the highest bidder in the name of ‘family values.’ The American people have a right to know that this man is no role model for our families or our nation.”

DearMary.com is a project of DontAmend.com and the Equality Campaign, Inc. We are a national grassroots campaign devoted to stopping any amendment to the US Constitution that would ban marriage equality for the LGBT community. DontAmend.com was founded by veteran civil rights advocates Robin Tyler and John Aravosis, who also where cofounders of the successful StopDrLaura.com campaign targeting anti-gay radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger.

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