Kerry: "I meant no disrespect to Ms. Cheney"
posted by Tom
Below is a partial transcript of Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry's speech to supporters last night in which he responded to Republican charges that he exploited the Cheneys gay daughter to score cheap political points in Wednesday night's debate.
KERRY: ... and, friends, don’t let the Republicans turn my comment last night about Dick Cheney’s daughter being a lesbian into anything other than what it was: My deep understanding of her lesbianism, her erotic attraction to other women, her rejection of males in favor of members of her own sex. There was no dark, ulterior motive to mentioning Ms. Cheney’s lesbian lifestyle.
To tell you the truth, I was caught a little off guard by Bob Schieffer when he turned the question over to me. You see, as I listened to the President’s response, I remembered an afternoon on the Mekong Delta when one of my crew on the Swift Boat complimented the way I wore a uniform and handled the M-60. I remembered how flattered I was, and though I told him in no uncertain terms that he should not mistake my feeling flattered for anything other than that, I knew then and there that there is a duality to individual existence that cannot be denied. We, all of us, carry around within us two competing essences, if you will, one straight and the other …
Well, you know, the other who, if he weren’t straight, would probably fantasize about Brad Pitt or Keanu Reeves - both ardent supporters of mine, by the way, but for no other reason than they agree with my policies. I want to make that clear.
For some of us, the straight essence dominates. For others, the gay essence finds its way to the surface. As it did with Ms. Cheney, who evidently discovered that her lesbianism is who she is. She could have been straight, if God had ordained it, but, nooooo … He had to make her a lesbian. And there’s nothing wrong with being a lesbian. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with being a lesbian in a conservative Republican family. I’d be the first one to say that. Just because I have two daughters who are straight as arrows, and not lesbians, who by the grace of God comport with conservative Republican values, in contrast to the Cheneys, whose daughter is a lesbian, don’t think for one moment that I would exploit that for political gain. How could I? Could I in good conscience solicit the support of other lesbians like Ms. Cheney were I to try to exploit her lesbianism?
As I said last night, the president and I share the belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. I believe that. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. Now, Ms. Cheney, of course, who is a lesbian, will never experience the institution of traditional marriage, but again, as I said last night, I believe that because we are the United States of America, we're a country with a great, unbelievable Constitution, with rights that we afford lesbians like Ms. Cheney. She should have a right to visit her lesbian partner in a hospital, to transfer property to other lesbians like herself, which is why I'm for partnership rights and so forth.
So, my friends, don't let them use my sympathetic reference to Ms Cheney's lesbianism as a wedge issue. They are angry over my third victory in the debates. Their's is the party of exploitation. Their's is the party of divisiveness. It's time to move forward, from this discussion of the gay lifestyle of the daughter of a conservative, who stands in stark contrast to my straight daughters, and onto the more important issue of voter intimidation ....