Mary Cheney, the openly gay first daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, gave hundreds of dollars in campaign contributions to a Senate candidate who opposes same-sex marriage, records show.


Cheney gave $500 on April 1 to Kelly Ayotte, a Republican 2010 Senate candidate from New Hampshire, according to the election records database Newsmeat. Ayotte is seeking to fill the seat of retiring GOP Sen. Judd Gregg.

Ayotte told the Concord Monitor last August that she is “against same-sex marriage and believes marriage is between a man and a woman,” the paper reported.

The New Hampshire news station WMUR 9 also notes Ayotte opposes same-sex marriage. "Support traditional marriage," reads her stance on the issue, as defined by “one man, one woman.” Three of the other four Republican hopefuls have expressed similar views.

Cheney, 41, lives in Virginia with her longtime partner Heather Poe and their two children. Her donation to the “Friends of Kelly Ayotte” PAC is particularly noteworthy in light of her outspoken advocacy for same-sex marriage.

"I am in favor of legalized same-sex marriage," Cheney told People magazine in 2006, adding that she "passionately disagree[d]" with the Bush administration’s efforts to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

Cheney confessed in her memoir that year that she considered resigning from her post as an operative for the Bush-Cheney 2004 re-election campaign, worrying that they were seeking to "write discrimination into the Constitution."

This June, the St. Petersburg Times reported that Cheney was involved with the Alliance For America's Future, a "shadow" group apparently working to elect Florida GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum, who as Attorney General sought to ensure that gay adoption was outlawed in the state.

Last August, Raw Story reported that Cheney gave $1,000 to Republican Senate candidate Rob Portman, who as a congressman voted to ban gay marriage and deny same-sex couples the right to adopt children.

Records show Cheney also gave $1000 this June to the National Republican Congressional Committee, which is responsible for funding and supporting GOP House candidates, the overwhelming majority of which oppose same-sex marriage.

Apart from this issue, Cheney has largely embraced Republican ideals.

Defying their otherwise staunch conservatism, Dick Cheney and his younger daughter, conservative activist Liz Cheney, have rhetorically been sympathetic to the cause of same-sex marriage – though neither has explicitly endorsed legalizing it.

Mary Cheney was unavailable for comment on this story.