Dick Cheney, when asked about gay marriage, back in the 2000 vice-presidential debate:
The fact of the matter is, we live in a free society and freedom means freedom for everybody. We don’t get to choose, and shouldn’t be able to choose, and say, “You get to live free, but you don’t.”
And I think that means that people should be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to enter into. It’s really no one else’s business in terms of trying to regulate or prohibit behavior in that regard.
The next step then, of course, is the question you asked of whether or not there ought to be some kind of official sanction, if you will, of the relationship or if these relationships should be treated the same way a conventional marriage is. That’s a tougher problem. That’s not a slam dunk.
I think the fact of the matter, of course, is that matter is regulated by the states. I think different states are likely to come to different conclusions and that’s appropriate. I don’t think there should necessarily be a federal policy in this area.
I try to be open-minded about it as much as I can and tolerant of those relationships.
And like Joe [Lieberman], I also wrestle with the extent to which there ought to be legal sanction of those relationships. I think we ought to do everything we can to tolerate and accommodate whatever kind of relationships people want to enter into.
This was eight years before then-senator Barack Obama told pastor Rick Warren, “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian . . . it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.”