Where’s (Either) Mommy?

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Samuel David Cheney

On Wednesday, May 23, 2007, Mary Cheney and her partner of 15 years, Heather Poe,  welcomed their son,  Samuel David Cheney, into their lives.   Ms. Cheney and Ms. Poe are notably absent from  an official  White House photo (above) taken shortly after the baby’s birth.   The White House website caption, though, recognizes  both Ms. Cheney and Ms. Poe as parents:

Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne Cheney, welcomed their sixth grandchild, Samuel David Cheney, Wednesday, May 23, 2007. He weighed 8 lbs., 6 oz and was born at 9:46 a.m. at Sibley Hospital in Washington, D.C. His parents are the Cheneys’ daughter Mary, and her partner, Heather Poe.

Under  Virginia law, Ms. Poe seems to have no formal legal ties to her son.   Equality Virginia reports here that, “[w]hile there are no specific Virginia laws addressing the custody and adoption rights of gays and lesbians, Virginia courts have routinely discriminated against gays and lesbians by finding that the parent’s status as gay or lesbian is not in the ‘best interests’ of the child.”

-Bridget Crawford and Amanda Kissel

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