During Wednesday night's presidential debate one of the questions asked of President George W. Bush and his Democratic rival was whether homosexuality is a matter of choice.
After Bush said he didn't know and then touted his support amending the Constitution to block same-sex marriage, Kerry said sexuality is not a matter of choice, adding: "Talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you she's being who she was." (story)
Following the debate Lynn Cheney accused Kerry of pulling a "cheap and tawdry political trick."
Introducing her husband at a campaign rally in the Pittsburgh suburb of Coraopolis she said that Kerry had crossed the line and had intruded on her family's privacy.
"Now, you know, I did have a chance to assess John Kerry once more and now the only thing I could conclude: This is not a good man," she told the audience of about 800.
"Of course, I am speaking as a mom, and a pretty indignant mom. This is not a good man. What a cheap and tawdry political trick."
The vice president did not raise the matter when he addressed the rally, but at a campaign stop in Fort Myers, Florida, he called himself a "pretty angry father".
Lynn Cheney's criticism of Kerry did not go unchallenged.
The woman who wants to replace her, Elizabeth Edwards, shot back in an interview on ABC radio news.
"I think that [Mrs. Cheney's complaint] indicates a certain degree of shame with respect to her daughter's sexual preferences," Edwards said.
Kerry's campaign later issued a statement saying the candidate was only trying to be supportive of Mary Cheney, and apologized if his words were taken the wrong way.
It was not the first time Mary Cheney has come up in the campaign. During the vice presidential debate when the issue of same-sex marriage came up Vice President Cheney brought up the fact that his daughter is a lesbian and then said that "people ought to be free to choose any arrangement they want." But, he acknowledged that Bush supports passage of the amendment and said, "He sets policy for this administration, and I support him." (story)
Democratic VP candidate John Edwards replied saying it was obvious that the Cheneys loved their daughter and that "you can't have anything but respect" for them. "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and so does John Kerry," Edwards said. But, he added, "We should not use the Constitution to divide this country.
Dick Cheney then thanked Edwards for the "kind words he said about my family and our daughter. I appreciate that very much."
Mary Cheney's sexuality was also a hot topic at the Republican National Convention among both the far right of the party and gays.
Illinois GOP Senate candidate Alan Keyes called her a "sinner" and a "selfish hedonist." (story)
Following Bush's acceptance speech at the convention the families of both the President and Vice President appeared on the stage. All but Mary Cheney who had been in the hall for Bush's speech. Her absence led LGBT commentators to openly question whether she was being hidden away. (story)
Mary Cheney has never made a secret of her sexuality. Before joining her father's 2000 campaign in she worked for Coors Brewing as a spokesperson to the gay community.