This CNN article describes how upset the Cheneys got at the fact that Kerry used their gay daughter Mary as an example of his belief that gay people are born that way.
They’re treating it as a nasty dig, which it is—only if you think being gay is a bad thing. It’s only underhanded if you’re calling attention to something they ought to be ashamed of. It’s only unfair if calling attention to Cheney’s personal hypocrisy is out of bounds.
Should Kerry have done it? I don’t see why not. If you’re going to point out that someone is gay in a national debate, you just KNOW that poor person is going to be deluged with hate mail and threats from the right wing idiots afterwards. But Mary Cheney’s a pretty good choice: after all, who’s going to fuck with Dick Cheney’s daughter? Him being such a bad-ass and all. If anyone’s protected, she is.
And it’s sad that she has to be protected from the bigoted masses in her father’s own party. If the Vice President doesn’t want his family to be fair game for discussion as an example (she’s working on his campaign, after all), maybe he shouldn’t have picked the party most likely to lynch them. But then again, Cheney’s not known for sympathy or empathy. He probably just didn’t count on needing to ask for it himself as a post-debate spin tactic.