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(CNN) – Liz Cheney's public statement Sunday that she disagrees with her sister Mary's right to marry her longtime partner has made the family spat very public.
"What we're seeing at the Cheney dinner table sort of playing out, we are also seeing in the party – sort of this debate between a more progressive, more establishment strain of the Republican Party and a more hardcore conservative strain," said Washington-based reporter for The New York Times Ashley Parker
Liz and Mary are the daughters of former vice president Dick Cheney. Liz is running for Senate in Wyoming, and Mary was for a time one of the best known, openly lesbian Republicans in the country.
"Mary has also called into question not just Liz on policy, but sort of her character and kind of implying her stance may not be so much of a hardcore conviction, and more of a political play," said Parker. "That's what you saw Dick Cheney coming out today and trying to say, whatever Liz thinks, she really believes this."
Liz did not attend her sister Mary's wedding last year.
The Cheneys' family dispute is not uncommon, with Americans split on whether same-sex marriage should be legal – 52% to 43% according to the Pew Research Center.
"It's really painful to watch. You can imagine being a parent and watching this sort of thing happening around a normal Thanksgiving table, now it's happening out in public," said co-host of CNN's "Crossfire" Van Jones.
"It's tough enough to be lesbian and gay and trying to raise a family. To have your own family member diss you publicly, it must be horrible," said Jones.
"There are many people within the party struggling with it. What's interesting about this particular debate is that I don't know if it's so much about policy, as it is exposing sort of the raw nerves inside a family and their personal debate with this issue," said CNN political commentator and Republican strategist Kevin Madden.