Reliable Source by Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts, Columnists

The Reliable Source

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Thursday, May 24, 2007; 2:34 AM

Baby Cheney, Weighed on Political Scale, Too

M ary Cheney gave birth yesterday to perhaps the most anticipated baby in contemporary U.S. politics -- her first child, Samuel David Cheney , whom she will raise with her longtime partner, Heather Poe .

The 8-pound 6-ounce boy is the sixth grandchild for Dick Cheney . The vice president and his wife, Lynne , both beaming, posed for a photo with him just hours after his 9:46 a.m. birth at Washington's Sibley Hospital.

And that, it seems, will be that for now in terms of public comment from the family about the baby, who launched a lively debate when Cheney, 38, first discussed her pregnancy in December.

Some gay activists have chastised the AOL executive for not being a stronger advocate for same-sex marriage, while some social conservatives have decried the trend of gay couples raising children. But the Cheneys have avoided stepping into a debate about the debate. The veep became testy when CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked him about it in a January interview.

At an N.Y.C. forum sponsored by Glamour magazine last winter, Mary Cheney responded to questions, saying: "This is a baby. This is a blessing from God. It is not a political statement. It is not a prop to be used in a debate by people on either side of an issue. It is my child." But she also went on to declare that "every piece of remotely responsible research" had demonstrated "no difference between children who are raised by same-sex parents and children raised by opposite-sex parents."

Cheney and Poe, a former park ranger, have been together for 15 years and live in Great Falls. And no, there's no more word on how the pregnancy came about.

The Salon Soiree That Became a Real Hair-Puller

Who says Georgetown parties are boring? What started as an elegant spring fundraiser devolved into a street brawl Wednesday night -- with three arrests, one black eye and a ruined $4,000 Dolce & Gabbana suit.

Eyebrow groomer to the stars Erwin Gomez and partner James Packard-Gomez invited 125 people to a lymphoma/leukemia benefit at their new salon on Wisconsin Avenue. The big draw was singer Julia Nixon , who agreed to perform three sets on a stage erected in the salon's back garden. The party had just gotten started when a neighbor, former ANC member Gunnar Halley , came in to complain about noise. Gomez explained that he had checked with city officials and the noise level was in compliance, said his partner, but Halley called the police, who came, agreed with the salon owners, and left.

According to Packard-Gomez, it was about 8:30 p.m. when glass, rocks and brick came flying over the fence into the garden filled with party guests. "We were all freaking out," he said, and so he climbed over the fence into his neighbor's back yard -- and, he says, was beaten up by Halley and partner Dale O'Quinn . He scrambled back over the fence and called the police, but a second fistfight occurred when he went around the block to stand in front of his neighbor's house. Packard-Gomez was sent to the emergency room; Halley, O'Quinn and David Rahnemoon (a friend of Gomez's) were arrested for simple assault and spent the night in jail.

"I couldn't understand how it escalated to this degree," said Packard-Gomez yesterday, who sustained a black eye, a cut over the other eye, a bruised elbow and a trashed suit.

Halley, reached at his law office late yesterday, said Packard-Gomez attacked him, and denied throwing anything into the garden. He said the altercation was a result of a "fundamental misunderstanding" and said he hoped "we're going to be able to become good neighbors once again."

Police officials said the investigation is continuing.

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