The reference to Mary Cheney being a homosexual came Wednesday when Kerry was asked if he believed homosexuality was a matter of birth or choice. The Cheneys have said the reference was gratuitous and inappropriate within the context of the question.
"It was meant as a very constructive comment, in a positive way," Kerry said in a CNN interview. "I respect their love for their daughter and I respect who she is, as they do."
As sparks flew Thursday over the comment -- the second by the Kerry-Edwards campaign over the vice president's daughter -- Kerry declined to apologize and said he had made the reference with all due respect.
President George W. Bush supports a constitutional amendment that would enshrine traditional marriage. Kerry opposes the proposal.
Vice President Cheney personally believes the status of marriage is up to states to decide but recognizes the president steers the administration agenda.