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What We’ve Learned about Sarah Palin and Gay Rights

Gay and lesbian Alaskans overwhelmingly support Obama and Biden over McCain and Palin, according to last week’s poll on Bent Alaska. Why aren’t we voting for local girl Sarah Palin? What have we learned about her record on LGBT issues?

• She supported the 1998 state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

• She opposed the 2005 Alaska Supreme Court decision granting employee benefits to same-sex partners.

• In her 2006 run for governor, she stated that she does not support expanding hate crimes laws, that only married (heterosexual) couples deserve spousal benefits, and that one of her top three priorities is to preserve traditional marriage.

• During her first month as governor, she signed a bill asking the court to delay the implementation of the partner benefits.

• She vetoed a bill banning partner benefits in defiance of the Court ruling, because she knew the bill was unconstitutional. Her signing statement said that she still opposes the court decision.

• She signed a bill approving a statewide advisory vote on same-sex partner benefits, saying it would lay the groundwork for a state constitutional ban on the benefits.

• She attends a church that promoted an ex-gay event, preaching that same-sex attractions must be suppressed or eliminated.

• Her church also worked to remove books from the public library and local bookstores, including a gay-positive book. As mayor, Palin questioned the librarian repeatedly about the book removal policy, then fired her.

• She supports a federal ban on gay marriage.

A few gay Alaskans support Palin as VP. I’ve heard three reasons for this: 1. “I’ve met her and she seems like a nice person,” 2. “I always vote Republican,” and 3. “We have to support her – she’s Alaskan.”

But 87% of LGBT Alaskans are not voting for her for Vice President – and many did not support her run for governor.

The following are recent quotes about Sarah Palin from LGBT Alaskans: (quotes below the fold)

“I cannot believe McCain played such a wild card. And I do not believe for a moment Palin is ready for this job. What a weird moment for our national history – not to mention Alaska history.”

“She simply vetoed the bill banning health benefits to gays because it would violate her oath of office . . . So she supports banning same-sex benefits, but won’t violate the state constitution to do it. Wow. We don’t need ‘friends’ like that!”

“I don’t think she’s ever said a friendly word about gay people, that they ought to have health benefits like other people do, or anything along those lines.”

“I advocate strongly against any ticket which names Sarah Palin as a candidate. Of utmost importance to me . . . is Palin?’s opposition to choice and family planning rights. Palin opposes the use of birth control, as well sexual health education classes for teens.”

“Palin does not choose to address long standing issues of discrimination, neglect, and alienation for the Native Alaskan population. How can we expect her to understand race, ethnicity, and minority issues on a national level? Her lack of cultural competency frightens me.”

“The fact that she claims to have gay friends is great… She can be polite while removing our civil rights.”

“Oh, hurray, she’s Alaskan, she’s cute, she’s energetic, she stood up to the big boys on oil, she gave us each $1200, she didn’t kick our asses as much as she could have in the advisory vote [against partner benefits.] She’ll still vote against us every time she has the chance, and being in national office gives her a lot more power to make us miserable.”

“She is toooooo inexperienced and McCain is just tooooo old.”

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