Sunday, August 31, 2008

Palin no friend to gays and lesbians

Media claims about Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska do not fit the facts. Specifically, NYT columnist David Brooks asserted "she's pretty progressive on gay and lesbian issues." Au contraire: Media Matters for America has documented, while Palin vetoed a bill in 2006 that would have prevented state officials from granting spousal benefits, her actions followed a 2005 Alaska Supreme Court ruling [PDF] that the state's policy of denying spousal benefits to same-sex partners of public employees violated the Alaska Constitution and a 2006 state Supreme Court order [PDF] requiring the state to issue regulations granting such benefits by January 1, 2007.
Palin followed the ruling begrudgingly:
In the veto message, Palin's office stated that she disagreed with the Alaska Supreme Court's actions: "The Governor's veto does not signal any change or modification to her disagreement with the action and order by the Alaska Supreme Court."
She's no maverick on LGBTQ issues.
Further, as a candidate for governor, Palin also reportedly supported efforts to prohibit state benefits for same-sex couples. The Anchorage Daily News reported on August 6, 2006, that Palin believes "[e]lected officials can't defy the court when it comes to how rights are applied, she said, but she would support a ballot question that would deny benefits to homosexual couples. 'I believe that honoring the family structure is that important,' Palin said. She said she doesn't know if people choose to be gay." [Emphasis added.]
Haven't we heard too many times that LGBTQs are not part of a legit family structure? Conservatives (and sadly some Democrats) reject that we are a naturally-occurring sexual minority. Pfft. Pffft! Forget science. Republicans cling to archaic thinking. I wonder when did Sarah choose to be hetero?

Make no mistake, Gov. Sarah Palin is a hard-line conservative. For trustworthy and astute political analysis (bookmark her blog!), see Anglachel's posts on McCain-Palin here and here. For me, a liberal left-of-center lesbian who opposes Obama for reasons I've reiterated numerous times here at The RealSpiel, the following nugget from Anglachel's, Basic Instinct, on McCain-Palin, sounded all too familiar:
The Obama campaign treated the Clinton Democrat constituency and our champions with disdain and hostility, right down to the roll call vote. "You have no where else to go," is what we were told week after week when we said, no, stupid, it's not race, its the economy. It's the lack of partisan committment. It's the refusal to address our concerns about the social safety net. The magninimity [sic] of the Clintons and their unshakeable [sic] loyalty to the party, fully on display at the convention, threw the petty selfishness and insecurity of the Obamacans into relief.

The general election is now in doubt for the Democrats because Obama has spent most of a year kicking the Clinton Democrats, the base of the party, to the curb. His refusal to even consider our candidate for the ticket shows he puts his emotional satisfaction ahead of the political needs of the party. The campaign's first reaction to Palin was an attack on the person, exactly in the mode of their hateful attacks on Hillary - sexist, disdainful, mocking, and crude....
Shakesville has initiated their famous Sexism Watch on Palin as they did under the feminist aegis of Melissa McEwan on the attacks aimed at Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama. Too often in Hillary's case, so-called liberals demonstrated their chosen sexist tendencies. Now they hurl ugly misogynistic rants toward Sarah Palin that has been so typical of Obama supporters. Such as:
“What is this, the Vagina Epilogue?”
From the previous link, Violet sums up the electoral implications of Palin as veep on the McCain ticket:
Yesterday I wrote that the possums will lose this election for Obama by alienating every woman in America who hasn’t already run screaming from the sexism in the Democratic party. Well, not every woman, but enough. Enough women will either stay home or vote for Sarah Palin (not McCain) to make that nut.

They’ll do so not out of spite and not because they’re irrational. They’ll do so because they will have decided that the critical thing, right here, right now, is not to be bound by some historical allegiance to the party that used to be the home of women’s rights, but to strike a hard blow against the sexism and misogny of today.
I can forgive a protest vote for McCain-Palin after having witnessed the shameful treatment of partisan loyalist Hillary Clinton from inside the party.

However, be not deceived that Palin is a friend to gays and lesbians. Given the chance, I daresay she would support a federal amendment banning same-sex marriage, oppose ENDA, and high-five the ban on gays in the military. She's not a ballot option I will entertain for a nanosecond.

To be true to my liberal principles, and after checking the write-in rules of my state, I will lodge a presidential protest vote in November with the Green Party that placed a woman at the top of its ticket and fully embraces LGBTQ equality including "housing, jobs, civil marriage, medical benefits, child custody, and in all areas of life provided to all other citizens" and women's rights.

I don't give Obama high marks on LGBTQ issues or the Democratic Party that used to be the champion of civil rights, a subject of another RealSpiel post coming soon.

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