Gay Groups Protest
By Carlos Santoscoy,
September 7, 2008
Gay groups are asking questions –-
and finding answers -– about Republican presidential nominee John McCain's VP
choice, Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin. Most are unhappy with their
The number two choice is carefully analyzed by the campaign to ensure maximum
benefit to their ticket. In the case of Palin, McCain operatives are
betting on her conservative record and Christian background to increase the
ticket's appeal to Christian conservative voters.
And that plan appears to be working, conservative Republicans in general appear
to be euphoric with the choice.
“I think Sarah Palin is the smartest thing that John McCain has done. She
has revitalized the grass roots of the Republican Party across the board, all
segments,” conservative Eagle Forum President Phyllis Schlafly told the Chicago
Gay groups, however, are troubled by Palin, calling her anti-gay record
Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest gay rights group, posted a
blog entry on their website critical of Palin's gay positions. HRC pointed
to answers Palin provided to the Alaska Eagle Forum's 2006 gubernatorial
questionnaire, where she said that she did not support hate crimes laws, spousal
benefits for gay couples, and that one of her top family priorities would be
“preserving the definition of 'marriage' as defined in our constitution.”
In 1998 the voters of Alaska passed a constitutional amendment banning gay
marriage in the state.
“Most Americans support treating our LGBT loved ones and neighbors with respect,
and support their full inclusion into our nation experience,” said Steve Ralls,
communications director for pro-gay group Parents, Families and Friends of
Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), of Palin's equality record. “From Anchorage to
Albany, and everywhere in between, there are real families who fell the real
impact of policies that leave the LGBT community behind.”
Palin has also been linked to several anti-gay groups.
She and anti-gay Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) were recently honored at
a Republican National Convention event, which was sponsored in part by long-time
gay-rights opponent, and Eagle Forum president, Phyllis Schlafly.
Concern has also been expressed over Palin's involvement with –- or knowledge of
-– her church's promotion of an ex-gay conference scheduled in Anchorage next
An insert in the bulletin of the Wassilla Bible Church, where Palin has prayed
for about six years, says, “You'll be encouraged by the power of God's love and
His desire to transform the lives of those impacted by homosexuality,” according
to a The Associated Press report.
The conference, called Love Won Out, is being organized by James Dobson's
conservative Christian organization Focus on the Family. The group says
they help people overcome unwanted same-sex attractions through religious means,
including group discussions, counseling, Bible reading and prayer.
“We are deeply concerned that Sarah Palin may share the extreme and medically
unsound view that gay and lesbian people can and should be cured,” said Wayne
Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Outs, a gay group that advocates against
ex-gay ministries. “We call on Palin to express her views on this issue so
we have a clear idea on where she stands. We hope this is an area where
she disagrees with her church.”
HRC President Joe Solmonese had harsher words for the governor: “Sarah
Palin is against recognizing our relationships, against domestic partner
benefits, and against hate crimes laws. ... The more we find out about her
record, the more frightening her record becomes.”