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08/29/2008

Video: Wait, Glenn -- you mean the DP benefits she publicly tried to stop?!

by Jeremy Hooper

Conservative personality Glenn Beck has just served up an issue that is likely to come up again and again as the Sarah Palin conversation plays out. When asked by CNN's John King about Palin's appeal to conservatives, Beck said the following:

But here's the thing: Palin didn't outright support the partner benefits ruling (issued by Alaska's highest court in 2005). In fact, she made it quite clear that she was personally against the court's ruling. And she only dropped challenge to the benefits and vetoed legislation that would have prevented them because she pretty much had to on constitutional grounds (as opposed to personal preference). She also supported, at taxpayer expense, a ballot question whose primary purpose was yo rally those who opposed the benefits!

These facts were rounded up by HRC:

- Palin told the Anchorage Daily News that she supported the 1998 constitutional amendment on marriage.

- In addition, she told the Daily News that she would support a ballot question that would deny benefits to the domestic partners of public employees, which were ordered by an October 2005 decision of the Alaska Supreme Court, because, she said “honoring the family structure is that important."
http://dwb.adn.com/news/politics/elections/governor06/story/8049298p-7942233c.html

- While she followed the Court’s decision and he also signed legislation –her first legislative act as Governor of Alaska—to put the issue on the April 2007 ballot for a nonbinding advisory vote. This was the only issue on the ballot and that election cost the state taxpayers $1.2 million. This measure passed, but the legislature did not follow the public’s advice and it chose not to take any further action to overturn the court’s decision.

- She did, however, veto legislation passed by the state legislature in 2006 that would have prohibited providing DP benefits to state workers, in defiance of the Alaska Supreme Court’s ruling. She did this after the Supreme Court had already ruled and the Attorney General (Republican) advised her that the legislation was unconstitutional. Palin went on to state that, as a matter of policy, she was in favor of the bill.

And if that's still confusing to you, here is a fantastic article on the matter from Gay City News' Duncan Osborne:

Palin and Gay Rights: The Straight Dope [GCN]

It's one thing to be against marriage equality, but supportive of other things like DP benefits. It's quite another to be against the whole lot, but reluctantly okay with DP benefits after all of your other options to stop them have run out!! The distinction is not an insignificant one.

**SEE ALSO: Our 12/06 mention of the matter.

**Andrew Sullivan sees it quite differently (and quite inaccurately, IMHO), pretty much applauding Palin's handling of this.

**UPDATE: Stonewall Democrats have also issued a press release regarding McCain/Palin's inequality record:

The Contrast Between Obama/Biden and Anti-Equality GOP Ticket [Stonewall Democrats]

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Your thoughts

I can honestly say that I don't know of any position that Andrew Sullivan has ever embraced that I agreed with. I know that he blasted the Bushies for their position on same-sex marriage, but he waited until after the '04 election was in the bag.

It seems to me that he has a very convenient conscience, whereby he is able to do whatever is necessary to twist the facts for political (or maybe ??? financial) gain, but then attempts to get back into the good graces of the LGBT community afterward, when there are no tangible political (financial???) gains to be had. All (in what seems like an elaborate scheme) to lie in wait until the next political (financial???) windfall.

In that scenario, this latest opportunistic 'twisting of the facts' should come as no surprise at all. A female engineer that I worked with, in my first job after college, remarked to me that, "everyone is somebody's whore!" I guess you can imagine whose I suspect that Sullivan is tonight.

But, I drink waaaaayyyy to much Scotch (Chivas on the rocks), so this may just be YET ANOTHER figment of my overactive imagination.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Aug 30, 2008 1:06:38 AM

Seems like every time I turn around another prominent (or, as in this case, Janey-come-lately) Republican has accepted, albeit begrudgingly, that while gay couples might not be entitled to the same marriage rights, they are still a couple. I can recall stretches of time when right wingers, even the moderate variety, refused to acknowledge gay relationships as anything but pure, unHoly, perverted sacrilige of a caliber for which the deepest rings of Hell were forged.

If we accept this premise, and we agree that Republicans (especially younger ones) ARE becoming more open-minded in regards to the "legitimacy" of gay relationships, doesn't that mean that we're doing our job effectively? I know it's the nature of bloggers and blog-surfers to honestly believe that they're making a difference, but in this particular case is all the media attention GLBT issues have received over the past several years finally paying dividends? Are we CHANGING THE MINDS OF REPUBLICANS?

Can it be? Or is this what Obama means by "the audacity of hope"?

Posted by: Matt | Aug 30, 2008 11:27:08 AM

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