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Video: Would Palin benefit gays? Well...

by Jeremy Hooper

(NBC coverage)

Now, we are not and have never been comfortable with ANYONE's reluctance to support marriage equality (especially when they confuse the civil component of marriage with the religious one), and we won't ever stop pushing Obama/Biden towards the inevitable: FULL & EQUAL MARRIAGE. On the issue of marriage, the Democratic ticket's balance between pragmatism and principles sometimes sways a little further towards the former than we would like, as it did in the second part of Sen. Biden's answer. We're ready for that to change.

But that being said, you simply cannot listen to those two answers and say that Sarah Palin is anywhere as supportive of parity in terms of LGBT rights and benefits as Joe Biden. Whereas his mind was, first and foremost, on ensuring equal rights, hers was on the "threat" that gay equality supposedly poses to the heteros (with even more insinuation that our orientations are a "choice"). Whereas in his words there was a promising message in need of shaping, from her lips we heard a conservative-appeasing message with only the slightest of "tolerant" gay bones thrown in for good measure. And in her instinctive response was a clear-cut message of same ol, same ol anti-gay politicking. WE. ARE. DONE. WITH. THAT.

**UPDATE: They 'agree'? Yea, Gwen? [G-A-Y]

**Debate Transcript:

IFILL: The next round of -- pardon me, the next round of questions starts with you, Sen. Biden. Do you support, as they do in Alaska, granting same-sex benefits to couples?

BIDEN: Absolutely. Do I support granting same-sex benefits? Absolutely positively. Look, in an Obama-Biden administration, there will be absolutely no distinction from a constitutional standpoint or a legal standpoint between a same-sex and a heterosexual couple.

The fact of the matter is that under the Constitution we should be granted -- same-sex couples should be able to have visitation rights in the hospitals, joint ownership of property, life insurance policies, et cetera. That's only fair.

It's what the Constitution calls for. And so we do support it. We do support making sure that committed couples in a same-sex marriage are guaranteed the same constitutional benefits as it relates to their property rights, their rights of visitation, their rights to insurance, their rights of ownership as heterosexual couples do.

IFILL: Governor, would you support expanding that beyond Alaska to the rest of the nation?

PALIN: Well, not if it goes closer and closer towards redefining the traditional definition of marriage between one man and one woman. And unfortunately that's sometimes where those steps lead.

But I also want to clarify, if there's any kind of suggestion at all from my answer that I would be anything but tolerant of adults in America choosing their partners, choosing relationships that they deem best for themselves, you know, I am tolerant and I have a very diverse family and group of friends and even within that group you would see some who may not agree with me on this issue, some very dear friends who don't agree with me on this issue.

But in that tolerance also, no one would ever propose, not in a McCain-Palin administration, to do anything to prohibit, say, visitations in a hospital or contracts being signed, negotiated between parties.

But I will tell Americans straight up that I don't support defining marriage as anything but between one man and one woman, and I think through nuances we can go round and round about what that actually means.

But I'm being as straight up with Americans as I can in my non- support for anything but a traditional definition of marriage.

IFILL: Let's try to avoid nuance, Senator. Do you support gay marriage?

BIDEN: No. Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage. We do not support that. That is basically the decision to be able to be able to be left to faiths and people who practice their faiths the determination what you call it.

The bottom line though is, and I'm glad to hear the governor, I take her at her word, obviously, that she think there should be no civil rights distinction, none whatsoever, between a committed gay couple and a committed heterosexual couple. If that's the case, we really don't have a difference.

IFILL: Is that what your said?

PALIN: Your question to him was whether he supported gay marriage and my answer is the same as his and it is that I do not.

IFILL: Wonderful. You agree. On that note, let's move to foreign policy.

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Your thoughts

You can read transcript on CNN she did NOT SAY SHE supported full Civil Rights.... HE DID!

Posted by: LOrion | Oct 2, 2008 10:54:37 PM

I'm confused, LOrion -- who clamed that she said she supported full civil rights?!

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 2, 2008 11:05:33 PM

Interesting thing on the CNN coverage were they have the undecided voter approval graph in red and green tracking along with the debate. The red is undecided women and green is the men and all of them are in a small room watching the debate. Anyway, when Biden started speaking strongly in favor of full equal rights (before he got to the man-woman marriage definition part), the green line (undecided men) spiked up. The undecided men were more enthusiastically in favor of full equal rights for gays than the women were (and the women were just a little lower).

Throughout the entire debate, that group of undecideds seemed much more approving of Biden's responses than Palin's. But that could just be my impression. I thought that she ducked far too many of those questions, especially that last one from your video.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Oct 2, 2008 11:58:35 PM

I could not find in the above any "clear-cut message of same ol, same ol anti-gay politicking" nor and reference (even vaguely) to a "threat" nor even any suggestion that orientations are chosen. It just wasn't there.

However, I think Palin got off easy. Clearly she doesn't agree with Biden and it was ridiculous to have it concluded as though there was uniform agreement. To Biden's credit, he attempted to put Palin on the spot and force her to either agree or state where she didn't; but unfortunately Gwen allowed her to get off the hook.

I think Palin's position stinks.

But I simply cannot agree that there were words above that are not there or that she used the opportunity to put out anti-gay politicking. If anything, she obfuscated her own position and tried to pretend that the Republicans and the Democrats are in exact agreement.

Incidentally, I also think that Biden's response was inadequate. I'm sick of my equality being limited to hospital visitation and property ownership. For heaven's sake, even the right wingers aren't arguing with those points any more.

While I'm glad that Biden said "no civil rights distinction, none whatsoever", it annoys the crap out of me that he qualified this as "as it relates to their property rights, their rights of visitation, their rights to insurance, their rights of ownership as heterosexual couples do".

Someone tell Biden that my civil rights are not restricted to insurance, property, and visitation. And someone tell Palin that I'm not looking for "tolerance". I want equal treatment under the law as promised by the Constitution and as fought for by my ancestors. It's my birthright and I'm entitled.

Posted by: Timothy | Oct 3, 2008 3:07:15 PM

Gee, you disagree about something involving McCain/Palin? Shocking, Timothy! ;-)

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 3, 2008 3:19:38 PM


Posted by: Timothy | Oct 3, 2008 4:53:30 PM

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