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Sarah Palin on Civil Rights

Republican Governor (AK); ; nominee for Vice President


First female mayor of Wasilla; first female governor of AK

Newscasters were right to note that Sarah Palin's nomination had changed the election's landscape. Since she was the first woman to occupy a Republican ticket for national office, her selection marked a shift in the party's center. Commentators were quick to point out she had been Wasilla's first female mayor and the first woman elected governor of Alaska, but they were wrong to think the change they had noticed applied only to the current campaign.

Doubtless, the 2008 presidential election will be known as one of the most startling examples of electoral politics yet witnessed in our country's history. While one major party nominated the first African American for the nation's highest office, its rival party selected its first female for the nation's vice president. Regardless of the outcome, this moment in political history marks a time of unprecedented change, as barriers of gender and race once thought impenetrable shatter into millions of pieces.

Source: Sarah Palin: A New Kind of Leader, by Joe Hilley, chapter 1 Oct 13, 2008

Non-support of anything but traditional marriage

Q: Do you support, as they do in Alaska, granting same-sex benefits to couples?

BIDEN: Absolutely positively. Absolutely no distinction from a legal standpoint between a same-sex and a heterosexual couple. That’s only fair.

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

Q: Let’s try to avoid nuance. Do you support gay marriage?

BIDEN: No. We do not support that. That is a decision to be able to be left to faiths.

PALIN: My answer is the same as his and it is that I do not.

Source: 2008 Vice Presidential debate against Sen. Joe Biden Oct 2, 2008

I’m a feminist; equal rights for women

Q: Do you consider yourself a feminist?

A: I do. I’m a feminist who believes in equal rights and I believe that women certainly today have every opportunity that a man has to succeed and to try to do it all anyway. And I’m very, very thankful that I’ve been brought up in a family where gender hasn’t been an issue.

Q: What is your definition of a feminist?

A: Someone who believes in equal rights. Someone who would not stand for oppression against women.

Source: 2008 CBS News presidential interview with Katie Couric Sep 30, 2008

Equal pay for equal work; but not Ledbetter Act

Q: Where do you stand on the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act?

A: I’m absolutely for equal pay for equal work. The Ledbetter pay act--it was gonna turn into a boon for trial lawyers who, I believe, could have taken advantage of women who [would] allege discrimination many, many years ago. Thankfully, there are laws on the books, there have been since 1963, that no woman could be discriminated against in the workplace in terms of anything, but especially in terms of pay. So, thankfully we have the laws on the books and they better be enforced.

Q: Why should a fear of lawsuits trump a woman’s ability to do something about the fact that women make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes?

A: There should be no fear of a lawsuit prohibiting a woman from making sure that the laws that are on the books today are enforced. I know in a McCain-Palin administration we will not stand for any measure that would result in a woman being paid less than a man for equal work.

Source: 2008 CBS News presidential interview with Katie Couric Sep 30, 2008

Hillary put 18 million cracks in glass ceiling

I think Sen. Clinton showed a lot of determination and stick-to-itiveness in her campaigns and I have to respect that. I don’t have to agree with all that she tried to push through and parts of her agenda. In fact, I don’t agree with all of it. But there are some things that Hillary Clinton did that nobody can take away from her. And that is the 18 million cracks that she put there in that highest and hardest glass ceiling in America’s political scene. She was able to affect that and I respect that
Source: 2008 Fox News interview on “Hannity & Colmes” Sep 17, 2008

Would like support from women’s groups, but won’t woo them

Q: Why do you think that some prominent women’s groups have not supported you? You’ve even been attacked by some of them.

A: I don’t know, that’s their prerogative though. Again, this campaign is about very important issues that are not necessarily gender specific. Certainly, I would love to have their support, but I’m not going to change my positions in order to try to woo them over. Don’t have time to do that. We’re moving forward on a ticket of reform.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview on “Hannity & Colmes” Sep 17, 2008

Vetoed bill denying benefits to gays, as unconstitutional

Ms. Palin said she supported Alaska’s decision to amend its Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. But she used her first veto as governor to block a bill that would have prohibited the state from granting health benefits to same-sex partners of public employees. Ms. Palin said she vetoed the bill because it was unconstitutional, but raised the possibility of amending the state Constitution so the ban could pass muster.
Source: New York Times, pp. A1 & A10, “An Outsider Who Charms” Aug 29, 2008

ADA brings expanded freedom to Americans with disabilities

Source: Alaska Governor’s Office: Proclamation, “ADA” Jul 28, 2008

Recognize Juneteenth to celebrate the end of slavery