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Sarah Palin on Civil Rights

Republican Governor (AK); 2008 nominee for Vice President


Women's movement was "seat at table"; now "control table"

When I was tapped for the V.P. nomination, I got a lot of, quite frankly, sexist criticism. Some of it came from conservatives who didn't think a woman had any business being on the campaign trail with young children. I'm used to that; I've heard it since I first entered politics two decades ago. But most of it came from liberals who claimed to believe that women should pursue careers outside the home. They said I was being hypocritical about running for office while I had small children because conservatives supposedly had rules about that kind of thing. Problem was, there was nothing in anything I advocated then (or since) that isn't empowering to women and doesn't encourage them to be all they can be.

Americans understand that the rise of the mama grizzlies is a healthy development, not just for women but for our country. It's the women's movement coming full circle, from demanding a seat at the table to sharing control of the table to provide a better future for our kids.

Source: America by Heart, by Sarah Palin, p.130-131 , Nov 23, 2010

I am a feminist, and grateful beneficiary of Title IX

It surprises some people to hear that I consider myself a feminist. I believe both women and men have God-given rights that haven't always been honored by our country's politicians. I believe women and men have important differences, but those differences don't include the ability of women to work just as hard as men (if not harder) and to be just as effective as men (if not more so). I also consider myself a grateful beneficiary of the movement for female equality, particularly Title IX, the federal law that mandates equal opportunity for women in high school and college sports. So I proudly call myself a conservative feminist. One question liberal feminists would do well to ask themselves is why most American women today reject the label "feminist."
Source: America by Heart, by Sarah Palin, p.139-140 , Nov 23, 2010

Slavery in Constitution was a lasting shame for a century

To our great and lasting shame, slavery continued in the US for almost a century following the adoption of the Constitution. Although the controversy never went away, in the end it took the bloodiest war in our nation's history to end the evil practice. Hundreds of thousands of Americans died, but slavery finally died with them. And in an important and overlooked way, our Founders began this painful process.
Source: America by Heart, by Sarah Palin, p. 30-31 , Nov 23, 2010

America follows faith in how we treat special needs kids

What our culture does when it translates religious values into secular terms and applies them to useful ends isn't about brainwashing or converting--quite the opposite. It's a way of conferring a rich moral heritage while respecting everyone's religious freedom.

All the great religions call on us to follow the Golden Rule: to treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves. One of the best ways America follows this faith in a secular way is in the treatment we give to individuals with special needs. Without so much as mentioning religion, we strive to treat these most vulnerable members of our society the way we ourselves would like to be treated.

We could always do more, but America says a lot about itself in the way we support these amazing families. Not just with laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, but in our private lives; in countless individual gestures in countless communities, our faith-rooted values are put to work to help special kids and adults.

Source: America by Heart, by Sarah Palin, p. 240-241 , Nov 23, 2010

2008: Increased McCain's popularity among women by 20%

McCain's 2008 convention speech didn't matter; the only story line out of St. Paul was Palinmania. McCain loved it. Everywhere they went, Palin described McCain as "the one great man in the race," as he grinned from ear to ear. "Change is coming, my friends!" McCain crowed over and over.

Donations and volunteers spiked up. Cable and radio could talk of little else but Sarah Palin. According to one poll, McCain's standing among white women had improved by a net twenty points (from 50-42 behind Obama to 53-41 ahead) in the blink of an eye. On Sep. 10, McCain & Palin appeared together in Virginia. 15,000 people swarmed--little girls wearing "STRONG WOMEN VOTE MCCAIN-PALIN" T-shirts, their mothers chanting, "Sarah! Sarah! Sarah!"

Since the moment Palin's selection was announced, Obama and his people had been struggling to calibrate a response to her and the variables she injected into the campaign. In Palin, the Obamans were confronting something with which they had no experience

Source: Game Change, by Heilemann & Halpern, p.373-374 , Jan 11, 2010

College roommate openly lives in same-sex marriage

In an August 2008 vetting session, we talked about gay marriage. That's when I told them about Tilly, my junior high friend and college roommate, who, after college, decided to openly live the lifestyle she chose with her partner. To me, she was still Tilly. I loved her dearly--loved the whole Ketchum family. I explained to Schmidt that I opposed homosexual marriage, but that didn't seem too controversial in the campaign since the Democrat candidate for president held the same position.
Source: Going Rogue, by Sarah Palin, p.216 , Nov 17, 2009

Respected court ruling allowing same-sex state benefits

I had been in office two weeks when the Alaska Supreme Court required us to offer health benefits to the same-sex partners of state employees.

I support the traditional definition of marriage. One man & one woman to make a marriage. And I don't support efforts that can lead to changing that definition.

But on this issue in Alaska, the court was the lawful interpreter of the state Constitution. The promise I had made when being sworn into office was to uphold the Constitution. That meant I would be bound by the judiciary's ruling. So when conservatives in the legislature passed a bill that would prohibit state benefits for same-sex couples, the court ruled it unconstitutional, so I vetoed it.

A few angry lawmakers visited my office, outraged that I hadn't bucked the court. A couple of them said I should have been willing to go to jail over the issue.

And if the people want to amend the Constitution via referendum, I told the lawmakers, they have the right to battle it out and do so.

Source: Going Rogue, by Sarah Palin, p.143 , Nov 17, 2009

Criticism of $150K wardrobe was deliberately sexist

The first wardrobe story hit on October 22: "RNC Shells Out $150K for Palin Fashion." The headline was highly misleading, as was the article itself, which said that according to campaign financial disclosures, the McCain campaign had spent $150,000 "to clothe & accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family."

I never asked stylists to purchase clothes; many of the items were never worn; and in the end the wardrobe items were all returned. It certainly wasn't true that I or my family had been on any kind of "big-time shopping trips."

I didn't care so much about the petty potshots because I knew they weren't true. But my family was made to look like a herd of hillbillies who had come to the big city and started living high on the hog, and that hurt me for them. My family is frugal.

And many wondered at the same time why no other candidates were being asked a thing about their hair, makeup or clothes. [One analyst suggested] this is deliberately sexist.

Source: Going Rogue, by Sarah Palin, p.314-315 , Nov 17, 2009

Fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

With just two weeks to go before the election, I was scheduled to present our policy on special needs issues. I remembered my first campaign promise: that if John and I were elected, the special needs community would have an advocate in the White House. I could write the speech myself, and weave in a lot of my family's experience with Trig.

"There are the world's standards of perfection, and then there are God's, and these are the final measure," I said. "And the truest measure of any society is how it treats those who are most vulnerable." I went on to discuss specific policies a McCain-Palin administration would implement for special needs kids. For example, we would reprioritize some of the $18 billion a year Congress spends on its pork projects and instead fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. "We're going to get our federal priorities straight and fulfill our country's commitment to give every child opportunity and hope in life."

Source: Going Rogue, by Sarah Palin, p.321-323 , Nov 17, 2009

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

Source: Alaska Governor’s Office: Proclamation, “Juneteenth” , Jun 17, 2008

HIV/AIDS among Alaska Natives is public health crisis

Source: Alaska Governor’s Office: Proclamation, “Native HIV” , Mar 4, 2008

Recognize Martin Luther King holiday

Source: Alaska Governor’s Office: Proclamation, “MLK Day” , Jan 14, 2008

Comply with same-sex partner benefits despite disagreement

Governor Sarah Palin today announced that, per the recent ruling of the Supreme Court of Alaska, the State of Alaska’s regulations are in effect to begin providing state benefits to same sex partners beginning January 1, 2007. “The Supreme Court has ordered adoption of the regulations by the State of Alaska to begin providing benefits January 1,” said Governor Palin. “We have no more judicial options. We may disagree with the rationale behind the ruling, but our responsibility is to proceed forward with the law and follow the Constitution.“

In addition to adoption of the regulations, Governor Palin signed HB4002 today, which calls for a statewide advisory vote, proposed by the Legislature during its November special session. ”I disagree with the recent court decision because I feel as though Alaskans spoke on this issue with its overwhelming support for a Constitutional Amendment in 1998 which defined marriage as between a man and woman. But the Supreme Court has spoken and the state will abide.

Source: Alaska Governor’s Office: Press release 06-012, “Same Sex” , Dec 20, 2006

Marriage only be between and man and a woman

I am pro-life and I believe that marriage should only be between and man and a woman. I am opposed to any expansion of gambling in Alaska.
Source: Campaign website, www.palinforgovernor.com, “Issues” , Nov 7, 2006

Value our cultural diversity

Sarah Palin and Sean Parnell are a New Team with New Energy for Alaska who value our cultural diversity and will provide opportunities for all Alaskans.
Source: Palin-Parnell campaign booklet: New Energy for Alaska , Nov 3, 2006

Prefers term “anti-rural” to “anti-Native”

Things got ugly in the final round when former state Sen. Georgianna Lincoln called in, steamed about a first-round jab aimed at Knowles. Near the beginning of the debate, a caller had asked Knowles about a flier circulating in rural Alaska that describes Palin as “anti-Native.” When Knowles denied such a flier, Palin told the caller: “I think you’re referring to the anti-Native e-mails” being sent by paid Knowles staff members. She mentioned Lincoln, who doesn’t work for Knowles, by name.

When challenged by Lincoln, Palin changed her description of the e-mails from “anti-Native” to “anti-rural.”

“You’re changing your story right now!” Knowles said, tasting blood. The hour ended with Knowles saying Palin owed Lincoln an apology.

Source: Alaska 2006 Governor Debate: ADN coverage of radio debate , Nov 3, 2006

Special legislative session on same-sex health benefits

Asked about Gov. Frank Murkowski’s call for a special legislative session on same-sex health benefits, Knowles said the session is unnecessary. But Palin said the question was not simply about health care benefits, it was an extension of voters’ definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.
Source: Alaska 2006 Governor Debate: AP coverage of public TV debate , Nov 3, 2006

Ok to deny benefits to homosexual couples

Here’s what Sarah Palin has to say about same-sex marriage. Palin said she’s not out to judge anyone and has good friends who are gay, but that she supported the 1998 constitutional amendment.

Elected 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.

Source: Anchorage Daily News, “Little play,” by K. Hopkins , Aug 6, 2006

No spousal benefits for same-sex couples

Q: Do you support the Alaska Supreme Court’s ruling that spousal benefits for state employees should be given to same-sex couples?

A: No, I believe spousal benefits are reserved for married citizens as defined in our constitution.

Source: Eagle Forum 2006 Gubernatorial Candidate Questionnaire , Jul 31, 2006

Top priorities include preserving definition of “marriage”

Q: In relationship to families, what are your top three priorities if elected governor?

A: 1. Creating an atmosphere where parents feel welcome to choose the venues of education for their children.
2. Preserving the definition of “marriage” as defined in our constitution.
3. Cracking down on the things that harm family life: gangs, drug use, and infringement of our liberties including attacks on our 2nd Amendment rights.

Source: Eagle Forum 2006 Gubernatorial Candidate Questionnaire , Jul 31, 2006

Other governors on Civil Rights: Sarah Palin on other issues:
AK Gubernatorial:
Sean Parnell
AK Senatorial:
Lisa Murkowski
Mark Begich

Newly seated 2010:
NJ Chris Christie
VA Bob McDonnell

Term-limited as of Jan. 2011:
AL Bob Riley
CA Arnold Schwarzenegger
GA Sonny Perdue
HI Linda Lingle
ME John Baldacci
MI Jennifer Granholm
NM Bill Richardson
OK Brad Henry
OR Ted Kulongoski
PA Ed Rendell
RI Donald Carcieri
SC Mark Sanford
SD Mike Rounds
TN Phil Bredesen
WY Dave Freudenthal
Newly Elected Nov. 2010:
AL: Robert Bentley (R)
CA: Jerry Brown (D)
CO: John Hickenlooper (D)
CT: Dan Malloy (D)
FL: Rick Scott (R)
GA: Nathan Deal (R)
HI: Neil Abercrombie (D)
IA: Terry Branstad (R)
KS: Sam Brownback (R)
ME: Paul LePage (R)
MI: Rick Snyder (R)
MN: Mark Dayton (D)
ND: Jack Dalrymple (R)
NM: Susana Martinez (R)
NV: Brian Sandoval (R)
NY: Andrew Cuomo (D)
OH: John Kasich (R)
OK: Mary Fallin (R)
PA: Tom Corbett (R)
RI: Lincoln Chafee (I)
SC: Nikki Haley (R)
SD: Dennis Daugaard (R)
TN: Bill Haslam (R)
VT: Peter Shumlin (D)
WI: Scott Walker (R)
WY: Matt Mead (R)
Abortion
Budget/Economy
Civil Rights
Corporations
Crime
Drugs
Education
Energy/Oil
Environment
Families/Children
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Immigration
Infrastructure/Technology
Jobs
Principles/Values
Social Security
Tax Reform
War/Iraq/Mideast
Welfare/Poverty

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Page last updated: Nov 28, 2011