Sarah Palin: Positions on Civil Rights

Sarah Palin Civil Rights Positions

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

  • WHEREAS, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is one of the most compassionate and successful civil rights laws in American history. In the 18 years since the ADA was signed into law, more people with disabilities are participating fully in our society than ever before.
  • WHEREAS, for the last 18 years the ADA has sought to ensure that people with disabilities are respected as equal citizens with equal opportunities: to access inclusive education, achieve gainful employment, and fully participate in the recreational, leisure, and social activities of our communities.
  • NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sarah Palin, Governor of the state of Alaska, do hereby proclaim July 26, 2008, as 18th Anniversary of the ADA in Alaska, and encourage public officials, business leaders, people with disabilities, and all Alaskans to pursue the ADA’s full promise of equal opportunity and to celebrate the expanded freedom that the ADA has brought to our way of life.

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

Recognized Juneteenth 2008 to celebrate the end of slavery

  • WHEREAS, Juneteenth is an annual holiday commemorating the ending of slavery–the oldest celebration of its kind. Its roots go back to June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas to announce the war’s end and that all slaves were now free. That news took two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which had become official January 1, 1863.
  • WHEREAS, today, Juneteenth is a day, a week, and in some areas, a month that is set aside to celebrate African American freedom.
  • WHEREAS, in cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities, & religions are joining together to celebrate this extremely important historical event.
  • NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sarah Palin, Governor of the state of Alaska, do hereby proclaim June 21, 2008, as Juneteenth Day in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to reflect on the importance of this celebration, and encourage citizens to take part in the events taking place in your communities.

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

HIV/AIDS among Alaska Natives is public health crisis  

  • WHEREAS, American Indians and Alaska Natives have experienced a long history of a lower health status, which includes a lower life expectancy and higher disease occurrence than other racial/ethnic groups due to inadequate health education, disproportionate poverty, discrimination in the delivery of health care services, and access to quality health care.
  • WHEREAS, the spread of HIV/AIDS virus among American Indians & Alaska Natives poses a significant risk to the public health and well-being of these communities.
  • WHEREAS, the status of HIV/AIDS epidemic among American Indians & Alaska Natives is a public health crisis that requires a focused national effort as well as tribal effort to bring attention to the prevention needs of Indigenous people.
  • NOW THEREFORE, I, Gov. Sarah Palin, do hereby proclaim March 20, 2008, as: Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in Alaska, and ask the residents of Alaska to observe this day with appropriate programs and activities.

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

Recognized Martin Luther King holiday

    • WHEREAS, as we observe the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we remember the dream of a great man–an American hero–and his message of social change through nonviolence.
    • WHEREAS, Dr. King dedicated his life to empowering people, no matter their circumstances, and challenged them to lift up their neighbors and communities. He broke down barriers within our society by encouraging Americans to look past their differences and refused to rest until our Nation fulfilled its pledge of liberty & justice for all.
    • WHEREAS, Alaskans will join volunteers across the nation who will celebrate Dr. King’s life & teachings by converting the holiday into a day of service, dedicated to meeting community needs.
    • WHEREAS, yet more work remains In the words of Dr. King, “We will not be satisfied until ‘justice rolls down like waters & righteousness like a mighty stream.'”
    • NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gov. Sarah Palin, do hereby proclaim Jan. 21, 2008, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in Alaska.

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,, “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


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