CNN.com, UPI advance Log Cabin Republicans' false suggestion that Palin supports benefits for same-sex couples

››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

In reports that the Log Cabin Republicans have endorsed Sen. John McCain for president, CNN.com and UPI falsely suggested that Gov. Sarah Palin supports benefits for same-sex partners of state employees. In fact, while Palin did veto a bill in 2006 that would have prevented state officials from granting spousal benefits to same-sex couples, Palin has stated that she did so because the Alaska attorney general had advised her that it was unconstitutional, not because she supported spousal benefits for same-sex couples.

In September 3 reports that the Log Cabin Republicans, a group that describes itself as "the nation's only organization of Republicans who support fairness, freedom, and equality for gay and lesbian Americans," have endorsed Sen. John McCain for president, CNN.com and United Press International falsely suggested that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain's running mate, supports benefits for same-sex partners of state employees. In fact, while Palin did veto a bill in 2006 that would have prevented state officials from granting spousal benefits to same-sex couples, Palin has stated that she did so because the Alaska attorney general had advised her that it was unconstitutional, not because she supported spousal benefits for same-sex couples, as Media Matters for America has documented. Moreover, Palin indicated in a written questionnaire that she disagreed with the Alaska Supreme Court's ruling that same-sex couples are entitled to the same spousal benefits given to other state employees, and in another questionnaire, replied, "Yes," when asked whether she would support "a Constitutional amendment to overturn [the] Alaska Supreme Court decision mandating public employers to provide benefits equivalent to marriage to same-sex couples."

CNN.com reported that Log Cabin Republicans president Patrick Sammon "said the group was comfortable with her [Palin] being on the Republican ticket because of her 2006 decision to veto a bill that would have banned the state from providing benefits to same-sex partners of employees."

From CNN.com's September 3 article:

Despite her positions on gay rights issues being largely unknown, Sammon said, the Log Cabin Republicans were also satisfied with McCain's choice of running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Unlike McCain, Palin has expressed support for the Federal Marriage Amendment, but Sammon said the group was comfortable with her being on the Republican ticket because of her 2006 decision to veto a bill that would have banned the state from providing benefits to same-sex partners of employees.

"She's a great choice," Valkema said. "We're learning more every day, but what we know, we like."

Similarly, UPI, which cited CNN's report that the Log Cabin Republicans had endorsed McCain, reported:

While McCain opposes same-sex marriage, he also opposed a federal constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as being between a man and a woman.

While McCain's running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, has expressed support for the federal amendment, she vetoed a bill that would have banned her state from giving benefits to same-sex partners of employees.

"She's a great choice," said Log Cabin member David Valkema of Illinois. "We're learning more every day but what we know, we like."

In contrast to CNN.com and UPI, CQ Politics' Bart Jansen noted in a September 2 article:

In addition to supporting McCain, the group [Log Cabin Republicans] cited Palin's veto, as Alaska governor, of a state bill aimed at denying health benefits to same-sex partners of state employees, [spokesman Scott] Tucker said.

[...]

Palin holds strongly conservative views on social issues, a number of news reports, as well as a number of activists on either side of the gay rights issue, say Palin has told people she supported the content of the measure to deny same-sex partner benefits but issued the veto at the advice of the state's attorney general's office that the bill violated the state's constitution. But Log Cabin spokesman Tucker said the veto "beneffited [sic] the community."

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, LGBT
Network/Outlet
UPI
Person
Sarah Palin
Show/Publication
CNN.com
Stories/Interests
2008 Elections
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