Media continue to falsely suggest Palin supports benefits for same-sex couples

››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

In recent reports, McClatchy News Service and the Las Vegas Sun falsely suggested that Gov. Sarah Palin supports benefits for same-sex partners of state employees. In fact, while Palin did veto a bill that would have prevented state officials from granting spousal benefits to same-sex couples, she stated that she did so because the Alaska attorney general had advised her that the bill was unconstitutional, not because she supported spousal benefits for same-sex couples.

In recent reports, McClatchy News Service and the Las Vegas Sun falsely suggested that Gov. Sarah Palin supports benefits for same-sex partners of state employees. McClatchy reporters George Bryson and Richard Mauer reported that Palin is in favor of "prohibiting same-sex marriage." They added: "After becoming governor 20 months ago, on the other hand, Palin didn't balk at implementing an Alaska Supreme Court ruling that ordered the state to provide the same benefits to same-sex partners it provides to married couples." The Sun's David McGrath Schwartz reported that, as governor, Palin "vetoed a bill that would have prevented same-sex couples from getting public employee benefits." In fact, while Palin did veto a bill in 2006 that would have prevented state officials from granting spousal benefits to same-sex couples, she has stated that she did so because the Alaska attorney general had advised her the bill was unconstitutional, not because she supported spousal benefits for same-sex couples, as Media Matters for America has repeatedly documented.

Moreover, Palin indicated in a written questionnaire and in December 2006 press releases 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; in another questionnaire, Palin 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."

Media Matters previously documented numerous media outlets and figures, including the Associated Press, CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck, CNN.com, United Press International, and syndicated columnist Debra Saunders, advancing the myth that Palin supports benefits for same-sex couples.

From the September 14 McClatchy article:

Palin considers herself a born-again conservative Christian. She supports teaching creationism in the public schools, outlawing nearly all abortions (even in cases of rape or incest) and prohibiting same-sex marriage.

After becoming governor 20 months ago, on the other hand, Palin didn't balk at implementing an Alaska Supreme Court ruling that ordered the state to provide the same benefits to same-sex partners it provides to married couples.

And she has yet to advance legislation that insists that creationism, or ''intelligent design,'' be taught in public school science classes whenever biological evolution is taught -- as urged by a plank in the official Alaska Republican Party platform.

From the September 15 Las Vegas Sun article:

Of course, both sides are trying to make Palin into a caricature. For the left, it is to cast her as a frightening religious zealot. However, as governor she vetoed a bill that would have prevented same-sex couples from getting public employee benefits; she also drew flak from pro-life groups because she declined to take up two abortion-related measures during special sessions aimed at getting a natural gas pipeline agreement passed, saying the abortion-related proposals would be a distraction.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, LGBTQ, Elections
Network/Outlet
McClatchy Newspapers
Show/Publication
Las Vegas Sun
Stories/Interests
2008 Elections
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