In the hubbub over the Troopergate report and the ongoing Ted Stevens Soviet-style show trial, Governor Palin did something to make me smile about her for the first time since July 17th, but it got buried in the Anchorage Daily News' Alaska Politics blog. Governor Palin courageously refused to kowtow to a special interest group and sign a meaningless feelgood proclamation just to score cheap political points.
Earlier this week, a local gay rights group called Alaskans Together for Equality asked Governor Palin to sign a proclamation supporting "National Coming Out Day", an annual event managed by the Human Rights Campaign, this Saturday October 11th.
"It would be a great statement of 'Maybe I don't support gay marriage, but I want to show respect for these important members of a diverse Alaska population,'" said Tim Stallard, a Fairbanks guide and the group's vice president. He explained that San Francisco blogger Mike Petrelis - who recently donated the books "Daddy's Roommate" and "Heather's Two Mommies" to the Wasilla library, and donated male and female condoms to Wasilla High School - helped come up with the idea. [Ed. Note: Condoms. Hmmm...just what the kids need to pass the Exit Exam and help the school make AYP under No Child Left Behind. LOL!]
Governor Palin's office said No. In an e-mail response, Palin's constituent relations coordinator wrote, "Thank you for requesting a proclamation designating October 11th as 'National Coming Out Day.' Unfortunately, your request cannot be granted at this time,". No lectures or value judgments, just a simple declination statement. Class act.
To determine if this was a standard request or if Governor Palin was merely being cherry-picked by this group, Anchorage Daily News reporter Kyle Hopkins asked the Human Rights Campaign if any other governors were being asked to sign similar proclamations around the country. They were not able to provide an answer.
Human Rights Campaign is a radical gay rights group that attempts to browbeat all gays into coming out and living openly as gays. They don't merely promote tolerance; they demand affirmation and celebration. They also calculate a complex and exhaustive Corporate Equality Index on all major corporations. The Indices for individual companies begin on page 36. Here's the criteria:
- Criterion 1a Prohibits Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation (15 points)
- Criterion 1b Provides Diversity Training Covering Sexual Orientation (5 points)
- Criterion 2a Prohibits Discrimination Based on Gender Identity or Expression (15 points)
- Criterion 2b Provides Diversity Training Covering Gender Identity OR
Has Supportive Gender Transition Guidelines (5 points)
- Criterion 2c Offers Transgender-Inclusive Insurance Coverage for at Least One Type of Benefit (5 points)
(+ Offers Transgender-Inclusive Insurance Coverage, Including Surgical Procedures)
- Criterion 3a Offers Partner Health Insurance (15 points)
- Criterion 3b Offers Partner Dental, Vision, COBRA and Dependent Coverage Benefits (5 points)
- Criterion 3c Offers at Least Three Other “Soft” Benefits for Partners (5 points)
- Criterion 4 Has Employer-Supported Employee Resource Group OR Firm-Wide Diversity Council (15 points)
(/ Would Support ERG if Employees Express Interest, half-credit)
- Criterion 5 Positively Engages the External LGBT Community (15 points)
- Criterion 6 Exhibits Responsible Behavior Toward the LGBT Community; Does Not Engage in Action That Would Undermine LGBT Equality. Employers Found Engaging in Such Activities Will Have 15 Points Removed From Their Scores. (—)
Look at those health benefits. Pretty sweet, huh? Just imagine, you're a married guy with a couple of kids who plows most of your income back into your family, and here's a gay couple with no kids (and more disposable income as a result), and they could be getting a better health package than YOU. Yet these gays are claiming that they "need" the benefits of legal marriage. Go figure.
And don't think the corporations with high Corporate Equality Indices do it out of the goodness of their hearts. They seek to recover the higher costs of those fancy benefits packages they give to gays - when you buy their products. Shop at a place owned by a corporation with a Corporate Equality Index of 100, and you'll know what I'm talking about.
Sarah Palin may be a bit ethically challenged, but she isn't morally challenged.