The Governor of Alaska, a state that is both unneeded in the electoral college and one certain to vote Republican in any case, Palin has neither the experience nor the political connections to influence other states. But she is both a maverick and acceptable to conservatives.
Palin has not yet had time to illustrate either dogmatism or generosity to the gay community, but what little we know about her does give some glimmer of encouragement.
In October 2005, the Supreme Court of the state of Alaska unanimously determined that gay state employees should have the same spousal benefits as those in opposite sex relationships. The governor, Frank Murkowski, refused to implement the change.
When Palin was elected, she indicated a willingness to comply. The legislature pass a bill which would ban the implementation of the benefits, which Palin vetoed, effectively establishing the provision of benefits. There is more to this story, including a vote, but I’m having a bit of difficultly finding it and I am limited on time this morning.
Palin is opposed to gay marriage but she has stated that she has personal relationships with gay people whom she counts as friends. It’s difficult to say with certainty, but from the perspective of our community, Palin may have been the best choice of all the candidates on McCain’s short list.