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Palin’s Church Supports Ex-Gay Therapy

Jim Burroway

September 3rd, 2008

This comes from Time magazine:

“We like to call this the Bible Belt of Alaska,” says Cheryl Metiva, head of the local chamber of commerce. Churches proliferate in Wasilla today, and among the largest and most influential is the Wasilla Bible Church, where the Palins worship.

At the 11:15 am Sunday service, hundreds sit in folding chairs, sing along with alt-rock praise songs, and listen to a 20-minute sermon about the book of Malachi. The only sign of culture warring in the whole production is an insert in the day’s program advertising an upcoming Focus on the Family conference on homosexuality in Anchorage called Love Won Out. The group promises to teach attendees how to “respond to misinformation in our culture” and help them “overcome” homosexuality.

Does the latest addition to the “straight talk express” buy into Love Won Out’s doublespeak?

Comments

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Swampfox
September 3rd, 2008 | LINK

The last time I checked both Bill Clinton and Al Gore were Southern Baptists…. need I say more? I am still waiting to hear what she has to say about her beliefs on gay issues.

Timothy Kincaid
September 3rd, 2008 | LINK

I don’t agree with everything my church teaches. I especially don’t agree (and often disagree) with events hosted or organized by other groups which are announced at my church.

We can walk away from the Time article with either of two assumptions:

1. Palin attends a church that tries not to conduct Culture War and which seeks to avoid political activism. Therefore Palin believes in the separation of church and state.

2. Palin attends a church that tells its congregation about Love Won Out. Therefore Palin believes that gay people should seek deliverance through religious mediation and that she opposes any efforts towards gay rights.

Or we can not make assumptions at all based on such flimsy information as a hand-out in a directory that references a LWO event hosted by another church.

While I am not much encouraged as to the likelihood of Palin being as non-gay-hostile as early reports suggested, I am still in wait and see mode.

Jim Burroway
September 3rd, 2008 | LINK

We have seen a presidential candidate excoriated for some of the pronouncements of his longtime pastor. If it was relevant to raise the question of what that candidate believes, then this example is relevant as well.

We have also seen a presidential candidate excoriated by the LGBT community for associating with someone connected with the ex-gay movement. Again, if it was relevant to raise the question of what that candidate believes, then this example, too, is relevant.

So, I’m raising the question and I’m waiting for an answer as well.

Timothy Kincaid
September 3rd, 2008 | LINK

Yes, it is relevant. I’m just not assuming too much from it. I’ve spent too much time in churches quite similar to Palin’s and I know that the congregants quite often have political or even religious views that are starkly different from those of the pastor.

Swampfox
September 3rd, 2008 | LINK

Timothy Kincaid writes, “While I am not much encouraged as to the likelihood of Palin being as non-gay-hostile as early reports suggested, I am still in wait and see mode.” I am an in total agreement.

cany
September 4th, 2008 | LINK

Swampfox: I have outlined here what happened. It’s a bit confusing, and I apologize for the length, but wanted you to have the facts and the links. Palin IS anti gay marriage. There is no question.

1. Palin’s church’s Statement of Faith can be found here: http://wasillabible.org/statement%20of%20faith.htm

What is noticeable about this is that her church is a literalistic church, meaning plain reading. There is NO literalistic church that would EVER be pro lgbt. Period.

2. From http://dwb.adn.com/news/politics/elections/governor06/story/8049298p-7942233c.html

“Palin said she’s not out to judge anyone and has good friends who are gay, but that she supported the 1998 constitutional amendment.” [this bill defined marriage as man/woman]

The language of Ballot Measure 2 (1998) can be read here: http://www.elections.alaska.gov/1998oep/98bal2.htm

So, Palin SAID in the article that she voted for one man/one woman definition of marriage. THERE it is.

9 lgbt couples sued over this in 1999. In 2005, the court returned an “unconstitutional” decision on the 1998 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage (actually, it affirms opposite sex marriage, but same thing).

Then the issue got even more openly sticky and hostile.

In response to the 2005 court decision to the 1998 amendment (suit was filed in 1999), the AK Leg passed HB4001. (text here:) http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill_text.asp?hsid=HB4001Z&session=24

The governor vetoed the bill because the state AG advised her it was illegal. This is the Gov. office release on that from 2006: http://gov.state.ak.us/archive-16645.html [this is why some sites are saying she is pro lgbt–they haven’t read all the history OR the bills]

Now, as for AK HB4002: Palin signed this on Dec. 20, 2006. The bill put before the voters an ADVISORY vote on benefits for same sex partners of employees and retirees.

Here is the bill as sent to the governor: http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_jrn_page.asp?session=24&bill=HB4002&jrn=4429&hse=H

Here is the governor’s office release… and NOTE the language in it about the 1998 amendment: http://gov.state.ak.us/print_news-33638.html [interestingly, look at the DATE of the print 8/29/08 This must have been put up in response to press questions, but it is odd]

Read this article, rather a tear jerker, really:
http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/123106/loc_20061231022.shtml

And Palin’s additional comments, here:
(“Palin has said that when voters approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman eight years ago, many believed they were also implying that a gay partner shouldn’t get state benefits.” –this comment is about 1/2 way through) http://dwb.adn.com/news/alaska/story/8361860p-8257364c.html

I hope this helps.

Samantha Davis
September 4th, 2008 | LINK

Are you kidding Swampfox? Palin is every bit as anti-gay as Mike Huckabee, her record from Alaska shows it.

cany
September 4th, 2008 | LINK

Swampfox:

I have collected a link to bill(s) post on my blog about this, which is here (and please feel free to openly copy it, and repaste it onto other sites if need be… just don’t change the lingo! no attribution necessary!). It is part of a piece on Palin’s positions. It has a very complex history which I have laid out understandably, I think.
Go here to the fifth red-lined issue:
http://justanotherblacksheep.blogspot.com/2008/09/gop-strategy-on-palin-alaska-maverick.html :

Palin is absolutely anti same gender marriage. There is NO question.

And, BTW, I hope you will visit the authorities on the matter, the lgbt folks in Alaska who have a post up on this TODAY… (doesn’t outline history, mine does, but they just changed their site so may have lost some archival history). THEY are the experts on this.

go here for bentalaska: http://www.bentalaska.com/

Best to you.

Jessie
September 5th, 2008 | LINK

I can tell you that there is no doubt in my mind (even without reading policies she’s written) that Palin is anti-homosexuality. If you hold to the truth that the Bible is the infallible, inspired Holy word of God which most conservative churches hold, then you know that she is against homosexuality. The Bible explicitly states that homosexuality is a sin. People can manipulate it all they can to disguise what the Bible says to justify their behavior, but it’s there all the same.

Matt
September 8th, 2008 | LINK

I don’t think she’s that awful. She did support some rights for gay couples and has gay friends.

Bent Alaska
September 11th, 2008 | LINK

Matt: Palin has never supported rights for gay people and has spoken out against our rights whenever the issue came up (like the partner benefits and advisory vote, and wanting to ban a gay book from the public library.)

As for ‘gay friends’ – those of us in Alaska’s LGBT community have been trying to find Palin’s mysterious gay friend, but no luck! I know a few conservative gay men who support her, and one who met her, but none who know her personally. If we find him, we’ll let you know!

Thanks for the link, Cany. I’ve posted a whole series on Palin and LGBT issues, with more posts on the way.

I’ll be outside the church with PFLAG on Saturday, handing out flyers to the families attending the Love Won Out conference in Anchorage. Photos and reports will be posted on Bent Alaska.

Michigan-Matt
September 11th, 2008 | LINK

Is Palin anti-gay. It seems to me that given the intensity of responses here, it depends on two things:

1) are you a real gay and do you support the right kind of gay civil rights and our war against the opposing, imperialistic breeder culture

or 2) are you a turncoat gay who probably would have sold their Jewish parents to the Nazis if given half a chance… or, in other words, are you a Republican.

Come on! On the basis of an ad in a church bulletin the gayleft is going to indict Sarah Palin as anti-gay?

Is anyone actually thinking? And yes, even those who claim to be “waiting” while the gayLeft spins nonsense and reads scraps of tea leaves in the bottom of the cup?

Sorry, Jim (canny, S. Davis, bent) it’s going to take a lot more than your hope, your wish, your spin and your partisan interests getting satisified for gays to believe Sarah Palin is anti-gay.

Frankly, with the top of the Democrat ticket maintaining that marriage is not for gays and it’s a sacred union between 1 man and 1 woman, I think you guys ought to focus on changing YOUR man and YOUR team… let the GOP gays worry about the real change agents, the original mavericks -McCain and Palin.

Afterall, [Obama and Biden] also support the definition of marriage as 1 man, 1 woman and you guys aren’t going ballistic on them?

I think its telling how far people in our community will sell out the interests of gays just for a little partisan advantage –and that’s exactly what this non-story is all about.

Jim Burroway
September 11th, 2008 | LINK

Matt, I asked once, and you didn’t answer, so I’ll ask again.

Do you have any evidence that Sarah Palin is not anti-gay. I have seen evidence from mainstream news sources which you haven’t refuted that she is.

I think that is a very simple proposition. So how about it?

At least one link, please, of evidence.

Jason D
September 11th, 2008 | LINK

“I think its telling how far people in our community will sell out the interests of gays just for a little partisan advantage –and that’s exactly what this non-story is all about.”

Do you not realize how easily or thoroughly your statement applies to the LCRs and other gay republicans?

I don’t think anyone has ever said the Dems are perfectly pro-gay. We often criticize them for it. Did you miss the part of Obama’s speech where he mentioned gay couples being able to see each other in the hospital? Has McCain or Palin said anything remotely like that?

It’s not that the Dems are fully and perfectly supportive of the gay community, it’s more that the Republicans are openly hostile to us. Take a look at their platform, Yes on keeping DADT and yes on “defending” marriage. McCain supports prop 8 in CA.

While the Democrats sometimes get in our way due to their incompetence and waffling, the Republicans have decided to not only maintain the roadblocks in our way but add new ones to the mix.

Timothy Kincaid
September 11th, 2008 | LINK

I think that during times of election, partisans on both sides tend to see only the good in their candidate and only the evil in others.

I think it is fair to say that Palin probably does not think favorably of many efforts towards equality. It is fair to say that in all likelihood she is socially conservative.

However, we also have no instances that we can verify that she has ever taken anti-gay actions.

In the absense of evidence, we have only speculation. And it is not reasonable to demand that our opinion is correct absent any evidence to the contrary.

If by “anti-gay” we mean one’s own religious belief, I’m guessing that she probably is. If by “anti-gay” we mean an activist against gay equality, I’ve not yet seen that demonstrated to my satisfaction.

If by “pro-gay” we mean that she is comfortable around gay people, that may be the case. If by “pro-gay” we mean an advocate for our cause to some degree, well I see no evidence of that either at this time.

I’m just happy that so far in this campaign neither camp seems inclined to wage Culture War or rally the torch weilding mobs.

Jim Burroway
September 11th, 2008 | LINK

Re: …we also have no instances that we can verify that she has ever taken anti-gay actions.

The Anchorage Daily News link that I provided in a discussion on a different thread indicates that:

On Dec. 20, Palin signed a bill that calls for an advisory vote on whether there should be a constitutional amendment denying benefits to same-sex couples. The vote, set for a special election on April 3, will be nonbinding but is intended to help guide legislators, Palin has said.

That vote took place on April 3, where a resolution calling on the legislature to begin the process of amending the constitution passed. Sarah Palin supports the constitutional amendment.

I firmly believe that advocating for an amendment to deny domestic partner benefits to same-sex couples constitutes an “anti-gay” activity, just as I believe that calling for passage of Prop 8 (California), Prop 102 (Arizona) and Prop 2 (Florida) also constitutes an “anti-gay action.”

Maybe it just depends on how one defines “anti-gay.”

Timothy Kincaid
September 11th, 2008 | LINK

Good point, Jim. I had forgotten that she had signed the bill to allow the April 2007 special election to go forward.

And yet…

The legislature and the Governor chose to ignore the referendum. A constitutional vote was not authorized for the 2008 ballot. As far as I can see, it wasn’t even proposed.

Gay state employees continue to obtain benefits.

And if Palin said a word about it in the year and a half since the vote, I’ve been unable to find it.

So it does depend on what one means by “action”, I guess.

Again, it all comes down to perspective.

Priya Lynn
September 11th, 2008 | LINK

The libary director at the time Palin was mayor of Wasilla says that Palin tried to ban the pro-gay book “Pastor, I am gay”

http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2008/09/did-pro-gay-tom.html#more

Priya Lynn
September 11th, 2008 | LINK

Palin showed she was anti-gay when she clearly stated her opposition to domestic partner benefits for Alaska state employees in a questionaire she filled out in her run for governor:

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/09/from_the_horses_mouth.php#comments

“10. Do you support the Alaska Supreme Court’s ruling that spousal benefits for state employees should be given to same-sex couples? Why or why not?Why or why not?

SP: No, I believe spousal benefits are reserved for married citizens as defined in our constitution.”.

Timothy Kincaid
September 11th, 2008 | LINK

Priya Lynn,

You are mistaken. The library director is not now saying that Palin tried to ban a pro-gay book.

A former reporter referenced a conversation from 12 years ago in which he recalled being told that three books were discussed by Palin and the librarian. One of them may have been “Pastor, I’m Gay”, though he got the name of the book wrong.

As for Palin’s anti-gay positions, you are correct. Palin appears not to have supported the court’s determination on spousal benefits.

Priya Lynn
September 11th, 2008 | LINK

Timothy, if she’s retracted or denied that statment please provide a link showing it.

Jim Burroway
September 11th, 2008 | LINK

This is a likely reason Alaska lawmakers didn’t take up the constitutional amendment for 2008:

For lawmakers to send the constitutional amendment to next year’s ballot, it would need two-thirds approval in both the 40-seat House and the 20-seat Senate. [Emphasis mine]

That’s a pretty steep hill to climb for most legislatures. If that had been the requirement here in Arizona, we wouldn’t have Prop 102 on the ballot.

Timothy Kincaid
September 11th, 2008 | LINK

Yes, that’s likely why it isn’t on the ballot.

I’ve not yet been able to locate whether it was introduced or whether Palin or anyone else raised the issue again at any time. If it were California, the wingnuts would have been screaming about “the will of the people”.

I hope more comes out on this. I’d like to know why there seems to be no mention of these benefits after April 4, 2007 (or if there was, why it isn’t being reported).

mary
September 11th, 2008 | LINK

Okay – is anyone getting tired of the ongoing Palin and her ex gay church? Why isn’t anyone getting on Obama and his racist church (that by the way is also not supportive of gays?)

What’s the reasoning?

None. Critical thinking has died in this country.

I’m not a Palin supporter. But this constant barage of her ex gay link is so far past it’s life and if it is going to budge the lesbians over to Obama – then it should have – or it won’t. This reliving of her church affiliation is nauseating. No one is taking Obama, Biden, or McCain to task on these issues – and they all do not support gays.

Jim Burroway
September 11th, 2008 | LINK

Mary, maybe you should try some of that critical thinking yourself.

Obama has already denounced the racist posturing of his former pastor long ago. As for his church being “not supportive of gays”, what evidence do you have of that? His church is part of the United Churches of Christ, one of the most gay-affirming denominations in the U.S.

In fact, people have taken Obama and McCain both to task over their pastoral associations, quite heavily. Nothing has come up on Biden. For all we know, there may be nothing there. But to suggest that Palin is being singled out for scrutiny that neither McCain nor Obama have endured tells me that you haven’t been paying attention.

Timothy Kincaid
September 11th, 2008 | LINK

mary,

We tend to focus here on issues of sexuality and leave issues of race to those better equipped. And some would argue with you about the support of United Trinity.

We did comment when Obama had an ex-gay singer entertaining at one of his rallies. And we were among the first to comment on an article written by McCain’s pastor.

Also, if you review the site more carefully I think you will find that we do, in fact, discuss all of the candidates when gay issues arise. As it turns out, this presidential season has had few instances in which gay issues have been debated or were part of the campaign of either candidate.

Bent Alaska
September 12th, 2008 | LINK

“If it were California, the wingnuts would have been screaming about ‘the will of the people’.”

The Alaskan supporters were shouting about ‘the will of the people’ when they expected a landslide victory against the partner benefits. But they didn’t get their landslide – the vote was very close. The ‘will of the people’ was almost evenly divided = no ‘mandate’ to stop the benefits.

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