Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for May, 2011

The Difference Between Sarah Palin And Me

Jim Burroway

May 31st, 2011

When I went on a week-long tour last week that was not a publicity seeking tour, I rented this at the Columbus airport:

But when Sarah Palin embarked on a tour that was “not a publicity seeking tour,” she rented this:

Just sayin’.

On DOMA, Social Conservatives Howl While Pols Shrug

Jim Burroway

February 25th, 2011

By virtually any measure, the Obama Administration’s announcement that they will no longer argue that the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” is constitutional portends a monumental shift, with repercussions we are all still trying to sort out. Anti-gay activists are, predictably, howling with rage, calling on Congress to intervene. But as we noted, House speaker John Boehner refused to take the bait, and is instead sticking to his promised focus on slashing the budget. The New York Times noticed similarly tepid reactions among many other political conservatives:

In the hours that followed, Sarah Palin’s Facebook site was silent. Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, was close-mouthed. Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, released a Web video — on the labor union protests in Wisconsin — and waited a day before issuing a marriage statement saying he was “disappointed.”

Others, like Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, and Haley Barbour, the governor of Mississippi, took their time weighing in, and then did so only in the most tepid terms. “The Justice Department is supposed to defend our laws,” Mr. Barbour said.

Asked if Mitch Daniels, the Republican governor of Indiana and a possible presidential candidate, had commented on the marriage decision, a spokeswoman said that he “hasn’t, and with other things we have going on here right now, he has no plans.”

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who is also believed to be a presidential contender, is among the few to come out strongly against the Administration’s decision, calling children being raised by LGBT parents “our little guinea pigs.” Mark McKinnon, a Republican strategist for President Bush’s 2004 campaign which deployed marriage as a major wedge issue to turn out conservative voters, may well be right: “The wedge has lost its edge,” he told the Times. Of course, there’s still plenty of time for that to change between now and 2012.

Bristol Palin’s gay jibe at Margaret Cho

Timothy Kincaid

December 6th, 2010

But for a mother with a fondness for money and fame, Bristol Palin could well be interchangeable with Jaime Pressly’s character on My Name is Earl. Only with less class.

Writing on Facebook, Bristol thought she’d make a clever little jibe at Margaret Cho. (The Improper)

Bristol, who denied having political motives for writing the post, closes with a stridently political message and a dig at Cho’s sexuality.

“You say you ‘don’t agree with the family’s politics at all’ but I say, if you understood that commonsense conservative values supports the right of individuals like you, like all of us, to live our lives with less government interference and more independence, you would embrace us faster than KD Lang at an Indigo Girls concert,” she wrote.

KD Lang is openly lesbian, as are the Indigo Girls. The implication is that this something Cho would readily respond to.

Klassy, Bristol.

I’m sure she thought that implying Margaret was gay was the snarkiest thing she could do. Because it’s pretty obvious that her family holds gay people in contempt. And considering her age… well, I very much doubt she came up with that “zinger” on her own.

But despite her utter tastelessness and “I’m better than you” attitude, Bristol probably believes what she says.

She clearly hasn’t the faintest clue about how the “commonsense conservative values” as practiced by her mother are miles from the the principles she’s been told that they represent. This foolish girl has never considered whether “more independence” is consistent with being denied the right to marry and how “less government interference” fits with being denied the right to serve your country openly.

The ironic thing is that if Bristol’s mother and her political allies actually DID stand for “less government interference and more independence”, then they would indeed appeal to our community. Sadly, what she really supports is less government interference in her life and much much much more in mine.

Klassy Bristol Palin

Timothy Kincaid

November 24th, 2010

Last night it became apparent just how little class the Palins have and just how insular and self-congratulatory that those who support them have become. Speaking with what was clearly the shared perspective of the Palins and their supporters, Bristol Palin answered a question about how it would feel to win, with ” It would be like a big middle finger out there to all the people out there who hate my mom and hate me.”

All of her competitors who have put months of training – with no days off – and who pushed themselves farther than their bodies really were ready to go, meant nothing. No, this was all about Sarah Palin and her Tea Partiers flipping off those who don’t support her.

That was too much even for her dancing partner and biggest cheerleader, Mark Balos, who looked off in the distance. And host Tom Bergeran had no idea what to say when the camera turned to him.

Bristol was the first eliminated last night.

(I corrected the exact quote)

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin Announced Her Resignation — 23 Days from Now

Jim Burroway

July 3rd, 2009
Gov. Sarah Palin (Shawn Wilson/KTUU-DT)

Gov. Sarah Palin (Shawn Wilson/KTUU-DT)

She gave no reason as far as I could tell from her long, rambling speech — unless it had something to do with Seward’s Folly and Alaska being the air transport crossroads of the world. Her resignation doesn’t take effect until July 26. Something tells me that in the unpredictable realm of Palin-land, just about anything can and might happen in the next twenty-three days.

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CBN: Palin Supports Federal Marriage Amendment

Jim Burroway

October 20th, 2008
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Christian Broadcasting Network’s Senior National Correspondent David Brody interviewed GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin over the weekend for a segment scheduled to appear on Tuesday on the 700 Club. Here is what she had to say:

Brody: On Constitutional marriage amendment , are, are you for something like that?

Palin: I am, in my own, state, I have voted along with the vast majority of Alaskans who had the opportunity to vote to amend our Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman. I wish on a federal level that that’s where we would go because I don’t support gay marriage. I’m not going to be out there judging individuals, sitting in a seat of judgment telling what they can and can’t do, should and should not do, but I certainly can express my own opinion here and take actions that I believe would be best for traditional marriage and that’s casting my votes and speaking up for traditional marriage that, that instrument that it’s the foundation of our society is that strong family and that’s based on that traditional definition of marriage, so I do support that.

See also:
Joe Biden: “If I Lived In California, I’d Clearly Vote Against Prop 8″

Video To Sarah Palin: I Tried Choosing To Go Straight

Daniel Gonzales

September 30th, 2008

As someone who chose to go through an ex-gay program I made a video taking Sarah Palin to task for her absurd claim homosexuality is a choice (comically and with righteous sass I might add).

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Sarah Palin on Praying Away the Gay

Timothy Kincaid

September 30th, 2008

From the CBS transcript of Katie Couric’s interview of Sarah Palin

The governor told us though she’s not a member of any church, she visits a couple of them regularly when she’s home. She took issue with news reports that one of them, The Wasilla Bible Church, sponsored a conference where gays could be made straight through prayer.

Palin: Well, it matters though, Katie, when the media gets it wrong. It frustrates Americans who are just trying to get the facts and … be able to make up their mind on, about a person’s values. So it does matter.

But what you’re talking about, I think, value here, what my position is on homosexuality and you can pray it away, because I think that was the title that was listed on that bulletin. And you know, I don’t know what prayers are worthy of being prayed. I don’t know what’s prayers are going to be asked and answered. But as for homosexuality, I am not going to judge Americans and the decisions that they make in their adult personal relationships. I have one of my absolute best friends for the last 30 years happens to be gay, and I love her dearly. And she is not my “gay friend,” she is one of my best friends, who happens to have made a choice that isn’t a choice that I have made. But I am not going to judge people.

Let’s hope her best friend tells Sarah about what part of one’s life is chosen and what part comes naturally.

Palin Mayoral Campaign Manager: Palin Wanted to Remove “Daddy’s Roomate” From Library

Jim Burroway

September 14th, 2008

We’ve seen several allegations that Alaska Governor and GOP Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin has tried to have books removed from the Wasilla, Alaska public library during her term as mayor. Most of these allegations have been unsubstantiated — either the titles of the books mentioned didn’t exist, memories were weak, or lists of titles were proven false.

But now comes word from a former Palin campaign manager — one who is “still proud of Sarah” — who remembers specifically one book that Sarah tried to have removed. This morning, in a wide-ranging article describing allegations of Gov. Palin’s personal vendettas in firing decisions, the New York Times is reporting:

But in 1995, Ms. Palin, then a city councilwoman, told colleagues that she had noticed the book “Daddy’s Roommate” on the shelves and that it did not belong there, according to Ms. Chase [Laura Chase, her campaign manager during Ms. Palin’s first run for mayor in 1996] and Mr. Stein [John Stein, Palin's mayoral predecessor]. Ms. Chase read the book, which helps children understand homosexuality, and said it was inoffensive; she suggested that Ms. Palin read it.

“Sarah said she didn’t need to read that stuff,” Ms. Chase said. “It was disturbing that someone would be willing to remove a book from the library and she didn’t even read it.”

“I’m still proud of Sarah,” she added, “but she scares the bejeebers out of me.” Responds to Political Rumors

Timothy Kincaid

September 10th, 2008

Here at Box Turtle Bulletin, one of our principal efforts is to debunk and clarify inaccurate claims, statistics, and rumors that are utilized in the efforts to discredit, minimize, dehumanize or otherwise harm gay people and their lives. While it would be nice if we had the luxury (i.e. time, staff, and finances) to expand our quest for accuracy to areas outside of our specialty, we do not.

Others, however, do fill in some of the gaps. addresses urban legends and seeks to provide a source to verify political claims.

Recently, the internet has been ablaze with claims, rumors, and conjecture about the history and political positions of various political candidates. Sadly, some gay sites have been among those most eager to make declarations that have not been well verified. (It is my sincere hope that at BTB we have avoided that mistake).

We believe that candidates and politicians should be held responsible for the things that they have said and done. But not for the things which are based solely on myth and speculation. And if we seek to be credible and honorable, we are obliged to know the difference., a non-partisan organization, provides clarification about the internet rumors and other political claims and commercials awashing us with (often inaccurate) information. I encourage our readers to be informed in their discussions both here and at other sites and check out the information they provide.

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?

Palin’s Misunderstanding of History

Timothy Kincaid

September 2nd, 2008

Often evangelical conservatives suffer under the misperception that the nation’s Founding Fathers shared their belief that the country was intended to be a Christian Nation governed according to a conservative understanding of Scripture. Although even the most casual reading of our founding documents will quickly reveal that those who established our governmental system found the idea of a church state to be frightening, a shared mythology thrives within a subset of our nation in which the drafters of our documents have been assigned theology that is consistent with their own. And then sainted.

This often result in rather amusing statements.

In responding to a 2006 Gubernatorial questionnaire from socially conservative Eagle Forum Alaska, the GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin (then running for governor) gave the following answer:

11. Are you offended by the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?

SP: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance.

Palin seems a bit unfamiliar with the history of the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Pledge was written in 1892. However, though written by a Baptist minister, the original version did not contain the words “under God”. That phrase was added in 1954 after a campaign started by the Knights of Columbus and supported by a number of Protestants.

If there were any “founding fathers” around in 1954 to consider this phrase “good enough”, they must have been quite old indeed.

Palin’s Anti-Gay “Pro-Gay” Veto

This commentary is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of other authors at this site.

Jim Burroway

September 1st, 2008

That glimmer of hope that Sarah Palin might be persuadable concerning LGBT rights appears solidly extinguished. Michael Signorile’s at the RNC, and has this to report:

I went to the Alaska delegation and spoke with a woman who is in Palin’s cabinet. She assured me that Palin is not in favor of giving any rights to gays and didn’t want to give domestic partnership rights to government employees but that she had to veto the bill that would have rescinded such rights because of the Alaska Supreme Court ruling. So can we please cut this crap Log Cabin and the McCain campaign have been trying to put out: Palin only vetoed an antigay bill because she had to, by law. This woman, Annette Kreitzer, who serves in Sarah Palin’s cabinet in the Department of Administration, said, oh, well, it was the law — drat! — or something like that. I’ll play it tomorrow.

Palin, an Interesting Choice

This commentary is the opinion of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of other authors at this site.

Timothy Kincaid

August 29th, 2008

Sarah Palin is a fascinating vice-presidential selection for John McCain.

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.