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[personal profile] stariel
Imagine my surprise to find the headlines today stating "Palin, Biden agree on gay rights at debate".

Um... what?!? Was anyone even listening to what they said? It was very clear to me watching that they did not agree at all. Sure, they both said they wouldn't support gay marriage. The fact is that even if they did support gay marriage, it would be political suicide to say it. No candidate is going to say "Yeah, I think gay marriage is great let's have it!". But there was a major difference in what they *did* say.

Why don't we take it from the candidates themselves?

IFILL (moderator): The next round of -- pardon me, the next round of questions starts with you, Sen. Biden. Do you support, as they do in Alaska, granting same-sex benefits to couples?

BIDEN: Absolutely. Do I support granting same-sex benefits? Absolutely, positively. Look, in an Obama-Biden administration, there will be absolutely no distinction from a constitutional standpoint or a legal standpoint between a same-sex and a heterosexual couple... (cut off here by me)

PALIN: Well, not if it goes closer and closer towards redefining the traditional definition of marriage between one man and one woman. And unfortunately that's sometimes where those steps lead.

Hmm... does that sound like a big fat NO to anyone else? Of course then she goes on to talk about her gay friends and how tolerant she is. And then...

But in that tolerance also, no one would ever propose, not in a McCain-Palin administration, to do anything to prohibit, say, visitations in a hospital or contracts being signed, negotiated between parties.

So basically, Biden is suggesting granting the same constitutional benefits to gay couples without redefining the definition of marriage. Palin doesn't want to but she's "tolerant" and wouldn't do anything to prohibit hospital visitations (she wouldn't have to, the rules are already in place) or contracts being signed.

To me, that doesn't seem at all like they agree.

The full transcript of the debate is here.

Date: 2008-10-04 06:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] meli88.livejournal.com
Ouf. The interesting part for me is later...

BIDEN: I'm glad to hear the governor, I take her at her word, obviously, that she thinks there should be no civil rights distinction, none whatsoever, between a committed gay couple and a committed heterosexual couple. If that's the case, we really don't have a difference.

IFILL: Is that what you said?

PALIN: Your question to him was whether he supported gay marriage and my answer is the same as his and it is that I do not.

IFILL: Wonderful. You agree. On that note, let's move to foreign policy.


Uhm, was that agreeing? No. That was Palin refusing to answer about civil rights.

Date: 2008-10-04 10:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] purplebookfairy.livejournal.com
Ugh... The US is so behind. ;) I can't even start to describe how happy I am about our gender neutral marriage law. <3

Date: 2008-10-06 06:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ari8silver.livejournal.com
Yeah - all that bothered me, and what bothered me most was how gleeful the moderator was to have reached an actual ANSWER. Because other than that one time where they both "directly" responded to the question (insomuch as one can actually say they did...), they didn't do that at all anywhere else that night. Which is probably why the media pounced on it & proclaimed headlines about the one thing that there were actual "yes" and "no" answers on. Not that I think they DID agree or even that they made any clear responses; your post is an excellent dissection of what actually happened. I wish the media would be so thoughtful. Sigh.

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stariel

May 2009

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