Palin Supports Gay Rights?

No, she doesn't. She opposes health benefits for gay and lesbian partners, and supported a $1.2 million non-binding advisory vote for legislation that would have taken away the partner benefits granted by an Alaska Supreme Court ruling. (The vote passed by a narrow margin, and the benefits remain.)

For the full story on the health benefits, see: Alaskans Together on Palin's LGBT Record. For Palin on other gay issues, see the Sarah Palin Series.

But conflicting reports about Gov. Sarah Palin's stand on gay rights are showing up all over the web. Outside reporters know little about her record on gay rights (or anything else) and call her everything from ally to enemy.

The mainstream media says she opposes same-sex marriage but has gay friends and is sympathetic to gay issues. (Their evidence of her sympathy shows how little they know about her.) 

The national liberal and conservative media found something to agree on: that Palin is anti-gay. 

The evangelical writers are excited to vote for her, the progressives are disgusted by her anti-health benefits stand and by the media's "gay friends" spin.

The national LGBT media recognizes her opposition to equality and civil rights - except the Log Cabin Republicans (gay republicans, believe it or not) who think she is a wonderful choice.

And the fringe elements are joining the fray.

In these reports, I found only two LGBT Alaskans quoted (both in the same article by Gay City News):
Some press reports following the McCain campaign announcement have repeated the right-wing rhetorical flourish that has Palin declaring that she has gay friends. That softer image is not what some Alaskans saw. 

"That's just completely wrong," said Allison E. Mendel, the attorney who brought the 1999 [partner benefits] case. "She spoke on radio programs all throughout the campaign saying, 'I want a constitutional amendment, I think these things are only for a man and a woman.' ... I don't think she's ever said a friendly word about gay people, that they ought to have health benefits like other people do or anything along those lines." 

On AIDS issues, Palin simply has no record at all. 

"There is not a lot to speak of for AIDS policy because she hasn't done much," said Trevor Storrs, executive director of the Alaskan AIDS Assistance Association. "She's never been given the opportunity to address our situation here because it has never been put before her." 

"She has done very little to address the major epidemics," he said.
But the most often quoted sentence about her stand on gay rights was from her old Wiki profile: "She opposes same-sex marriage, but she has stated that she has gay friends and is receptive to gay and lesbian concerns about discrimination."

Then her Wiki profile was changed and currently reads: "Palin has said she has good friends who are gay, opposes same-sex marriage, but complied with an Alaskan state Supreme Court order and signed an implementation of same-sex benefits into law, stating that legal options to avoid doing so had run out. She supported a non-binding referendum for a constitutional amendment to deny benefits to homosexual couples."

The Associated Press reported that Palin "opposes gay marriage -- constitutionally banned in Alaska before her time -- but exercised a veto that essentially granted benefits to gay state employees and their partners."

That sentence is quoted in numerous articles to imply that she is sympathetic to gay and lesbian rights.

The national LGBT rights group HRC has the real story:
"Sarah Palin not only supported the 1998 Alaska constitutional amendment banning marriage equality but, in her less than two years as Governor, even expressed the extreme position of supporting stripping away domestic partner benefits for state workers.  When you can't even support giving our community the rights to health insurance and pension benefits, it's a frightening window into where she stands on equality."
Meanwhile, someone has created a web site called Sarah Palin Gay Rights . com. This is the full text:
Sarah Palin (GOV-Alaska-Republican), supports gay rights, says Anchorage Daily News.

Quote "Gov. Sarah Palin vetoed a bill Thursday that sought to block the state from giving public employee benefits such as health insurance to same-sex couples."

Quote ""It is the Governor's intention to work with the legislature and to give the people of Alaska an opportunity to express their wishes and intentions whether these benefits should continue," the statement from Palin's administration said."

Coghill said he's interested in a new plan that would allow state employees to designate one person -- maybe a same-sex partner, but also possibly a family member or roommate -- who would be eligible for state-paid benefits. But the employee would have to pay to add that person to his or her benefits."

Sarah Palin's veto gave gays the same rights as married couples in Alaska. 

A vote for McCain/Palin is a vote for gay marriage.
The quotes don't support the conclusion, but the overall message is clear: evangelicals should not be fooled into voting for McCain because they think Palin supports their agenda. The site is anonymous, maybe by a disgruntled Huckabee supporter?

Many readers of Bent Alaska are LGBT Alaskans and our allies. You know more about Sarah and gay rights in Alaska than the Outsiders. What do you think about Palin and gay rights?

Sarah Palin and Gay Rights in Alaska

UPDATE: For Gov. Palin's response to all three pieces of LGBT legislation, see: Alaskan's Together on Palin's LGBT Record.

From Gay City News

Republican Senator John McCain has selected Sarah Palin, Alaska's governor and a little-known conservative with a slim record on gay and AIDS issues, to be his running mate in the 2008 presidential race. 

"She's fairly socially conservative, she's fairly anti-choice," said Jeffrey A. Mittman, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska (ACLU). 

Palin became governor in 2006 after serving as a councilwoman and then mayor of a small Alaskan town. She made an unsuccessful run at becoming Alaska's lieutenant governor in 2002. Palin has confronted a single piece of gay rights legislation in that time. 

In 2005, Alaska's highest court ruled, in a case brought in 1999 on behalf of nine couples, that the state could not deny benefits to the domestic partners of state government employees. The court ordered the state to implement that ruling in late 2006. 

The ruling was seen by right wingers as conflicting with a 1998 amendment to the Alaska Constitution, passed by voters in a ballot referendum, that defined marriage as solely between one man and one woman. The Republican-dominated State Legislature passed a bill that barred the state's administrative agency from implementing the ruling. Palin vetoed it. 

"The Department of Law advised me that this bill... is unconstitutional given the recent court order... mandating same-sex benefits," Palin said in a statement. "With that in mind, signing this bill would be in direct violation of my oath of office." 

The statement added, "The governor's veto does not signal any change or modification to her disagreement with the action and order by the Alaska Supreme Court. It is the governor's intention to work with the Legislature and to give the people of Alaska an opportunity to express their wishes and intentions whether these benefits should continue." 

Eight days before signing the veto, Palin signed another bill that called for a "statewide advisory vote" regarding the ruling from Alaska's high court, saying in a statement, "We may disagree with the rationale behind the ruling, but our responsibility is to proceed forward with the law and follow the Constitution... I disagree with the recent court decision because I feel as though Alaskans spoke on this issue with its overwhelming support for a Constitutional Amendment in 1998 which defined marriage as between a man and woman. But the Supreme Court has spoken and the state will abide." 

The ACLU's Mittman framed the way the bill calling for the statewide advisory played out in the ongoing controversy about the high court's order. 

"Then what happened was the anti-gay forces came up with what they called an advisory vote," he said. "It was essentially a way for anti-LGBT people to try and rally public opinion to try and move their agenda forward." 

In 2007, the state spent an estimated $1 million to hold that vote and Alaskans expressed their opposition to the court ruling by a narrow margin. The vote did not have the effect of making law. 

The McCain campaign has very effectively spun the veto to show Palin, 44, as sympathetic toward the gay and lesbian community. 

Palin opposes same sex marriage. 

A 2006 Anchorage Daily News story, said of Palin: "She's not out to judge anyone and has good friends who are gay," but that "she supported the 1998 constitutional amendment." 

Some press reports following the McCain campaign announcement have repeated that right-wing rhetorical flourish that has Palin declaring that she has gay friends. That softer image is not what some Alaskans saw. 

"That's just completely wrong," said Allison E. Mendel, the attorney who brought the 1999 case. "She spoke on radio programs all throughout the campaign saying, 'I want a constitutional amendment, I think these things are only for a man and a woman.' ... I don't think she's ever said a friendly word about gay people, that they ought to have health benefits like other people do or anything along those lines." 

On AIDS issues, Palin simply has no record at all. 

"There is not a lot to speak of for AIDS policy because she hasn't done much," said Trevor Storrs, executive director of the Alaskan AIDS Assistance Association. "She's never been given the opportunity to address our situation here because it has never been put before her." 

With roughly 1,200 AIDS cases, Alaska is a "low incidence state," Storrs said, and most of its HIV funds come from the federal government. 

Then Palin's 20 months in the governor's office have been taken up with the state's oil and gas industry. Health issues generally, such as substance abuse or mental health, have not received much attention, Storrs said. 

"She has done very little to address the major epidemics," he said.

Kimberly Pace: Obama's Acceptance Speech and My View on the Issues

Guest blogger Kimberly Pace is Alaska's openly-LGBT delegate to the Democratic Convention in Denver. (Read her previous posts live from the Convention and an interview of her by DemConWatch.)

We arrived back in Anchorage safe and sound and in time to watch nearly 6 hours on CSPAN on the last day of the convention. I was thrilled to see some of our Alaskan delegation and was envious of their experience on this historic day. Obama's acceptance speech was positive, informative, inspiring, and electrifying. It has been a long time since I have been so moved by a presidential candidate. 

He spoke about issues that are near and dear to my heart and to those around me. These issues include, but are by no means limited to: 
1) Health - I believe that in this country, everyone regardless of income or position should be entitled to affordable health care of the highest quality.
2) Education - Better schools means better preparation for our people in this globalized economy. Also I love the idea of the exchange of college education for public service - let's make college available for everyone! 
3) Civil rights for all citizens regardless of sexual orientation - people are people and deserve to be treated fairly and with dignity and respect. 
4) Increased funding to support our troops with adequate health care, equipment, and improved services - while we may disagree with the war, it is deplorable that many of our troops are falling between the cracks when it comes to providing their basic needs. That is tragic, and I feel that Obama will make an excellent Commander-in-Chief and will make sure that our troops are getting not only what they need but also what they deserve. 
5) Energy - I think Obama is right on the mark when he talks about the need for a shift in our energy reliance on foreign countries for our energy needs. We need to develop alternative energy sources such as geothermal, wind, solar, biofuels etc., not spend Gazillions (technical term there) drilling for oil (especially off-shore) when we could spend a fraction of that amount and build new industries that will create millions of Green Collar jobs. 
There were many other issues but those were the ones that leapt out to me.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the Convention. It was the chance of a lifetime and I am so honored that I was chosen. It was AWESOME!

This Week in GLBT Alaska 8/28/08

Check out this week's events from Alaska GLBT News, the email newsletter. 

For full listings, news briefs, and up-coming events, subscribe to AGN.


Thursday Night Soul Food at MCC, 6:30 p.m. $6 donation for dinner. 8/28: Fish Don't Fly - a documentary about the ex-gay movement. 9/4: But I'm a Cheerleader -- a comedy about the ex-gay movement.

Coronation XXXVI - A Tribute to Heroes, 8/28-9/1. Full weekend schedule of events, plus tickets and contact info, at ICOAA.

Last Sunday Brunch with TLFMC 8/31, 10:30 a.m. at the Country Kitchen.

Transgender Support Group 8/31, 4-6 p.m. at the GLCCA.

September's Poetry Parley at Out North features works by lesbian feminist poet Adrienne Rich. 9/3, 7 p.m. Free


Bac'untry Bruthers at the Down East Saloon on 8/28 at 10 p.m.

Kimberly Pace at the DNC: Obama, Biden and Clinton at the Nomination

Guest blogger Kimberly Pace is Alaska's openly-LGBT delegate to the Democratic Convention in Denver. (Read her previous posts and an interview of her by DemConWatch, and watch for her updates on Bent Alaska.)

What can I say about Wednesday night that you haven't already seen on the news? The energy in the room was electrifying. With each speaker the crowd grew more and more enthusiastic. From the roll call vote though the surprise visit by Barack, there wasn't a dull moment. 

Who wasn't touched by the former Republican Rear Admiral who spoke about his change of party as he grew dissatisfied with the direction of the Bush administration? And what about the appearance of all those female Democratic Senators? Senator Clinton was inspirational in her decision to call for the end of the roll call vote and proceed with the direct nomination of Barack Obama. The crowd went wild! She did just what she needed to do... unify the party. From my vantage point on the floor of the DNC, she did just that. 

And Joe Biden and his son Beau? I can tell you there was not a dry eye in the house. I'm looking forward to learning more about him and his family in the next 4 years. His acceptance speech was just what the delegates wanted to hear. He was strong, caring and engaged all at the same time. I am very pleased with this historic presidential ticket. 

Today is our last day at the Convention. We've decided not to go to Invesco Field tonight. Estimates are that there will be over 70,000 people there to witness Obama's acceptance speech. Much as I would love to be there personally, the thought of being outside in 90 degree+ weather for close to 8 hours does not sound like the best place for me. Accordingly, we will be heading back to cloudy and rainy Anchorage. Home sweet home.

It is now 2:38 am and clearly past my bed time. We've had the best time and can't wait to get the word out about what we have experienced.

I hope this finds you well. More descriptions and photos to come in the next few days...

Kimberly Pace at the DNC: Checking in After a Very Long Day

Today was such a monumental day that I don't even know where to begin. The day started at 6 am and we are not done yet and it is 3 am. Yikes! More to come tomorrow, with photos! In brief we saw (very close up as in 5-30 feet away) the following: Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Cyndi Lauper, and Melissa Ethridge. It was a fabulous day to say the least!

What a speech from Hillary, way to unite the party!

Side note... Congrats to Ethan :-)

More to come ..... stay tuned...

Kimberly Pace at the DNC: LGBT Caucus, Kuspuks, and Michelle Obama

Guest blogger Kimberly Pace is Alaska's openly-LGBT delegate to the Democratic Convention in Denver. Here is her description of Monday at the DNC. (Read her Sunday post and an interview of her by DemConWatch, and catch her daily updates here on Bent Alaska.)

Today the Democratic Convention officially kicked off. Wow! It was amazing! The day started bright and early with our state delegation meeting at 7 am. There we had an introduction to what our day was going to be like, had some great guest speakers to get us into the mood, and received our credentials.

From there it was off to the Convention Center to attend the LGBT caucus. There were some amazing speakers there, including the man who successfully won the case in front of the California Supreme Court that gave gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. He was very inspirational. We also learned that there are 277 "out" LGBT delegates in attendance at this year's DNC. That is an increase of 41% from 2004. How incredible! I was very impressed, to say the least.

Next we boarded a bus to the Pepsi Center where the actual convention takes place. We arrived around 4:30 and everything got underway pretty much on schedule by 5 pm. Our Alaskan delegation looked great in our kuspuks (see the photo.) Other delegations kept stopping by to admire them, they were jealous in their goofy hats. 

It was interesting how many people stopped us to ask about Mark Begich, Ted Stevens, Don Young, Ethan Berkowitz, and Diane Benson. Alaska is definitely on the political map! This is a good time for me to remind you all to vote in the primary elections today (Tuesday the 26th.) This is a critical time in Alaska's political future. Please get out and express your political voice.

The convention speakers were great. The highlights were when Nancy Pelosi spoke, the Young Democrats got up to speak (Ryan Buckholdt, a former student of mine, was on the stage in his kuspuk!) Jessie Jackson Jr., Tom Harkin, Jimmy Carter, and of course Craig and Michelle Obama. For me, Michelle Obama is a breath of fresh air. Listening to the stories of growing up on the south side of Chicago really touched me. Her father sounded like a truly great man and her mother looked so proud. I am honored to be witnessing this piece of history.

I genuinely appreciated the speakers who spoke about the significance of Senator Hillary Clinton's run for the nomination. When Michelle mentioned the 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling, the entire Pepsi Center erupted with applause. Well done!

Tomorrow's tentative schedule includes a meeting with the Women's Caucus, the Disability Caucus, an event with Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama. Then more convention activities followed by a Melissa Etheridge/Cyndi Lauper concert. What a day! I say tentative because you never know what might happen, or come up, so stayed tuned . . .

Kimberly Pace at the DNC: Women's Brunch, AFL-CIO Rally, and Rep. John Conyers

Guest blogger Kimberly J. Pace is Alaska's openly-LGBT delegate to the Democratic Convention in Denver. Here is her post about Sunday. (Read an interview of her by DemConWatch, and catch her daily updates here on Bent Alaska.)

I thought yesterday was amazing and then along came today! Our day started bright and early rising at 6:45 am and we were out and about by 9 am this morning. Our first stop was a brunch sponsored by the National Federation of Democratic Women. This was a great event with women from all over the country. There was a possibility that Michelle Obama might make an appearance but she was not able to attend. With the announcement of Joe Biden as the VP, the campaign has been scrambling. We hope to see her along with Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday.

After brunch we were off to lunch (turns out there is a lot of free food here, good food - you know, Kimberly friendly) which was sponsored by the AFT (American Federation of Teachers.) Yummy! We sat with a couple from New York. The woman is a 5th grade teacher and her husband is a Political Science Professor at Elmira College. Small world. Got even smaller when we learned that their son lives in Clifton Park, NY where my dad grew up. They are friends with the Clintons and Howard Dean. We were networking.

After brunch and lunch within 2 hours, we had an hour or so to fill, so we enjoyed exploring downtown Denver. We saw protesters, street musicians, and vendors selling everything they possibly can with Obama's face on it. We've discovered that Denver is a great city in terms of disability access. I heard an interview with the mayor of Denver earlier today, and he was talking about all of the effort that was put into improving accessibility for the city. It worked! There is no place that I have wanted/needed to get to that I have not been able to.

We thought security was tight yesterday, today it was even more so. You couldn't go a block without seeing at least two SWAT teams, Denver Police, Colorado troopers, and/or rent-a-cops. I expect that tomorrow will be even more intense security-wise.

Next stop: an AFL-CIO rally meeting. It was filled with impressive people with incredible stories. The man from one of the Democratic debates who spoke at Soldiers Field about how he and his wife lost close to everything, including nearly 1/2 of his pension and 1/2 of his health care benefits spoke. They had to make a decision about which one of them would keep the health insurance. In the end they chose him and he felt/feels awful. He is a proud man who has worked all of his life to support his family and it all comes down to working hard his entire life with very little to show for it. He is here to support Obama's presidential bid as he believes that Obama will be able to do something not only for himself but also for families across this nation, some 40 million of whom are uninsured or underinsured. His story brought tears to my eyes.

At the same event, Ted Kennedy's son Teddy spoke about the importance of America's working class and its significance to the Kennedy family. I was surprised but he was actually quite eloquent. There is a rumor that Ted Kennedy might be well enough to attend some of the events in the next few days, I'm crossing my fingers.

Following the AFL-CIO meeting, we whisked ourselves into the next door ballroom for the tribute to Congressman John Conyers from Detroit, MI. I have been lecturing about Conyers and his impact on Civil Rights for years. Needless to say, it was a thrill to be able to listen to him and his passionate support for Barack Obama. Conyers is a man who has dedicated his life to the pursuit of not just civil rights but to human rights. It was a treat, to say the least.

It was a jam-packed day. Upon our return to our hotel, we saw our first celebrity: Al Franken, who is staying here with the Minnesota delegation. His wife told us that they would be leaving on Tuesday to get back to his senate campaign. With Tuesday being the primary, they can't be away too long.

Tomorrow is shaping up to be a very busy day. Our state delegation meets at 7 am (most of you know I am not a morning person, so you can imagine how that will work out) and then we have several events planned, including something called "Unconventional Women," the GLBT caucus, and then the convention itself kicks off officially with Jimmy Carter giving the first keynote speech. If time permits, we may be able to make it to the Molly Brown House (of Titanic fame) and possibly the Downtown Aquarium which is supposed to be amazing.

Till next time, I hope you are all well, and stay tuned for tomorrow night's post . . .

Kimberly Pace: Alaska's LGBT Delegate to DNC 08

Kimberly J. Pace is Alaska's one openly-LGBT delegate to the Democratic Convention in Denver - and she agreed to blog about the convention for Bent Alaska! (Watch for her daily updates.)

She is also blogging for Fox News (yes, really) and for DemConWatch

DemConWatch interviewed Kimberly before the convention:

DocJess: Kimberly, I know this is supposed to be an interview about you as a delegate, but since you're from Alaska, I can't wait – how is the Ted situation?

Kimberly: I am just loving it. There's an entire movement up here called "Retire Ted". And it's going very well, although it doesn't seem to be getting the national press it's grabbing locally.

It was always a case of which came first, the indictment or the election. So, I really don't know anything about you, are you an Obama delegate or a Clinton delegate?

Obama, from way back.

Is this your first time being a delegate?

Absolutely, and I'm very excited and can't wait to get there.

Is this your first foray into politics?

You should ask what I do for a living.

OK, what do you do for a living?

I'm a professor of Political Science.

What do you specialize in, and where do you teach?

I teach at the University of Alaska – Anchorage, and teach all forms of poli-sci with a concentration on Comparative Politics, American Government, and Constitutional Law. I'm also director of the Women's Studies department.

What was your thesis on?

Disability movements. I worked on a comparative analysis between the ADA system in the United States versus that which exists in Europe.

Wow. But is this the first direct political action you've undertaken?

I'm a proud, life-long Democrat, and I've given money to candidates and causes, and packed my share of envelopes, and made phone calls, but this is the first time I'm really putting myself out there.

To what are you most looking forward?

That is so hard. I guess EVERYTHING. For me, this is not only a chance to represent the people who are sending me there, but also to take a look at the process and see if what I've been lecturing on for the last 20 years is really correct in the light of day.

Ed Espinoza, our resident Super Delegate here, says his advice for first time delegates is to wear comfortable shoes. Are you all set with that?

Actually, I could wear spiked heels and I'd be comfortable since I'm in a wheelchair. But yes, the rest of my delegation knows about it and will be properly attired. And we'll all be in Alaskan Native attire.

Is that a kind of funky hat?

No, lots of people wear hats, and often state delegations wear the same hat – we decided to do something a little different and wear traditional garb - kuspuks. 

Are you paying for your trip yourself?

No. I'm actually a union delegate for the AFT, American Federation of Teachers, and so they are paying for my trip. 

In fact, while you probably know that the DNC requires all delegations to be half male and half female, here in Alaska, we also require our delegation be demographically representative, so we have Native Alaskans, African Americans, disabled people, and LGBT members of our delegations. 

Since I'm openly gay, I'm looking forward to going to the Disability Caucus, the LGBT Caucus, the Women's Caucus, and a number of Union activities. 

I don't know how to ask this politely, but are you concerned about being effectually shorter than most people, and still being able to see everything on the convention floor?

The DNC has said that there will be more disabled delegates than ever before at this convention, and they say that they've made special provisions, but we'll see. I've heard that before. 

Yes, as a country, and often as individual people, we're not great to people in wheelchairs. I hate when I see people leaning over someone in a wheelchair, yelling, as if because one has musculoskeletal problems, they are also deaf. I really hope that you have great access. So when are you going to start blogging for us?

Probably on Saturday when I get there. FOX wants to give me some sort of movie-recording-phone-device, but I'm going to have to tell them that at my level, they'll be getting a lot of butts. 

A lot of humour potential there…while I personally will be looking forward to your on-site blogs, I'm also hoping that once you get home and you have time to think and process everything, you'll write us a piece on how the convention does jibe with your lectures; how de jure and de facto fit together, as it were.


Are There Many Gay People Up In Alaska?

Update: For a real answer to this question, see Big Wild Gay? about Anchorage, and the statewide resource list Where to Find GLBT Alaska.

Sen. Joe Biden, Obama's choice for Vice President, has not said anything about gay Alaskans.

But last year, one of the other presidential hopefuls showed his knowledge of Alaska's vibrant LGBT community at an HRC event in Los Angeles.

Melissa Etheridge asked former senator Mike Gravel about his support for same-sex marriage, then asked, "Are there many gay people up in Alaska?" Listen to his response:

We've been through a long, strange nomination process that ends at this week's Democratic Convention. The clip shows a GLBT Alaska moment in that process. It also shows how far we still have to go: the current presidential and vice presidential candidates do not support same-sex marriage.

Are there more than two (and a half) gay people in Alaska? YES! See Bent Alaska's resource list: Where to Find GLBT Alaska.

This Week in GLBT Alaska 8/22/08

Check out this week's events from Alaska GLBT News, the email newsletter. 
For full listings, news briefs, and up-coming events, subscribe to AGN.

White Trash Party with DJ Double D, 8/23, 9 p.m-? at Jeff's house.

Bac'untry Bruthers at the Down East Saloon, 8/28 at 10 p.m.

Ever Ready at the Great Bear Brewing Restaurant, 8/23, 8 p.m.-midnight


Four MCC Programs on the "Ex-Gay" Movement, Thursdays 8/21-9/11, 6:30 p.m. $6

Ever Ready at the AMVETS Post 49, 8/22, 7-11 p.m.

Northern Exposure Bowling League season registration, 8/23, 4 p.m. at Park Lanes

Benefit for Off the Rocks, 8/23, 7 p.m., at Out North, pay what you can. More info.

Hump Day Happy Hour with The Last Frontier Men's Club, 8/27, 5-7 p.m. at the Raven every 2nd & 4th Wednesday.

1049 Daily US Newspapers Accept Same-Sex Wedding Announcements - But Only 339 Have Received Them

Q. Which of Alaska's daily newspapers will print same-sex wedding announcements?

A. All of them - technically.

Alaska is one of only 9 states where all of the daily newspapers will print same-sex wedding announcements, according to a report this week from GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

The Juneau Empire posted a same-sex wedding announcement in May, and the Anchorage Daily News has printed several. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner agrees to print them (but hasn't yet) only if the wedding is legally recognized where it was performed. Alaska's other daily newspapers (see chart) will print our wedding, union and commitment ceremony announcements - but none have been submitted.

The Announcing Equality project asks us to send our announcements to local newspapers to increase LGBT visibility.
In cities and small towns all over the country, communities are seeing the lives of their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) family members, friends and neighbors reflected in their media outlets. These stories will spur the kinds of everyday conversations that will change hearts and minds.

GLAAD first launched the Announcing Equality campaign in 2002, after working with The New York Times to open its weddings/celebrations pages to lesbian and gay couples. Six years later, the number of inclusive newspapers has jumped from 70 to 1049, and nearly 72 percent of all daily newspapers in the United States now accept wedding and/or commitment ceremony announcements for same-sex couples.

Unfortunately, most of these papers haven't had a chance to run an announcement. That's where you come in! 

We're urging you to recognize the celebrations and milestones in your life by sharing the story with the newspaper, and to share your story in other forms of media, from office newsletters and union periodicals to church bulletins, public radio, Facebook and YouTube.
And be sure to send the link to Bent Alaska!

Media Outlet
Will Publication Print an Announcement?
Has Publication Printed an Announcement in the Past?
Anchorage Daily News
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Juneau Empire
Peninsula Clarion
Ketchikan Daily News
Kodiak Daily Mirror
Daily Sitka Sentinel

L = Newspaper will print announcements only if the union is legally recognized.

GLBT Performances at Out North

Out North offers several performances by or about gays and lesbians during the next few weeks. 

Joan Cullinane reprises her Under 30 performance of "Merrow" as a benefit for "Off the Rocks" this weekend. September's Poetry Parley features selected works by lesbian poet Adrienne Rich, read by local women. In late September, Bill Bowers visits Anchorage and Homer to perform "It Goes Without Saying," about growing up closeted in Montana, becoming a professional mime, and living through the AIDS crisis.

Tickets and information for the full 2008 season of live performances, the Global Lens, and the Manhattan Short Film Festival, are posted at Out North: VSA Arts of Alaska.  

Off The Rocks Benefit:
The Return of UNDER 30 Past

Past Under 30 performers Morgan Hobkirk and Joan Cullinane reprise their works "Outside the Lines" and "Merrow" as a benefit for "Off the Rocks," a non-profit theatre program working with Akeela House and through a grant from the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority to help women dealing with alcoholism and substance abuse issues. Come join us for this pay-what-you-can event. Reserve seating available with a suggested donation of $15 on line.

7pm SAT Aug 23


September's Poetry Parley features an evening celebrating women in poetry. An all-female chorus of readers will present selected works of feminist poet Adrienne Rich that speak of, to and for women over the past several decades. Celebrated local poet Arlitia Jones will also present her own work. Poetry Parley is coordinated by J.W. Minton. Refreshments available.

7pm WED Sept. 3rd


It Goes Without Saying

A professional mime breaks his silence in this autobiographical tale about growing up gay and closeted in Montana, training with the great Marcel Marceau, and living through the AIDS crisis of the 1980's. 

$18.00 online; $20 at the door. 
($1.25 per ticket online fee)

7pm FRI Sept. 19
7pm SAT Sept. 20 
4pm SUN Sept. 21

HOMER at the Bunnell Street Gallery 
(Purchase tickets at Bunnell) 
7pm THU Sept. 25
7pm FRI Sept. 26
7pm SAT Sept. 27 

Copyright © 2008 by Bent Alaska.