The Gay Issue

This deserves a second note from yours truly. McCain's pick was the most pro-gay move any Republican has made since George H.W. Bush added hate crimes against gays to the national statistical base. I know that's not saying much, but the details are here. Bottom line:

Palin's first veto was used to block legislation that would have barred the state from granting benefits to the partners of gay state employees. In effect, her veto granted State of Alaska benefits to same-sex couples.

Yes, she opposes equality in marriage. So does Obama. And, yes, she's much worse than Obama on civil unions:

Palin said she's not out to judge anyone and has good friends who are gay, but that she supported the 1998 constitutional amendment. Elected officials can't defy the court when it comes to how rights are applied, she said, but she would support a ballot question that would deny benefits to homosexual couples.

But she is a rare Republican governor who signed benefits for gay couples into law, as a matter of constitutional equality. And she has gay friends. It's a good day for gay Republicans, and the clear public references to gay rights in all the major Democratic speeches last week shows how far we've come.