Mooselini blinked. Gay constituents recently petitioned Gov. Sarah Palin to sign a proclamation for National Coming Out Day on October 11, and yesterday her office rejected the chance to support gay Alaskans and their struggle to live with dignity and acceptance outside the closet.
This is the rejection note sent to Tim Stallard, spokesman for Alaskans Together for Equality:
Thank you for requesting a proclamation designating October 11 as “National Coming Out Day.” Unfortunately, your request cannot be granted at this time. If you have any questions please contact the Governor’s Office at (907) 465-3500.
Again, thank you for writing and best wishes to you.
Coordinator for Constituent Relations
Office of Governor Sarah Palin
Pretty lame of tough-talking, no-blinking-promising, moose-and-wolf-shooting Palin, through her staff, to not offer any reason why she won't sign the pro-gay proclamation.
Tim Stallard in response to the rejection issued this call to action:
The Governor’s office denied our request for the National Coming Out Day Proclamation (response pasted below). This was disappointing given Palin’s recent message of “Tolerance” during the VP candidates debate.
Big thanks to you who called or emailed Wednesday (yesterday). Ms. Rintala mentioned and was impressed by the number of people who called her office!
Once more, if you have the time and inclination, it would be great to call or email (again if applicable) Thursday or Friday to express your disappointment that Gov. Palin is not proving her “tolerance” and basic respect for gay Alaskans by signing our National Coming Out Day proclamation (which would not cost the state any money or change any state law).
The more calls they receive the louder our voice (squeaky wheel gets the grease!) and the more power they see in our (the LGBT and allies) community. Of course Power equals Respect – and we deserve that!
Gov. Palin can still reconsider signing our proclamation. I suggest calling and emailing the general number and email:
Suggested draft email to copy and paste to the Governor. Please take a few moments to contact Palin's office in Alaska:
Dear Governor Palin,
I was disappointed to learn that you have refused to sign Alaskans Together for Equality’s proclamation for National Coming Out Day. You have told us that you have gay friends and I appreciated your desire to voice your ‘tolerance’ for gay Americans during the Vice Presidential candidate’s debate last week.
Our proclamation would not cost the state any money nor make any changes in state law. But the symbolism of this action – rejection – in this case is (unfortunately) meaningful.
I am saddened that you have declined this opportunity to demonstrate your tolerance and basic acceptance for gay Alaskans - including your dear friends. I hope you will reconsider.
Finally, here is the release from Alaskans Together for Equality, which I hope you'll spread far and wide:
October 9, 2008
Media Contact: Tim Stallard, Vice President, Alaskans Together for Equality, (907) 347-2214, firstname.lastname@example.org
PALIN DECLINES TO ACKNOWLEDGE “NATIONAL COMING OUT DAY”
GAY ALASKANS DISMAYED BY GOVERNOR’S REBUFF
(Juneau, AK) --- Gov. Palin has declined to issue a formal proclamation recognizing “National Coming Out Day,” in Alaska. Heartened by the Gov. Palin’s positive comments about gays and lesbians in the Vice Presidential Debate, Alaskans Together submitted a formal request to acknowledge the day, which is observed on Oct. 11th internationally by members of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered) communities and supporters.
“But I also want to clarify, if there’s any kind of suggestion at all from my answer that I would be anything but tolerant of adults in America choosing their partners, choosing relationships that they deem best for themselves, you know…,” said Gov. Palin during the debate.
“Governor Palin called for ‘tolerance’, and we hoped she’d show that type of leadership as Governor with this proclamation,” said Alaskans Together President Marsha Buck. “Coming out is a difficult and deserves recognition.”
So far in October 2008 Governor Palin has issued proclamations for: “Careers in Construction Week,” “10th Annual Christian Heritage Week,” “Biomedical Technician Week,” “Alaska Taiwan Friendship Week,” “World Farm Animals Day,” “Breastfeeding Awareness Month,” and “Grand Opening of Rilke Schule Day.”
“We were asking for the Governor to acknowledge and recognize the dignity of openly-gay Alaskans. We weren’t asking for a policy position, beyond simple acknowledgement.” Buck said.
Here is the language of the proclamation that Mooselini is too scared to sign:
WHEREAS, National Coming Out Day is an internationally-observed awareness day for coming out and discussion about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT”) issues, observed on October 11 by members of the LGBT communities, their families friends and allies,
WHEREAS, National Coming Out Day was founded in 1988 to celebrate the Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1987, in which 500,000 people marched on our nation's Capital for the purpose of raising awareness of the LGBT community in America,
WHEREAS, National Coming Out Day is an effort to put real human faces on the LGBT rights movement, so that the American people become more aware that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals can be found among their own families, friends, business associates, fellow church-goers, and every other part of American society,
WHEREAS, in every state of the union, the diversity of the American people is mirrored in the LGBT community, members of whom can be found in every faith, ethnic group, profession, in the military and clergy, and every age group from young people to elders,
WHEREAS, coming out has been recognized by many Americans as a vital and often life-saving step for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons, making it possible for them to be fully honest with their families, friends and associates about who they really are,
WHEREAS, coming out is an opportunity for the closeted individual to find dignity, empowerment and self-respect, as well as tolerance and loving support by other human beings, which cannot be found in the loneliness and self-denial of the closet,
WHEREAS, Alaska has its own vibrant LGBT community, which contributes richly to the vigor and diversity of this great state and is active in every area of Alaskan life, from civil rights work and HIV prevention programs, through youth support organizations like PFLAG and churches like the Metropolitan Community Church, as well as publications, businesses, and contributions in the arts,
WHEREAS, Alaska has a tradition of rugged and pioneering individualism, as well as tolerance for those who are different, going back to its earliest days as a territory, and the LGBT community of Alaska are a part of that tradition,
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sarah Palin, Governor of the state of Alaska, do hereby proclaim October 11, 2008 as:
National Coming Out Day
In Alaska, in recognition of the importance of respect for the humanity and dignity of all LGBT Alaskans living among us.
Dated: ------------------, 2008