Many Gays Have No Problem with Palin

For a moment those who sat with me at the Pajamas TV booth at the Republican convention must have thought I was crazy. Soon after reading an e-mail from a left-leaning lesbian friend with whom I almost always lock horns on matters political, I had to share the news -- with anyone who would listen. This outspoken woman had informed me that for the first time in "30 years" she'd be voting Republican, in large measure because of her enthusiasm for Sarah Palin.

She has a brother in Alaska where they're impressed with their Republican governor. "Love that woman," my friend gushed.

My friend is not the only gay person enthusiastic about John McCain's running mate. Nearly all the readers of my blog are excited about her nomination. Some have even been pushing her as potential vice-presidential pick since the summer of 2007.

Shortly after John McCain announced his choice, a reader from northwest Ohio wrote that the “overwhelming consensus” at a local gay bar “was extremely positive.” Gay and lesbian readers across the country agree.

To be sure, those who were already disposed to vote for Obama weren’t pleased with the pick, citing her membership in a church which promotes a Focus on the Family conference "dealing with the so-called curing of homosexuality" as proof that she's no friend of gays.

But most of my readers were enthusiastic about Sarah Palin. To be sure, a couple McCain supporters expressed some unease about the Alaska governor, concerned that we may learn something which might upset the initial positive impression they have.

However, those gay people who know her best, men and women who live in the Land of the Midnight Sun, are delighted about Palin’s nomination. Eric DeLand, an openly gay man who lives in the Kenai area, said even Democrats and independents like her: “They may not agree with her on everything, but they agree with enough; they’re happy with McCain’s decision to pick Sarah.”

Erich says the governor knows him -- and knows he’s gay. That hasn’t changed her treatment of him. She’s always been respectful. Indeed, he offers, “I’ve never seen her mistreat anyone for being gay or for whatever.”

Alaskans, he points out, are pretty libertarian: “You live your life and I live mine; we’ll all just get along.”