Palin church promotes gay-conversion event
Gov. Sarah Palin's church is promoting a conference that promises to convert gays into heterosexuals through prayer.
Sept. 6, 2008
By The Associated Press
ANCHORAGE — Gov. Sarah Palin's church is promoting a conference that promises to convert gays into heterosexuals through prayer.
"You'll be encouraged by the power of God's love and his desire to transform the lives of those impacted by homosexuality," according to the insert in the bulletin of Wasilla Bible Church, where Palin has prayed for about six years.
Palin's conservative Christian views have energized that part of the GOP electorate, which was lukewarm to John McCain's candidacy before he named her as his vice-presidential choice. She is anti-abortion, opposing exceptions for rape and incest, and opposes gay marriage and spousal rights for gay couples.
Focus on the Family, a Christian fundamentalist organization, is conducting the "Love Won Out" Conference in Anchorage, which is about 30 miles from Wasilla.
Palin has not publicly expressed a view on the "pray away the gay" movement.
Larry Kroon, senior pastor at Palin's church, had no comment.
Gay activists in Alaska said Palin has not worked actively against their interests, but early in her administration she supported a bill to overrule a court decision to block state benefits for gay partners of public employees. At the time, less than one-half of 1 percent of state employees had applied for the benefits, which were ordered by a 2005 ruling by the Alaska Supreme Court.
Palin reversed her position and vetoed the bill after the state attorney general said it was unconstitutional.
But her reluctant support didn't win fans among Alaska's gay population, said Scott Turner, a gay activist in Anchorage.
"Less than 1 percent of state employees would even apply for benefits, so why make a big deal out of such a small number?" he said.