The morning after the Democratic Party nominates its first black presidential candidate, John McCain and the Republicans shake up the election. McCain has chosen as his running mate Sarah Palin, former beauty queen and the obscure governor of Alaska, as the party's first female vice presidential nominee. Although only holding state-wide office for less than two years, Palin "has already shown that she is a fierce opponent" of gay and lesbian rights.
Prior to being elected governor, Palin supported the 1998 amendment to Alaska's constitution banning same-sex marriage. The new governor also supported a ballot question that sought to deny benefits to the domestic partners of public employees, which was ordered by the Alaska Supreme Court. Palin's first legislative act as Governor of Alaska was to "put the issue on the April 2007 ballot for a non-binding advisory vote. This was the only issue on the ballot and that election cost the state taxpayers $1.2 million."
Palin is a favorite of social conservative, anti-gay "pro-family groups" such as Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council. Palin is strongly pro-life and gave birth to a child with Down's Syndrome, making her somewhat of a hero to the anti-choice crowd. When asked about the right-wing’s reaction to the choice of Palin, The New York Times quoted Ralph Reed, the anti-gay former head of the Christian Coalition as saying, "They’re beyond ecstatic."