When Obama endorsed legal gay marriage this week, he cited his daughters Sasha and Malia as factors in his evolving stance, noting that some of their friends have gay parents in admirably committed relationships. That was enough to provoke Bristol Palin, who fired off a blog post chiding Obama for being influenced by what “teenagers think after one too many episodes of Glee.” Instead, she said, the president should have explained “to Malia and Sasha that, while [their] friends’ parents are no doubt lovely people, that’s not a reason to change thousands of years of thinking about marriage.”
This isn’t the first time Bristol has written an open letter to Obama, nor is it the first time she’s stirred up controversy. Here, a brief history of Palin’s notable flaps:
- February 16, 2009 — In her first interview since giving birth, Bristol tells Fox News that abstinence policies are simply “not realistic at all.”
- May 6, 2009 — Now a pro-abstinence spokesperson, Bristol says on Good Morning America that “regardless of what I did personally, I just think that abstinence is the only… 100 percent foolproof way to prevent pregnancy.” She insists her February statement was taken out of context.
- Jan. 27, 2011 — Washington University in St. Louis disinvites Bristol from a “Sex Week” panel discussion on abstinence. Students had objected to Palin’s keynote speech and, especially, her proposed $20,000 fee. It’s not like she brings a “unique and engaging perspective” to the topic, says Sean Janda at Student Life.
- April 5, 2011 — Tax documents show that, as an abstinence ambassador for the Candie’s Foundation, Bristol earned $262,000 in 2010, while in the same period the foundation spent just $35,000 on grants to health and counseling clinics for pregnant teenagers. “For every dollar Bristol gave to the cause, she gave $7.50 to herself,” says E.D. Kain at Forbes.
- May 3, 2011 — Bristol hits the red carpet at the Candie’s Foundation benefit gala in New York, sporting a new look — or more specifically, a new face. Rumors abound that she had plastic surgery on her nose, chin, jaw, and cheeks. Palin responds that she had medically necessary “corrective jaw surgery” that, along with a liquid diet, incidentally “improved the way I look.”
- Sept. 22, 2011 — Palin gets in a shouting match with a fellow patron at a West Hollywood watering hole. After Bristol falls off the mechanical bull she was riding, a man insults her and her mother, using crass language. Why don’t you like my mom? Bristol shot back. “Is it because you’re a homosexual and that’s why you hate her?”
But wait, there’s more…