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November 23, 2014

“One Anchorage” Takes the Case for LGBT Rights to the People

Last week, an organization called Equality Works launched the One Anchorage Campaign for a ballot initiative to be voted on by Anchorage residents in the Spring 2012 Municipal Election. The initiative would add sexual orientation and transgender identity to the Municipality’s Equal Rights Code.

Per the Press Release from Equality Works:

One Anchorage Files Initiative Application for Legal Protections

The One Anchorage campaign filed an application this morning with the Anchorage Municipal Clerk’s Office to place an initiative on the April 2012 ballot asking voters to include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Alaskans in the same legal protections already provided to women and minorities in employment, housing, and public businesses.

Arliss Sturgulewski, a former state senator and Republican gubernatorial candidate is the Initiative Sponsor and Co-Chair of the One Anchorage Campaign. Former Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles is the Alternate Sponsor and campaign Co-Chair. Other Sponsors include Alaska Constitutional Convention delegate Vic Fischer, former First Alaskans Institute President & CEO Janie Leask, the Rev. Michael Burke of Anchorage’s St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, and leaders of Alaska’s LGBT community.

“In Alaska, we have a live and let live attitude,” said Sturgulewski “However, under current laws, a woman could be fired from her job solely because she is a lesbian. No one should live in fear that they can be fired for reasons having nothing to do with their job performance.”

Co-sponsor Rev. Burke added: “In Anchorage, we believe that all residents should be treated fairly and equally by our laws. This initiative ensures that gay and transgender Alaskans who work hard and play by the rules will have the exact same legal protections as other Anchorage residents.”

The initiative contains the same language from Ordinance 64 which passed the Assembly 7 to 4 back in 2009, only to be vetoed by Mayor Dan Sullivan. It lacked only one vote to override that veto.

I must admit, when I first heard about the possibility of Anchorage residents actually voting on the civil rights for a group of individuals…I didn’t like it at all. However, over the last few months I’ve talked with those working on the campaign. I’ve participated in community meetings and have seen overwhelming support for an initiative. Surprisingly, I’ve seen folks who felt the same way I did make a transition over time to that of faith in the Anchorage voters and support for the Campaign. Even more surprising, I find myself joining them.

I’ve testified and participated in the last two Ordinance attempts through the Anchorage Assembly (1992 and 2009), both of which won initially but were overturned. It is long past due for the Anchorage LGBT Community to be able to feel secure that they cannot be asked to leave a job simply for whom they love. It is shameful that LGBT couples can be asked to leave their homes because they live together. It’s time to have these protections as part of the code. And let’s not forget, this same protection extends to heterosexuals who might find themselves discriminated against because they are straight.

This is only the beginning of the Campaign and I hope to keep you up to date as things develop. I hope that many of you will choose to participate!

Comments

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Comments
24 Responses to ““One Anchorage” Takes the Case for LGBT Rights to the People”
  1. leenie17 says:

    Why hasn’t this kind of legislation been on the books for decades?

    Why, in 2011, is this even an issue?

    Sigh…

  2. leenie17 says:

    Why hasn’t this kind of legislation been on the books for decades?

    Why, in 2011, is this even an issue?

  3. Laura Novak says:

    Sharing the love about my novel that the Anchorage, indeed any and all, LGBT community might really enjoy. It’s a valentine to those who are often overlooked or scrutinized too closely in our lives. Or as Stephen King said: “Fiction is the truth inside the lie.” Please check it out and pass it on.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005HRNIUK

    Peace and fairness to all. Laura

    • beth says:

      ==chuckle… of all the active threads on the ‘flats today, this one would probably be the most difficult to robo-promo a new book on. It was selected for the robo-promo nonetheless.

      I surely hope “the Anchorage” is duly impressed and “indeed any and all, LGBT community might really enjoy”. What a hoot! beth.

  4. LibertyLover says:

    What has a cousin of Brian the Moose been getting himself into?

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/fjelstud/drunk-moose-gets-himself-stuck-in-tree

  5. Zyxomma says:

    Good luck, Anchorage LGBT community. I know you’re up against the Prevo machine, and wish you well defeating it.

    • John says:

      Good luck to all of us. Protecting the rights of one group helps protect the rights of all. “First they came for the communists, and i said nothing because i was not a communist……”

  6. beth says:

    And the mega-bucks specifically designated to defeat such measures will again start rolling into Anchorage in five, four, three…

    For the life of me. I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that [otherwise] sane, kind, friendly people would *go out of their way* to prevent enacting a measure designed to strenthen the resolve to be non-discriminatory of all peoples in all areas. I know they do, though; we’ve seen it happen time and time again. beth.

    • GoI3ig says:

      Sad but true. That is what I was alluding to in my original post. The Prevo-machine will go in to overdrive.

    • ks sunflower says:

      Yeah, and what truly, deeply disgusts me is that the majority of those who support anti-LGBT laws will claim to be Christian. They only people they are fooling are themselves; they don’t have clue one about their faith.

  7. John says:

    What we need is a popular restaurant that suddenly starts offering discounts to LGBT customers. Other stores doing the same. After all, if it isn’t illegal to discriminate against LGBT, then it is not illegal to discriminate against the hetero community. Show people what it is like to be treated differently for no rationally reason.

    • AlaskanAmber says:

      That hasn’t helped the younger generations. In fact when I was in high school (I graduated in 2006) there were fellow students who were furious that there were scholarships specifically to those who were part of the LGBT community. And there is a very strict right wing group of students who want the GSA club and scholarships at UAA to end becuase they say it isn’t fair that there aren’t scholarships for people just for being straight and they aren’t allowed to have a club just for straight people and get all the funding and benefits of being a club. One of them even started bad mouthing the ICOAA scholarship (a scholarship through a private LGBT organization) because when they base their scoring off of community service and financial need they give preference to those whose service has been within some are of the LGBT community.

    • ks sunflower says:

      That is a novel and intriguing concept, though I am not sure that the homophobes would understand the point. Their acceptable intelligence level is seriously in question.

  8. lovemydogs says:

    Good Luck to this cause. However, Alaska being a “right to work” state, each of us can be “let go” without any reason at all. I support non-discrimination period, no matter which group we are talking about.

    • Stephen Gingrich says:

      ‘Right to Work’ legislation has never been passed by the Ak Legislature. That is anti-union, not specifically LGBT related.

      You are correct there is no protection statewide for LGBT employees.

  9. ks sunflower says:

    To all the brave and dedicated people in this campaign: thank you! We shall all try to make sure your vision becomes reality. The time for division is coming to an end; we really are in this thing called life together and it is past time for us to behave accordingly. Good luck and best wishes! So proud of you.

  10. jimzmum says:

    Linda, thank you for your post. I do so hope the voters of Anchorage come together to turn away the awfulness, and allow ALL peoples the rights of all.

  11. GoI3ig says:

    Jim Minnery, Jerry Prevo and their army of wing nuts with soon be mobilized. I bet they do anything they can to keep this from the ballot.

    Sullivan must be turning red. (at least he’ll match his T-shirt)

    • Stephen Gingrich says:

      The Prevoites can’t very well keep keep it from the ballot. It would require a judge to rule there is something improper about it. The wording is substantially similar to what was already passed by the assembly. There are some changes in the wording re gender identity. (It is trans inclusive, just re-worded slightly)

      The Assembly possibly could keep it off the ballot, by passing something substantially similar, and Sullivan not vetoing it, if he wished to keep it off the ballot.

      • GoI3ig says:

        I figure they will try any kind of tomfoolery they can muster. Competing ballot measures. Who knows? Remember when the wing nuts flooded the Senate race with fake write in candidates? They will stop at nothing.

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