Anchorage Equal Rights for Gays and Transgenders Ordinance is Ramping Up
People on both sides of the issue say there's unfair discrimination going on
The campaign over the initiative to include members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community in the city's equal rights ordinance is ramping up.
There's a new endorsement and a new group forming.
People on both sides of the issue say there's unfair discrimination going on.
The Alaska Public Employees Association (APEA) is throwing its weight behind the "One Anchorage" campaign, in favor of the gay rights initiative to offer protections in housing, employment and business.
"As part of the Alaska labor movement one of our hallmarks or tenets, of our beliefs, is fair and equitable treatment for all,” said APEA board member Duane Moran.
He said the tide of history continues to break down barriers to equal rights.
"We had a civil war, where there was an emancipation proclamation. You know, later in time, women were granted the right to vote. You know, that's something we take for granted now, but that's not always been the case.”
But a group is forming to fight the initiative.
It's called Protect Your Rights.
And an organizer said it's about potential harassment of those who hold a traditional view of sexuality.
"Say a bed and breakfast owner that may have a room or half of their home downstairs would be required by the full force of the law to rent that place out to a same-sex couple, even though it may violate their religious beliefs to do so," said Jim Minnery of the Alaska Family Council.
Minnery said the initiative is simply not necessary in Anchorage because most businesses would not refuse to serve anyone because of sexual orientation.
"We think it's a very tolerant place, and that gays and lesbians actually have every opportunity that they do in any other part of the country, in fact, probably more so. We think Anchorage is a very tolerant community."
So while there might be one Anchorage, there are two ways of looking at it.