Group Petitions For Discrimination Ban
"One Anchorage" begins their push to put the question back in the public eye: Should Anchorage ban discrimination based on sexual orientation?
Next spring, local voters might see a familiar question on their municipal ballots: Should Anchorage ban discrimination based on sexual orientation?
The question was put before the Anchorage Assembly in 2009, sparking weeks of public debate before it was ultimately vetoed by Mayor Dan Sullivan.
Yesterday, a group called One Anchorage began their push to put the question back in the public eye, this time in the form of a ballot measure in April.
"Everybody thinks this is a gay issue, and it's more then that," said Trevor Storrs, a spokesman for One Anchorage. "It's a community issue, and we have people from both sides."
Storrs said it all boils down to providing legal protection for everyone, particularly in regards to housing and employment issues.
"Many of us throughout the community feel that people should lose their jobs for nothing more than work performance," Storrs said. "Nothing else."
But Jim Minnery, president of the Alaska Family Council, said he doesn't believe it's a situation that merits a legal protection.
"It's not about discrimination, it's not about people who are filled with hatred, that are kicking people out of their jobs because they are gay," Minnery said. "It doesn't happen."
Minnery said there isn't any justification for a new ordinance, and challenged One Anchorage to show proof of discrimination.
"It has nothing to do with hatred, it has nothing to do with bigotry," Minnery said. "It has nothing to do with anything other then a very small, vocal number of activists in the gay and lesbian community who want to change law in order to require everyone to affirm their lifestyle."
One Anchorage needs 6,000 signatures to put the measure on the ballot, and Storrs said they're prepared to release hard numbers, proving discrimination based on sexual orientation happens across the state.
"In three to four weeks, we will be realizing what discrimination does happen within the gay and transgender community," Storrs said. "The Anchorage community can now what's going on and again, support the concept of same legal protection for all."