Local LGBT Community Cheers President's Gay Marriage Endorsement
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage's LGBT community cheered today's statement by President Obama in favor of same-sex marriage.
Although there is no immediate legal effect from the president's change of heart, this was good political news for local gay rights advocates - especially after their defeat in the April 3 municipal election.
Anchorage voters rejected an initiative to add sexual orientation and identity to the protected classes under the anti-discrimination ordinance.
The president had said his position was evolving, so today's statement was not entirely a surprise.
"We're hoping that now he has officially endorsed it that other states will finally come along and either repeal their constitutional amendments, like we have here in Alaska that was accepted in 1998, repeal those amendments and hopefully move forward in a more progressive manner," said Felix Rivera, co-chair of Alaska PrideFest.
For gay marriage to become legal in Alaska the legislature would have to approve a constitutional amendment by a two-thirds vote of both houses, with ratification in a statewide general election.