Proposition 5 Initiative Floods Media with Pro and Con Ads
Debate over sexual orientation bill heats up
ANCHORAGE - The debate in Anchorage over whether to add "sexual orientation and transgender" to the city’s anti-discrimination law is heating up.
There are now commercials produced by supporters from both "Vote Yes" and "Vote No" flooding the media.
One Anchorage, the group supporting Proposition 5, said its commercial is meant to represent the broad support the ordinance has in the community.
"The wealth of support that is behind this really is spoken in that commercial, that you see families, individuals, gay, straights, old,” said Trevor Storrs, spokesperson and chair for "Yes on 5."
Storrs said his group has more than 70 businesses and 50 clergy backing the equal rights initiative.
Commercials being run from the Vote No campaign are being met with controversy.
“The opposition is using mistruth in much of what they are putting out,” said Storrs.
Storrs said the commercials are misleading when it shows the characters getting locked up in jail.
"No one has ever gone to jail," said Storrs.
The Equal Rights Commission confirms no case has reached the stage of someone being sentenced.
But as the law currently stands, under Title 5 of the Municipal Code, a person who willfully resists or interferes with the Equal Rights Commission can be convicted by a court and can be punished by a fine of up to $500 and/or up to 30 days in jail.
The "Vote No" campaign says this is the message they are trying to send.
"We aren't using hyperbole; we are just saying that this is what this law can do,” said Jim Minnery, president of Alaska Family Council.
“People haven't been brought to jail or fined because we don't have a sexual orientation law on the books."
"Vote No" supporters said if the law passes they expect to see more discrimination cases brought before court.