In a few weeks, Anchorage, Alaska may finally pass a law protecting LGBT people from job and housing discrimination.
Proposition Five is the fifth time local folks have tried to get such basic protections into local law and after gaining a huge number of signatures and widespread and bipartisan support, including from many churches, polls suggest they may win come April 3.
As Dan Savage reports though, past experience warns that local opponents will try anything to defeat such protections. He writes:
One Anchorage reps are bracing themselves for the inevitable fear-mongering that will target trans[gender] people and the trans-inclusive language in their initiative. When similar initiatives were on the ballot in in Kalamazoo, Mich., and Gainesville, Fla., the haters ran television ads at the last minute that showed men following little girls into public restrooms and distributed flyers with pictures of men in dresses that said the law would “require” schools to hire these men to teach your children. Those ads are coming to Anchorage.
Voters in Kalamazoo and Gainesville extended civil rights protections to their LGBT citizens because the pro-gay campaigns in those cities were able to get on TV with ads calling bullshit on the haters and refuting their lies.
Linda Kellen Biegel of the Mudflats blog reported from a local voters forum where Alaska Family Council’s Jim Minnery spoke against Prop Five and linked it to the so-called “health-care war on religion.” Minnery’s group is receiving extensive help and funding from outside Alaska.
In her video (Biegel apologizes for any shakiness as Minnery’s comments made her so angry), we also see Pro-Proposition advocate Jeff Mittman deftly counter Minnery’s argument by discussing the 45 Faith Leaders (Christians for Equality) who have joined together to support Proposition 5, including the Episcopal Bishop Lattime, leader of the Episcopal Diocese of Anchorage.
To support Anchorage locals organizing from Prop Five go here.
Picture by yksin