Gay rights opponents in Anchorage claim
expansion of an anti-discrimination law is not needed because LGBT
people are already accepted and are influential.
If approved on April 3, Proposition 5
would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Anchorage
Equal Rights Initiative. Religious organizations would be exempted
from the law. The Anchorage Assembly approved a similar ordinance in
2009, but it was vetoed by Mayor Dan Sullivan.
Jim Minnery, spokesperson for the group
Anchorage – Vote No On Prop 5, and Trevor Storrs, spokesperson
for the Yes
on 5 campaign, debated the measure during a segment on NBC
“I think it's important to remember
that this issue is not about whether a gay or lesbian or transgender
person can go into McDonalds or to walk into a bank and get a loan,”
Minnery said. “Because in our view, and I think it's a good thing,
gays and lesbians and transgendered are more accepted in society than
any other time in history. It's absolutely astonishing to think that
they're positioning themselves as a marginalized group when they have
more power in relation to the size of their population and more
influence and more affirmation than any other time in history. It's
a little bit disingenuous in our view to say that we're being
maligned and discriminated against in similar ways to the civil
Storrs disagreed, saying absolutely
people are being discriminated against.
“Anchorage is a wonderful place, but
we are not perfect. As a person who is part of this community, I
personally have been discriminated against. I have several friends.
I had a friend who sat in an interview and the guy looked directed at
him, because he knew of his sexual orientation, and said to him, “We
don't hire your kind,” and the interview was done,” he said.
the entire debate at KTUU.com.)