Supporters of Proposition 5, which
would expand Anchorage's anti-discrimination law, have criticized an
ad released by opponents, calling it “dehumanizing.”
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.
In the 30-second ad titled Daycare
and released on Friday, an animated day care owner is forced to hire
a “transvestite” as horrified parents look on. The cartoon
“transvestite” is drawn to look like an unshaven, hairy chested
man in a short pink dress.
“If she hires him, she risks losing
customers,” a female narrator is heard saying. “And if she
refuses, she can be fined or imprisoned.”
“Anchorage is already a tolerant
city, vote no on Proposition 5,” she adds. (The video is embedded
in the right panel of this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)
Trevor Storrs, a spokesman for the One
Anchorage campaign, called the imagery an “offensive, stigmatizing
and distorted” representative of a transgender person.
“Such distorted cartoons have been
used over and over again in history to dehumanize groups,” Storrs
told reporters during a news conference held on Tuesday.
Jim Minnery, a spokesman for Protect
Your Rights – Vote No On Prop. 5, stood by the ad, telling The
News Tribune that the term “transgender” is loosely
defined in the proposed law.
“I think it's a shocking flaw in
Prop. 5 and shows profound disrespect to voters that the authors
didn't feel it was important to provide a definition of transgender
identity,” he said.
Storrs called on opponents to remove
of Anchorage's gay protections Prop 5 say gay people already