Former Alaska Governor Tony Knowles has endorsed a measure which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Anchorage Equal Rights Initiative.

The Democratic Knowles served as the seventh governor of Alaska from December 1994 to December 2002.

During a press conference held Thursday, Knowles, 69, criticized opponents of the measure for running “dehumanizing” ads.

“As many people predicted, here in the last days of the campaign ads on the Internet and Facebook against Proposition 5 have taken an ugly turn. They depict unacceptably offensive and intentionally stigmatizing distorted cartoons of gay and transgender individuals. Such dehumanizing stereotypes do not represent the values that we share as a community,” Knowles told reporters.

In one 30-second ad from Protect Your Rights – Vote No On Prop 5 titled Daycare, 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.”

Knowles' three Republican successors – Frank Murkowski, Sarah Palin and Sean Parnell – have not spoken on the measure.

The Anchorage Assembly approved a similar ordinance in 2009, but it was vetoed by Mayor Dan Sullivan. Voters will decide the issue on Tuesday.

(Related: Anchorage gay protections Prop 5 passing, poll says.)