Anchorage, Alaska Mayor Dan Sullivan
vetoed a gay protections bill on Monday, NBC affiliate KTUU reported.
City leaders passed the measure that
bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender
identity (transgender protections) in the areas of employment,
housing and credit by a 7 to 4 vote last week. The ordinance
exempted religious organizations from the regulations.
An override of the mayor's veto would
require 8 votes.
Final passage came after months of
debate and numerous revisions. One draft turned the bill on its
head, allowing discrimination based on sexual orientation, while
protecting other classes.
Hundreds of opponents piled in to
testify against the bill in June, stalling lawmakers from voting on
the measure until after Republican Mayor Sullivan was installed on
July 1. Most objected to the measure on religious grounds.
Sarah Erkmann, the mayor's spokeswoman,
said on Sunday that he had been “inundated” with emails and phone
calls about the measure.
The mayor announced his decision in a
press release, and declined interviews on Monday.