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Anchorage, Alaska equal rights ordinance public hearing today

The Anchorage Assembly is taking public testimony today on a revised and watered down version of the ordinance to add “sexual orientation” to the city’s nondiscrimination policy. The revision, AO 2009-64(S), strengthens the religious and business exemptions and states that the ordinance “does not apply to discrimination because of one’s biological gender in matters such as access to restrooms…”

“Biological gender”? “Such as”?

The original ordinance was fully inclusive and supported by the Anchorage LGBT community. Equality Works rejects the added bathroom language saying, “We sincerely hope [for] an ordinance that respects everyone’s right to safe use of public restrooms and is based on facts rather than fiction and fear.”

But opponents to the ordinance live on fiction and fear. The response from Rev. Prevo’s site was immediate:

“NEW!!! A revised version of the sexual orientation ordinance has been released by the acting Mayor. Supposedly, it is to prevent some of the problems we have raised. However, the term “sexual orientation” is not acceptable in any discrimination ordinance. The first ordinance shows what the homosexual movement really wants. We must say NO to the inclusion of homosexuality in any discrimination ordinance. Please encourage the Assembly to vote NO on this ordinance and do not amend Anchorage’s discrimination ordinance to include homosexuality as an acceptable alternative lifestyle. This will eventually lead to homosexuals wanting to make homosexual marriages legal in Alaska.”

To our allies who thought that an ordinance adding only sexual orientation would be acceptable to Prevo and his followers, the message is clear: They will not accept any LGBT rights. The equal rights ordinance cannot be made acceptable to Rev. Prevo, because gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered human beings are not acceptable to him:

“I can’t minister to these people. I can’t tell them that Jesus Christ died for them and will forgive them just like He will an adulterer or a murderer…”

Prevo admits that he will force a recall vote if the Assembly passes any version of equal protections for gays. He also admits that he will use his pulpit to ruin the careers of Assembly members who resist his control of the city.

Come tell the Assembly that we support a fair and inclusive ordinance, and encourage them to stand firm against Prevo.

Attend the public hearing today, Tuesday June 9, 5 p.m. at Loussac Library in Anchorage, and testify in favor of an inclusive nondiscrimination policy. Arrive early, and wear blue. See you there!  

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