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No “Dead Queers” means No Discrimination: Anchorage, AK Ordinance 64

BREAKING: Mayor Sullivan gave in to the religious fanatics today and VETOED Ordinance 64, the LGBT anti-discrimination measure: “As elected officials, we are charged with reflecting the will of the community in our decisions, particularly in the absence of compelling data that would supersede that will. Therefore, I hereby veto AO2009-64(S-2) as amended.” No justice for queers in Anchorage, Alaska. The Assembly has 21 days to override the veto. Contact the Assembly at


What is the Anchorage anti-gay lobby saying about the passage of Ordinance 64, the trans-inclusive nondiscrimination measure passed by the Assembly last week? One conservative blogger wrote:

“[Assembly members] Chris Birch and Bill Starr said they had not been convinced that discrimination against gays and lesbians is a problem in Anchorage. “I don’t see signs that say, ‘No Gays Allowed,’. We have a tolerant and diverse community that generally gets along,” he said. Birch also bemoaned the amount of time devoted to this issue, saying he would rather have devoted the time to determine how to better deal with the homeless problem. This is a valid point, since we are not finding dead queers on our streets, but dead homeless people. (emphasis mine)

Is that what it takes: “dead queers” on our streets? We don’t even know if there are “dead queers,” since no state or city agency collects data on anti-gay discrimination. And if the 3 reported anti-gay murders and dozens of attacks and harassment incidents are not enough evidence, how many “dead queers” will be necessary before the city admits there is discrimination against gays?

Homelessness is a serious problem in Anchorage, one that deserves more attention. But there is no point in blaming ordinance supporters for the 25 long hours of testimony to the Assembly. It was the opponents’ strategy to delay the vote, by getting hundreds of church members to testify from as far away as Wasilla.

The local blogger, who lists a dozen white supremacist groups on his blogroll, also calls supporters of Ordinance 64 “abusive.” He assumes that a ballot measure to repeal the ordinance, if the Mayor does not veto it by Tuesday, will pass because:

The gay-lovers may be the most vocal and the most abusive, but they are not the most numerous.”

Bent Alaska attended the public hearings and watched in disbelief while dozens of anti-gay opponents shouted and insulted and threatened and preached hellfire at the Assembly members each night. They won the “most abusive” label, hands down.

Meanwhile, Pastor Prevo of the Anchorage Baptist Temple is keeping up the pressure on Mayor Sullivan, using his pulpit to rally the troops and flood the city with calls and letters:

“The Gay Rights Ordinance, 2009-64(s-2), is bad public policy. It will make homosexuality and transgender (which is any form of sexual perversion) an acceptable alternative lifestyle. It is ridiculous to provide special rights for people who chose to engage in immoral, unnatural, perverted sexual activity. Do they have the right to do it? Yes, but we should not be forced to condone it. Homosexuality is a diseased and depraved lifestyle. Young people do not need to be made to think it is an “ok” lifestyle.” (emphasis mine)

Prevo’s sermon “Did Jesus Discriminate?” preached against the equal rights ordinance, calling gays a long list of names, saying “you can’t be both” gay and Christian, and claiming that Jesus did discriminate, sometimes violently. Part 2 of the sermon video is posted on Bent Alaska.

Mayor Sullivan has through Tuesday to veto the ordinance or it becomes Anchorage law. Many businesses support the measure, including CIRI, the Alaska Native Regional Corporation for the Anchorage area.

If you haven’t already, please ask Mayor Sullivan to support Ordinance 64: Call (907) 343-7170 or (907) 343-7100, or email him at mayor(at)muni(dot)org.

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