In a letter to the editor of the Anchorage Daily News, the Anchorage Firefighters Union Local 1264 officially announced their opposition to Prop 1, an attempt to repeal existing nondiscrimination protections for transgender people in our city.
Mike Stumbaugh, union president, made clear that Proposition 1 would be nothing more than government-sanctioned discrimination.
“Proposition 1 would force government-mandated discrimination on the citizens of Anchorage. Based on the long record of discrimination, we know that it would lead to more bullying, assaults and other violence. Why? Because discriminatory proposals like Proposition 1 send the clear and odious message that it is OK to target one group of Alaskans for persecution.”
Stumbaugh also addressed the myth that Prop 1 is a public safety issue, noting that previous testimony from Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll indicated that in the two years nondiscrimination protections have been in place, there has been no uptick in public safety incidents.
“While backers of Prop. 1 claim they’re advocating for public safety, nothing could be further from the truth. In the 200-plus cities and 18 states with laws nearly identical to Anchorage’s non-discrimination law, the results have been the same: Protecting transgender people is not a threat to public safety — here in Anchorage or anywhere else in the country.”
Other safety advocates have also come out in opposition to Prop 1; most notably, Keeley Olson, the executive director of Standing Up Against Rape, Anchorage’s leading group providing assistance and support to victims of sexual violence.
Stumbaugh also pointed out in his letter the damaging effect passing Prop 1 would have on students in Anchorage’s schools. Anchorage school Superintendent Dr. Deena Bishop has already gone on record as saying the ballot measure is unnecessary and unenforceable. Organizations such as the Alaska Children’s Trust have previously warned that the harmful messaging being disseminated by our opponents is already having a negative impact on children.
“If Proposition 1 passes, it would also repeal protections for transgender students in Anchorage schools — encouraging bullying and harassment against our most vulnerable young people. We should never send the message that discrimination or violence is acceptable against any group of people. Far from making restrooms safer, Prop. 1 would put students and other Alaskans at risk of discrimination and assault.”
Fair Anchorage thanks the Firefighters Union and President Stambaugh for their support, and for stating what we’ve known all along: Prop 1 is unnecessary, and nothing more than a license to discriminate against transgender people.