Children’s & Domestic Violence Victims Advocates Warn: Prop 1 Rhetoric Harms Anchorage’s Children

By March 9, 2018Blog Post

Three influential non-profit groups in Alaska have recently spoken out against what they view as dangerous political messaging by supporters of Proposition 1 that could have a damaging effect on children, particularly when it comes to issues of discrimination and the culture of fear it creates.

The Alaska Children’s Trust, Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, and The Alaska Children’s Alliance issued a press release on March 8 warning that rhetoric used by backers of the initiative aiming to repeal basic protections for transgender people under Anchorage law is  harming the safety and well-being of Alaska’s children.

One of the main points the groups made sure to emphasize was the myth of transgender people as sexual predators. The release states in part:

“Statistics show where someone chooses to use the restroom has no bearing on a child’s safety. What we do know is that 90% of children know their perpetrator. That means these abusers are trusted friends, family, teachers, coaches and religious leaders. By spreading sensational ads, these groups may actually put our children at greater risk. Our goal is to empower parents with accurate information, and help them identify potential risks and develop the skill set they need to alleviate the dangers. Alaska has one of the highest rates of child abuse and neglect in the nation, and should have a zero-tolerance policy for information that is not based in truth or is not arming families with steps for prevention.”

Ensuring basic protections for transgender people in no way threatens public safety. In the 18 states and 200 cities that have passed nondiscrimination protections—including Anchorage—there has been no uptick in public safety concerns. Anchorage Chief of Police Justin Doll underscored this point last year when speaking before the Anchorage Assembly—saying clearly that his department is not aware of any incidents arising from Anchorage’s non-discrimination law.

Anchorage School District Superintendent Dr. Deena Bishop struck a similar chord when she addressed Prop 1, making it clear that t protections have worked well for the past two years in the school district and that if passed, Prop 1 could not be enforced in Anchorage schools:

“The enforcement of this policy is not possible. We will not stand guard at our restroom doors. So as we move forward and learn what this brings to us, we are keeping student safety in mind. There is nothing in the budget that moves forward anyone to play the role of law enforcement in the restroom.”

Proposition 1 won’t make Anchorage safer—and the experts agree. And as Anchorage voters receive their ballots next week, we’re confident that they, too, will affirm that Proposition 1 is unnecessary and harmful.

For the first time, Anchorage’s Municipal Election is 100% vote-by-mail. Ballots will be mailed on March 13, and must be returned by April 3. Visit our Election Center to learn everything you need to know about the upcoming vote.

Fair Anchorage thanks these non-profits for speaking out against the dangerous messaging our opponents are spreading.