A bipartisan group of more than 110 Anchorage community leaders have announced that they oppose Proposition 1, the ballot measure that would repeal Anchorage’s two-year-old transgender nondiscrimination law.
“Proposition 1 is one of the most divisive, harmful initiatives I’ve seen on the ballot in our beloved city,” said Arliss Sturgulewski, a former Republican state Senator who served for nearly 15 years. “Other cities have passed initiatives like Prop 1, and we have seen the consequence: businesses, tourists, and major events went elsewhere. This spring we have a chance to learn from their mistakes. We’ll say loud and clear that although Anchorage is welcoming, we do not welcome discrimination.”
Bill Evans, the Republican Assembly member who authored Anchorage’s nondiscrimination law, said, “There have been no problems associated with bathroom use the past two years. Do not abandon this common-sense, realistic and workable approach. Vote NO on Prop 1.”
“Proposition 1 is about vilifying a group of people who are different,” said Ron McGee, former spokesperson of the Anchorage Police Department. “We all know these people; they are our sons and daughters, the kid who grew up down the street from us, or that young person who just got hired at your work. I choose to love these people, not make them into outcasts. That’s why I’m voting no against Proposition 1 on April 3.”
“If there were public safety problems from the law, I would support changes,” said Paul Honeman, former APD police officer and former Anchorage Assembly member. “But it is extremely clear that Anchorage has not had safety problems from our equality ordinance.”
“Proposition 1 is unethical and unnecessary,” said Andrew Halcro, former Republican state legislator. “I find it absolutely insulting.”
Earlier this week, the Anchorage Education Association, the largest organization of teachers in Alaska with more than 13,000 members, announced its opposition to Proposition 1, stating that it would harm students and leave them feeling unsafe in school. Dr. Deena Bishop, superintendent of Anchorage City Schools, also added her voice to the chorus of opposition. More than 40 faith leaders have called the initiative “discriminatory and harmful” to transgender people in Anchorage. Anchorage’s leading experts working on behalf of safety and privacy for women are also opposing Proposition 1.