Anchorage voters reject discrimination measure

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April 6, 2012


JUNEAU, Alaska: On April 3, local residents went to the polls to decide a wide variety issues across the country. In the city of Anchorage, a local measure addressed discrimination of gays in the city. The measure was defeated by local residents with 58% of votes against it.

The measure would have prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation from anything to housing to employment. The city already has equal protection rights set as law based on gender, race religion and disabilities, this measure would have added to the current ordinance.

Gay rights activists have been advocating for legal protection since 1976, however the mayor at that time vetoed the proposed ordinance. That ordinance would have granted equal rights based on sexual orientation. A second attempt was made in 2009 to pass another ordinance, but it also was vetoed by the mayor.[1]

This measure was placed on the ballot via a citizen initiated petition drive. Supporters collected 13,515 valid signatures to place the issue on the April 2012 ballot. Supporters said they were hopeful that the initiative would get enough support through outside groups to allow for equal rights.[2]

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