...........SOMEBODY NEEDS TO SAY IT! Headline Animator

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


August 18, 2009.
By a 7-4 vote, the Anchorage Assembly approved an ordinance banning discrimination in that city on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, The
Anchorage Daily News reported on Tuesday, August 11 2009. The vote capped two months of public meetings on a so-called “controversial issue that has engaged the community for a generation.” The Assembly itself debated for most of an hour that day, displaying emotion and passion not often seen in the chambers.

Alaska LGBT rights organization Equality Works' supporters gather at town hall meeting on Loussac lawn for Anchorage anti-discrimination ordinance hearing, July 2009 photo
The majority fell one vote short of reaching the 8-vote super-majority needed to override a mayoral veto. Mayor Dan Sullivan said before the vote he had not decided if he would take that step. He had seven days to decide.

Photo of assemblyman and equality foe Bill Starr during LGBT rights ordinance hearings July 21, 2009

Assembly members Chris Birch and Bill Starr said they weren’t convinced that discrimination against gays and lesbians is a problem in Anchorage. "I don't see signs that say, 'No Gays Allowed,' " Starr said. "We have a tolerant and diverse community that generally gets along," he said.

Photo of activist Jackie Buckley testifying in favor of gay rights ordinance 7-21-09

After the vote, Jackie Buckley, an organizer for Equality Works, a group that pushed for passage, said she was "very glad that the Assembly has seen there is a problem" that needed to be addressed. "It was a clear majority," she said. "We hope the mayor will do the right thing."

Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan shakes the hand of crony Sarah Palin, May 2009 photo

But yesterday, Monday, August 17, Mayor Dan Sullivan vetoed the ordinance that would’ve banned discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people in Anchorage. In a statement, Sullivan said he saw no need for the measure. "My review shows that there is clearly a lack of quantifiable evidence necessitating this ordinance," the Mayor said. "My review also shows that the vast majority of those who communicated their position on the ordinance are in opposition." I guess Alaska’s still living in the dark ages, after all. What a disappointment!

Photo of wild native lavender Prairie Verbena (verbena bipinnatifida) a.k.a. Dakota Vervain from the author's free flower photo website http://www.freefishcaretips.com/photos17

Also visit http://www.galechesterwhittington.com/ for free humor, short stories, poems, and book excerpts from the award-winning gay author

==copyright 2009==

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