September 29, 2015

Just before midnight, the Anchorage Assembly passed AO-96, an ordinance updating Anchorage's non-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity, by an overwhelming majority of 9-2. Anchorage is now the first city in Alaska to protect all its residents from discrimination and unfair treatment on the basis of who they are or who they love.

Since the ordinance was announced in August, we have been busy working with our partner organizations and grassroots activists to hone the initial language into a strong, fully-inclusive law, train Anchorage residents on how to deliver effective, moving testimony, and flood Assembly-members inboxes with calls and emails urging them to vote in favor of AO-96. Our efforts were successful: after 2 nights of testimony, 3 different versions, and 17 proposed amendments, the Assembly said loud and clear that discrimination is not an Anchorage value.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
September 29, 2015
 
Alaskans Together for Equality, Identity, American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska, Pride Foundation, and the Human Rights Campaign jointly released the following statement in regards to the recently passed non-discrimination ordinance:
 
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — With today’s passage of a strong and fair nondiscrimination ordinance through the Anchorage Assembly, we have taken yet another step forward to living up to the Alaskan values of fairness and treating others as we would all want to be treated. We thank Assembly Members Evans and Flynn for the collaborative and constructive conversation they started, which resulted in a critically important ordinance that protects everyone, including our gay and transgender neighbors, from discrimination. We also thank all the assembly members who voted in favor of this ordinance as well as Mayor Berkowitz for his leadership from the very beginning.
 
Anchorage now lives up to the Constitution’s best traditions of fairness and freedom from discrimination. We have joined the vanguard of over 200 cities that say you should not be fired or lose your home simply based on who you are or whom you love. While Anchorage is the first city in Alaska with these protections, it will not be the last.
 
There may be some who will want to put this to a divisive initiative or referendum vote. As for us, we will move forward continuing our constructive conversations with Republican, Democrat, and Independent voters about why these protections are so important.
 
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