Saturday, February 04, 2012

Five Former Anchorage Mayors Publicly Endorse Anchorage Equal Rights Initiative For Gays; Alaska Family Council Fires Back

Ed. Note: All posts about the Anchorage Equal Rights Initiative can be simultaneously viewed HERE, with the most recent post appearing first.

On February 3rd, 2012, five former mayors of Anchorage, Alaska publicly endorsed the Anchorage Equal Rights Initiative, which would amend the Anchorage Municipal Code to bar discrimination against gays in housing and employment. Appearing jointly in person were Jack Roderick (1972-75), Tony Knowles (1981-87), Rick Mystrom (1994-2000), and Matt Claman (interim mayor 2008-09). Appearing by video was U.S. Senator Mark Begich, who served as mayor from 2003-09. All are Democrats except for Mystrom, who professes to be a Republican. Knowles is also a former two-term governor of Alaska.

It's no surprise that Democrats would endorse it; since George McGovern ran for President in 1972, the Democratic Party has nationally become tagged as the party of "fruits and nuts", meaning they're more interested in protected classes than they are in people as individuals. Democrats promote diversity and multiculturalism as end goals rather than a means to a more flexible Americanism. So Mystrom's reaction is of interest because he's a Republican. "This isn't a Democratic thing or a Republican thing, it's just simply the right thing," said Mystrom. Mystrom further explained “if any human being is diminished for any reason, it diminishes us all…if this saves one person, one group, on young person from being bullied, it’s worth it.”

The opposition immediately fired back. Another former mayor, Tom Fink (1987-94), said he wouldn't vote for the ordinance and didn't feel discrimination was a problem in the city. Current Mayor Dan Sullivan has not taken a public position on the initiative, but he was an early proponent of putting it before the people. When Sullivan vetoed the similar Ordinance #64 in 2009, one of his justifications was that such a controversial question could best be decided by voters.

The Alaska Family Council also responded. Officially, Council President Jim Minnery said that he has been lining up support among Alaska legislators and Anchorage Assembly members and had plans to hold a pastors' briefing for local church leaders. Minnery claims that a number of elected officials will come out in support of the Council, and attaches significance to the fact that Dan Sullivan has not endorsed the gay initiative. Unofficially, the Alaska Family Council's Chairman, Dave Bronson, also expressed indirect opposition to the initiative; in an LTE to the Anchorage Daily News where he was defending Anchorage Baptist Temple Pastor Jerry Prevo's property tax exemptions, Bronson wrote ..."The left clearly wants to discredit both Pastor Prevo and Jim Minnery, of Alaska Family Council, prior to the April 3 election as it attempts to ram through its gay rights ordinance. It seeks to kill the (opposing) message by shooting its messenger(s)".

Nevertheless, it is important for those of us who oppose the initiative to represent it ACCURATELY. In the Alaska Dispatch, Scott Woodham takes Jerry Prevo to task for claiming that the initiative will take away the rights of religious groups, churches, organizations, businesses, religious people, and individuals. Here are two urban legends debunked:

-- The initiative makes no changes to any religious exemptions that churches already enjoy.

-- Employers and proprietors would still be allowed to maintain separate-gender restrooms and to impose reasonable dress codes upon employees.

In the final analysis, should the initiative pass, the sun won't refuse to give its light. The moon won't turn to blood. And Mount Spurr is unlikely to erupt and deposit fire and brimstone upon Anchorage. But the important thing for those of us who oppose the initiative is to execute a fighting retreat rather than an unconditional surrender to the multiculturalist agenda. Should this initiative pass, our next step would be to erect a Berlin Wall of protection around Alaska's constitutional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman to prevent this initiative from becoming a trojan horse to legally sanction gay marriage.


  1. Making a fighting retreat instead of stopping this regulation is very short sighted.

    Our city already has laws in place to stop discrimination that affect gays. Special protection for certain citizens over others is discrimination in itself, so the logic is lost on the need for more regulation; apply the regulations in place already.

    Stop seeing only one side, why should special protection be for those who identify themselves only as how they have sex, above other citizens? Why stop at gays, what about women that have large noses? what about men that are short? what about people that are fat? If we are going to "protect" one particular group, why not pass new regulation for all groups that feel discriminated against?

    1. Anonymous - Even though neither you nor I want it to pass, we better prepare ourselves emotionally for the reality that it might pass.

      What we really can't compromise on is marriage. Marriage must remain as presently defined; between only one man and one woman. Let's save some of our political capital for that battle, because you know it's next.