Last week’s election in Anchorage, Alaska was rife with controversy and confusion that continues to play out. At stake was Proposition 5, which would have created non-discrimination protections for the LGBT community. The measure seemingly failed, but opponents of the measure had spread false information about voter registration, many ballots are in question, and many polling stations had to turn voters away because they ran out of ballots. Last night, the Anchorage Assembly rejected a resolution to investigate the election with a 7-4 vote, but some members expressed interest in a re-vote once more information is collected.
Meanwhile, conservatives are boasting the apparent victory after running incredibly offensive anti-trans ads against the measure. The American Family Association highlighted fellow hate group leader Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel using the “stunning defeat” to play into the National Organization for Marriage’s race-baiting tactics:
STAVER: This was a stunning defeat, because the homosexual agenda organizations thought that they were going to have this as an agenda that would just simply roll through Anchorage, perhaps through Alaska, and then push this across the country. They were stopped dead in their tracks. This is a great celebration for the family. It’s a great victory for those of us who believe that we should not elevate sexual behavior to a protected status like race.
Staver also claimed that Anchorage proved Americans “still stand strong to protect the natural family.” This blatant attack on the families of same-sex couples is not only offensive, but irrelevant, considering Proposition 5 had nothing to do with legal recognition for same-sex relationships.
Anchorage makes a compelling example for how the rhetoric in national politics can play a big part in local issues. Because of the animus and dirty tactics utilized by conservatives, Anchorage’s LGBT community continues to be treated like second-class citizens.