It cannot be overstated that if Anchorage’s proposed LGBT non-discrimination protections pass, it could have a huge impact on the future of LGBT rights in Alaska. Currently, polling shows the measure known as Proposition 5 winning with 50–41 support from voters. Nevertheless, the campaign is getting ugly and attracting national attention as a result.
The campaign against Prop 5 is being led by an Anchorage megachurch known as Anchorage Baptist Temple, which has donated 61 percent of the nearly $80,000 effort. Claiming that there’s no evidence of “widespread discrimination” and that “Anchorage is already a tolerant city,” these opponents are disproving their own point with a series of ads that portray transgender people in incredibly negative ways. One ad portrays trans people as “transvestites” who are somehow a threat to children while another shows a cross-dressing man using a women’s locker room to the detriment of a gym owner’s business. Watch them:
A third ad tries to bait gay bar owners into thinking they’d have to hire straight bartenders — as if they don’t already.
That these attitudes are so candidly on display proves the need for Proposition 5 to pass. The Yes on 5 campaign has responded with an ad of its own, featuring a real transgender person discussing his real experiences to counter the offensive animated portrayals. Watch it:
Anchorage votes on Prop 5 next Tuesday, April 3.