35 Anchorage Faith Leaders Join Chorus of Voices in Opposition to Prop 1

By March 14, 2018Blog Post

Today, 35 prominent faith leaders in Anchorage came together to announce their opposition to Prop 1, which would remove nondiscrimination protections for transgender people from Anchorage law.

“As Christians, we believe that all people are made in the image of God,” said Rev. Ellen Johnson-Price, pastor of Immanuel Presbyterian Church. “Therefore all people are worthy of dignity and respect, and any law which discriminates against one category of people – treating them as ‘others’ rather than equals – goes against our faith. Proposition 1 does exactly that by singling out transgender people as those who are different and less deserving of equal treatment. That’s why I am voting ‘no’ on this divisive and harmful proposition.”

The group of leaders is comprised of a variety of faiths and denominations. Speakers at the event included Rabbi Michael Oblath of Congregation Beth Shalom; Pastor Julia Seymour, Lutheran Church of Hope; and Pastor Martin Eldred, Joy Lutheran Church.

“Proposition One is an affront to the Christian faith that many of us have committed our lives to,” said Rev. Michael Burke, Sr. Pastor of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. “Rather than loving one’s neighbor, and treating them with dignity and respect, Prop 1 sows the seeds of mistrust, fear, and division I believe that we are better than this.”

The signed statement reads as follows:

Our faith is a reflection of the love, kindness, and welcome we have received from our Creator. Those fundamental truths extend to all people and all of creation. We find strength and hope for our community in offering hospitality and grace to everyone we meet. And as faith leaders, we are called to take a stand for those who are most marginalized.

We’re proud that Anchorage law extends commonsense non-discrimination protections to everyone. We strongly oppose Proposition 1 – and any attempt to harm the transgender people who call Anchorage home.

Each of us is made in the image of God and deserves compassion – and equal treatment under the law. We call on our fellow clergy – and all people of faith in Anchorage – to join us in voting No on Proposition 1.

Fair Anchorage is proud of these faith leaders, who stand with our campaign in making sure the transgender people of Anchorage are afforded their dignity by being protected by the city’s nondiscrimination law. To view all the faith leaders who have joined our No on Prop 1 coalition, click here.

Today’s event is just the latest iteration of faith opposition to Prop 1. Last month, our campaign released an ad featuring faith leaders speaking out against Prop 1 and saying clearly: “Everyone should have the same protections under Anchorage law.”  And just this week, three faith leaders published an op-ed decrying Prop 1.

These faith voices join many others in standing up against Prop 1. Last week, key members of Anchorage’s business community decried Prop 1 as a threat to Anchorage’s economy and growing business environment. Previously, women of Anchorage have stated it is not appropriate to discriminate or harm transgender people in the name of women; additionally, an ad featuring David Lockard and his transgender son, Col spoke to the potential devastating impact Prop 1 would have on their family. Similarly, both Anchorage Chief of Police Justin Doll and Anchorage City Schools Superintendent Dr. Deena Bishop have made it clear that our existing municipal non-discrimination law poses no threat to public safety—and that Proposition 1 could not be enforced.

For the first time ever, the people of Anchorage will vote by mail in a municipal election. Ballots were mailed on March 13, and must be returned by Election Day, postmarked by April 3rd or dropped at ballot return boxes by 8:00pm. Visit our Election Center to learn all the specifics of how and when to vote.