Proposition 1, the ballot measure that would remove already existing protections in the law for transgender people, will be decided next week in Anchorage’s first ever vote-by-mail election.
In effect since 2015, these protections afford transgender people under municipal law and . since passage in 2015, the results have matched the 18 states and over 200 cities where similar protections have been made law, with no uptick in public safety incidents.
In fact, several safety advocates and groups have spoken out against Prop 1. They include President of the Anchorage Firefighters Union Mark Stambaugh, executive director of Standing Together Against Rape (STAR), Keeley Olsen, the Alaska Children’s Trust, and the Alaska Children’s Alliance. These organizations and individuals have spoken out because they know the truth: transgender people are not a threat to public safety, and in fact, are the people more at risk for harassment, intimidation, and violence when protections are not in place.
To date, many groups of people have spoken out against Prop 1, including a coalition of businesses large and small, a group of over 35 faith leaders, women of Anchorage, and the Lockards, a family with a transgender son, Col.
Now, in the final days before Election Day, those in Anchorage who would be most affected by the passage of Prop 1—our transgender neighbors, family and friends—are explaining what it would mean to them if Proposition 1 is defeated next week.
“Defeating Prop 1 would mean that I can feel safe being out in public and don’t have to choose between either breaking the law, or being shamed and facing verbal or physical harm.” — Samuel Ohana
“Anchorage is a beautiful place to live. As a transgender man, defeating Prop 1 will show me that Anchorage continues to believe that ALL of its citizens deserve safety and respect.” — Lee Harrington
“A defeat on Prop 1 will show that Anchorage has had enough of discrimination and bullying.” — Andrea Redecker
“I used to hate waking up in the morning, pretending to be somebody I could not understand. Now I wake up happy, because I get to be ME! Prop 1 would trap me between dangerous ‘bathroom vigilantes’ or being forced into an miserable lie again. No one should have to choose between danger or dishonesty.” — Justice McPherson
“Defeating Prop 1 as far as I am concerned will be a major victory for the people and when I say people, I’m not only talking about the transgender community but all Anchorage citizens who believe in equality, respect, justice and human rights. It will be a victory we can all relish in after almost a year of organizing and encouraging people to vote no on Prop 1.” — MoHagani Magnetek
Voting No on Prop 1 will help ensure that transgender people in Anchorage are afforded the same rights as everyone else, and will not be refused service simply for being who they are. We know that discrimination is not an Alaska value, and so it is essential that people take the time to fill out their ballots and mail them in, or deposit them in an official ballot drop box. Visit out Election Center for further details.
To read fuller profiles of people who are standing up against discrimination in Anchorage, click here.