FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 14, 2018
ANCHORAGE – More than 35 Anchorage faith leaders today announced their opposition to Proposition 1 on the April ballot.
During a press conference today, representatives of faith communities in the city discussed Prop 1 and the harm it would cause to Anchorage residents.
If approved, Prop 1 would remove protections against discrimination for transgender people from Anchorage’s non-discrimination ordinance.
“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 coalition of faith leaders represents a wide array of religious backgrounds and denominations who have signed onto a statement that reads:
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.
Other speakers at the event included: Rabbi Michael Oblath of Congregation Beth Shalom; Rev. Michael Burke of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church; Pastor Martin Eldred, Joy Lutheran Church; Pastor Nico Romeijn-Stout, St. John United Methodist Church; Pastor Julia Seymour, Lutheran Church of Hope; and Rachel Simpson of Unity of Anchorage
“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.”
A full list of faith leaders who are opposing Prop 1 can be found here: https://fairanchorage.org/
Ballots for Anchorage’s municipal election will be mailed on March 13 and must be returned by April 3.