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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Meanwhile in Alaska: Anchorage's Summer of Hate

Posted by on Tue, Aug 18, 2009 at 7:36 AM

This post is by Brendan Joel Kelley.


On Monday, August 17, our newly elected mayor—conservative Dan Sullivan (it's a non-partisan office, so D and R don't apply)—vetoed a gay rights ordinance that the Anchorage Assembly had voted 7-4 to approve on Tuesday, August 11. Although the veto expected from Sullivan, it came as a blow to those committed to making Anchorage a progressive city like many of its West Coast counterparts.

Proposition 64, which would have added gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to the city's current anti-discrimination ordinance, protecting them from discrimination in the sale or rental of property, financing practices, employment practices, public accommodations, educational institutions, and practices of the municipality, was introduced on May 12 by then-Acting Mayor Matt Claman, an uncharismatic assemblyman who temporarily succeeded former Mayor Mark Begich after Begich was elected as a Democratic U.S. Senator in November. During Claman's brief tenure—January through June—the gay rights proposition was the only notable move he made.

The introduction of the proposition precipitated a series of antagonistic hearings at the bi-weekly assembly meetings. It divided our community into bible-thumping, fag bashing “red shirts”—convinced that there's already an epidemic of cross-dressing men pissing and perving in ladies rooms—and the more pacifist “blue shirts,” who were more prone to dancing to techno DJs on the lawn outside than having their pre-teen children hoist hateful signs. Opposition to the ordinance was led by notorious asshole Jerry Prevo, a local televangelist and pastor of the Anchorage Baptist Temple, one of the largest churches in Anchorage. Prevo canceled his services one Wednesday night so his followers could flood the special assembly meeting that was called to accommodate the surge of citizens wanting to testify about the ordinance (some acquaintances of mine advocated for taking advantage of the empty ABT and hosting a gay orgy in its parking lot).

The chair of the Anchorage assembly, conservative Debbie Ossiander, allowed people to sign up for months to testify before the assembly—and you didn't have to be a resident of Anchorage, so lots of people were bussed in from Sarah Palin's hometown of Wasilla (guess what color shirts they wore)—and after several meetings it seemed to be a virtual red shirt filibuster.

Outside the assembly chambers both sides loudly voiced their opinions—the red shirts with signs such as “when the ‘Gay Agenda’ destroys Civil Liberties everyone loses!!!” and “I was born black you choose 2B gay”; the blue shirts fought back with community potlucks, virtual raves on the lawn, and rainbow colored signs declaring their allegiance to equality. Conservative talk radio personalities railed against the ordinance as well, declaring that it provided “special rights” for the gay and transgender community—in a column last Sunday in the daily newspaper, one of those talking heads compared homosexuals to habitual swearers. (Creative analogy, fucker.)

Nonetheless, the assembly, which is split 6-5 in favor of progressives (including Claman, now returned to his assembly seat), passed the ordinance last week, but with the support of only one conservative, South Anchorage Assemblywoman Jennifer Johnston. Ossiander, the chair, had been a wild card. There was hope that she'd put a little compassion in her conservatism, but she ultimately voted against the proposition. The assembly could possibly override the mayor's veto within 21 days with an 8th vote, but proponents on the assembly don't expect Ossiander to change her vote.

The proposition is the most contentious civil rights issue in the city of Anchorage since the last time the issue of gay rights came before city government in the '90s (a similar proposition passed in 1990, but was repealed in 1993). Prior to that, Mayor Sullivan's father, Mayor George Sullivan, vetoed a similar ordinance in 1975. The younger Sullivan assumed office on July 1, and was widely expected by his conservative constituents to veto this ordinance if the assembly passed it, although the political gossip was that he wanted nothing to do with this issue. The pro-gay rights coalition of businesses, churches, and political organizations, along with the Alaska chapter of the American Civil Liberties, known as Equality Works, held out hope that Sullivan would let the assembly's vote stand.

But Sullivan replaced a popular Democrat in the largest city in our notoriously red state (see: Palin, Sarah), and has to be Super-Glued to his conservative base if he ever hopes to win reelection (or replace Begich as a U.S. senator; Begich is the first Dem congressional delegate Alaska's had since wacky ol' Senator Mike Gravel, who lost his seat in 1981). Sullivan said on Friday that feedback since the assembly passed the ordinance had been three-to-one in favor of him vetoing it, and the press release announcing his veto said he'd received nearly 2,500 communications regarding the ordinance.

“As elected officials," Sullivan said in his press release, "we are charged with reflecting the will of the community in our decisions, particularly in the absence of compelling data that would supersede that will.”

It's now expected that Equality Works and supporters of including GLBT people in the city's anti-discrimination ordinance will pursue an initiative to put the issue on the ballot for the next municipal election next April. Proponents of gay rights are hopeful that the electorate in Anchorage support the definition of diversity that still appears on the city's website: “Diversity in this Administration’s book means, in addition to differences based on ethnicity, gender, age, religion, disability, national origin and sexual orientation...” But since Prevo and his red shirt brigade were standing at the ready to launch their own initiative removing gay rights from the anti-discrimination ordinance if Sullivan hadn't vetoed it, it's hard to predict what'll happen when the voters hit the polls.

As I type this, friends of mine are rallying outside of City Hall in downtown Anchorage expressing their disdain for the mayor's veto; a gay friend on his way to work at one of our few gay bars in town just called, upset, and asked me what he could do. I had to honestly answer that I have no idea.

Brendan Joel Kelley is associate editor of the Anchorage Press (, the alternative weekly in Anchorage, Alaska. He can be reached at


Comments (97) RSS

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=( Assholes
Posted by olechka on August 18, 2009 at 7:45 AM · Report this
so sorry for those queers up north - shit, shit, shit - keep fighting and tell Seattle if there is anything we can do

I send emails like a flash

Cheers, Ace
Posted by Ace on August 18, 2009 at 7:54 AM · Report this
Vince 3
I'm always amazed how the holier than thou crowd espouses "hate your neighbor" policies and does it by "bearing false witness". And "do unto others evil" they wouldn't have them do unto themselves. This is exactly what I've said about religion. Nothing good ever comes of religion. Nothing.
Posted by Vince on August 18, 2009 at 8:04 AM · Report this
Abandon the Red States. There should be some kind of rural/red/Alaskan queer refugee program.
Posted by Farts Weird on August 18, 2009 at 8:06 AM · Report this
Manifest Destiny: Sending criminals, undesirables and derelicts to the frontier since the 17th Century.
Posted by Reg on August 18, 2009 at 8:11 AM · Report this
Baconcat 6
Dear Blue Shirts,

Cap Hill has tons of parking lots you can throw raves in!

Posted by Baconcat on August 18, 2009 at 8:20 AM · Report this
Too bad this isn't Star Trek. In Star Trek the red shirts always got eaten by some space monster.
Posted by Root on August 18, 2009 at 8:21 AM · Report this
Lily Fluffbottom 8
I am so sad to be a resident of Anchorage right now. I keep forgetting that there are more people who don't think like me, than those that do.
Posted by Lily Fluffbottom on August 18, 2009 at 8:33 AM · Report this
In high school, every senior was encouraged to go to college- and to do it out of state.

The smart one's never came back. I know I didn't.
Posted by UNPAID COMMENTER on August 18, 2009 at 8:33 AM · Report this
Joe 10
Someone sent me this quote this morning. I think it fits here:

We struggled against apartheid in South Africa, supported by people the world over, because black people were being blamed and made to suffer for something we could do nothing about; our very skins. It is the same with sexual orientation. It is a given.

Yet, all over the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are persecuted. We treat them as pariahs and push them outside our communities. We make them doubt that they too are children of God and this must be nearly the ultimate blasphemy. We blame them for what they are.

- Desmond Tutu
Posted by Joe on August 18, 2009 at 8:35 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 11
Can we use Alaska to test some ICBM's? I mean just to see if they work and all. Naturally we'd have the blue shirts leave.

I was born black? You know some of those southerners in the early 19th century who tried some experiments to see if you could make a darkie white. Just saying.....
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on August 18, 2009 at 8:35 AM · Report this
Reality Check 12
Note to Dan @ Teh Stranger

Alaska is not part of the US West. It is nothing like CA, OR, or WA. Don't try to change it. It is the last frontier, is rugged, independent and rural. That is the way Alaskans like it. Period. That is one of THE last 5 states in the union you will ever have gay rights in.
Posted by Reality Check on August 18, 2009 at 8:43 AM · Report this
Akbar Fazil 13
Is that Loveschild' brainwashed child in that first pic?
Posted by Akbar Fazil on August 18, 2009 at 8:52 AM · Report this
Chris in Vancouver WA 14
If I hear one more story about how the anti-gay crowd is being more effective in getting their message out than the pro-gay side, I'm gonna puke. WTF?!?!?
Posted by Chris in Vancouver WA on August 18, 2009 at 8:54 AM · Report this
How is it hateful to assert that homosexuality is a choice?
It is easy to dismiss those who disagree with you as BIGOTS and ASSHOLES and HATERS but that doesn't change minds.
It makes it appear you are unable to discuss the issue on it's merits and must deflect attention by namecalling.
Posted by That's not going on here, is it? on August 18, 2009 at 8:54 AM · Report this
wench 16
Look, TNGOHII... it's not hateful to assert, for example, that the US is the only populated country and that everyone else is a figment of our collective imaginations. It's wrong, though, and it'd be hateful to treat people from other countries as figments of our imagination rather than people worthy of respect. That's the problem. People can believe whatever they like, but I have a big issue with them trying to discriminate against others on the basis of their particular little fantasy world.
Posted by wench on August 18, 2009 at 9:02 AM · Report this
Baconcat 17
@16: Religion is a choice, so it's even more deliciously wrong that they try to deflect discussions on genetics and nature versus nurture by screaming "NO IT IS A CHOICE, NO SPECIAL RIGHTS FOR YOUR CHOICE!", even though, yeah... you know.
Posted by Baconcat on August 18, 2009 at 9:05 AM · Report this
RC @12:
1. Rugged, independent, and rural is not always the same as being opposed to civil rights. Sometime people from those regions do a relatively good job of throwing off traditionalist shackles. Wyoming, to pick an example, was the first state to allow women to vote.
2. Also, with largest federal subsidy per person, I'd argue that Alaska is the most DEpendent of the states.
Posted by Eric from Boulder on August 18, 2009 at 9:09 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 19
@ 13 beat me to it, except I picture her kids being more ghetto. (Oh oh, now she's going to call me racist, despite the fights I got into with nazi skins 20 years ago...)
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 18, 2009 at 9:19 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 20
@ 15, given that it's proven fact that being gay is NOT a choice, then yeah, it's legit to label someone as a bigot if they say that it is.

You want to blame someone for deflecting the conversation away from the one we should be having? Blame the kid for bringing that sign to the rally.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 18, 2009 at 9:22 AM · Report this
A coalition of progressive and mainline churches in Anchorage participated in the blue shirt movement. Trouble is, Prevo is Alaska's very own Jerry Falwell, and it's difficult to overestimate the power he can leverage against the advocates of peace and equality when he wants to - and he ALWAYS wants to. When teenagers, my friends and I had a policy that we'd flip off the Anchorage Baptist Temple whenever we'd drive by. A meaningless gesture, but it sure felt good.

Reality Check - Calling Alaska "rugged, independent and rural" is dishonest. First, the ordinance is about the Muni, not the Bush. Second, Alaska gets more federal money per capita than any other state, and Alaskans squeal like stuck pigs if the state gov't tries to touch their precious yearly government handout.
Posted by The Man from W.A.S.I.L.L.A. on August 18, 2009 at 9:22 AM · Report this
SpecialBrew 22
#18: well said. On the marriage-equality rights map Alaska actually isn't the worst one off in terms of gay rights (state workers have partnership benefits). Also, it was a state where abortion was legal pre-Roe vs. Wade and had the Morning After Pill available at drug stores without a perscription before WA.

Yes, Alaska is a deep Red but there is an independant streak that's not beholden to the GOP or Christian Fundamentalism (witness marijuana acceptance there). They did just elect Begich, and before whats-her-name entered the race Obama was within single-digits polling from McCain: so a lot closer than other Red States like Utah or Alabama. In fact, there was talk that if the Libertarian candidate could pull 5% in AK from McCain, Obama had a shot of taking the state. He won the caucus by a landslide and was set to campaign there until Palin captured the VP slot.

Hey, this isn't to defend Alaska or paint it as liberal. But the fact that this fight is happening in Anchorage shows it struggles just as hard NOT to be an Idaho as it does to NOT be a WA or OR.
Posted by SpecialBrew on August 18, 2009 at 9:22 AM · Report this
kim in portland 23
Dang it, dang it, dang it. I have no nice polite words.
Posted by kim in portland on August 18, 2009 at 9:26 AM · Report this
The Lizard of Id 24
Isn't having techno and dancing at a gay-rights rally a lot like having tie dyes and dreamcatchers at a pro-marijuana rally?
Posted by The Lizard of Id on August 18, 2009 at 9:26 AM · Report this
Griffin 25
Am I the only one who misread Dan Fagan's email address at the bottom of his screed as having the potential to be used against him?
Posted by Griffin on August 18, 2009 at 9:29 AM · Report this
@20 FTW

Hell yeah!
It's proven fact that being gay is NOT a choice,
Posted by GooGooGaGa on August 18, 2009 at 9:29 AM · Report this
Fuck the state-by-state ground war. It didn't work for 200+ years in the South, and it ain't gonna work at Town Council meetings in some Federal welfare colony. It's time for relentless pressure in the cities- where the people and the money are. We need some kind of queer underground railroad. We need massive solidarity marches. It's time to get down like the mid-60's and jam Federal civil rights protections up Wasilla's ass.
Posted by Farts Weird on August 18, 2009 at 9:46 AM · Report this
Please immediately report your nearest church as an organized child abuse ring the FBI - the Youth Pastor Watch provides enough evidence of this for them to take action. Just sayin'
Posted by Youth Pastor Ninja on August 18, 2009 at 9:50 AM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 29

Well organized church groups are more effective at swaying governing, if not popular, opinion than groups holding raves on the grass (or orgies in parking lots).

Pretty much sums it all up.
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on August 18, 2009 at 9:50 AM · Report this
Ride That Bullet Train To Vegas 30
Ironically, the same thing is happening in my hometown in Indiana but it looks like it might actually pass. *shrugs*…
Posted by Ride That Bullet Train To Vegas on August 18, 2009 at 10:05 AM · Report this
Loveschild 31
This is the sort of thing that happens when gay groups try to overreach with extremist demands like gay marriage on the american people. Once the people have been bombarded with such impositions they get fed up and they see anything coming from gays as a threat and get proactive. I challenge gay lobby groups that before putting blame on others take a good look at yourselves for this, 'cause you with your demonizing of traditional values , your ruthless tactics against people of faith and your insistence on imposing gay marriage nation wide are going to be making more Anchorages repeat themselves.

Posted by Loveschild on August 18, 2009 at 10:13 AM · Report this
Fnarf 32
Religion Is A Choice.
Posted by Fnarf on August 18, 2009 at 10:14 AM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 33
31, Public opinion keeps going our way. Everyday, more and more folks are for gay rights. Sure, we may not win every battle. Hate filled folks like you may slow us down, but we will win the war. You will lose, and know it. That is why you keep begging us to stop.

Guess what Loveschild, we'll go back again, and again and again and again, as many times as it takes to get equal rights. Gay people are not going to vanish or go back into hiding. Nor will we stop asking for equal rights.
Posted by Rob in Baltimore on August 18, 2009 at 10:19 AM · Report this
funny when someone disagrees with your point of view it automatically becomes "hate". I hate no one.

You keep throwing around this thing about Alaska getting so much federal money. How much of that is military? We have lots of military up here protecting your right to call anyone who doesn't agree with you haters. You people remind me of adults who complain about paying school taxes because they don't have kids in school,, well someone paid for their schooling who had no kids in school too.. Someone helped pay for your infrastructure, roads, bridges and stuff but now Alaska hasn't been around nearly as long as other states and we need our infrastructure too,, but I see how it works,, you have yours so who cares about those that come behind you.. Typical.... And again, ,just shut up about the hate,, listen to the left, ,more hate comes from you then anyone else, you people are just unbelievable. If Alaska is so horrible just stay out! go away! If you want to come to Alaska fine,, just don't try to turn it into and ruin it like you did to Washington, Oregon or California..
Posted by FarNorth on August 18, 2009 at 10:34 AM · Report this
Baconcat 35
@31: So my life should hinge entirely on your religious choices? I should sit idly by while members of the GLBT community are raped and murdered because a large enough number of people chose to believe in one particular perversion of religion? I should let you tromp all over civil liberties because you think you should be the arbiter of what is good and right because it serves you better by making you feel like you've done a service to the impure modern false prophets you worship (Dobson and Gallagher have clearly failed to read the bible to see what it calls those who would move religion to change for their own gain), and by extension, yourself?

Our "ruthless tactics" are clearly not ruthless enough when compared to the reported murders and rapes of dozens (and unreported murders and rapes of hundreds, if not thousands), are they? By your metric, where do all those murders and rapes stand, Loveschild? If we're the ruthless ones, what does that make you and all your defenses? You whine about our "tactics" and "assaults" and demand we condemn an arbitrary selection of comparatively minor events, failing the common sense test by taking something most people do condemn in principle and comparing it to something that doesn't resemble any civilized comport as though they match. Apples and oranges.

You say you condemn those attacks, but you demand we suspend our right to life and liberty and condemn something that, in all common sense, is condemned overwhelmingly. You try to falsely compare minor assaults to larger and more damaging attacks and refuse to see why it's wrong. You want us to end our "ruthless campaign" as though your right to marriage supercedes our right to life. There should be no comparison between what has been done to "us" and what has been done to "you" in the name of superiority, but that's what you try to do. If hitting someone with a bible is like murder to you, I can see why you hate to be told you're wrong.

You don't care about life, family or tolerance. You only care about yourself and the thought that if you're better than someone, your lot is recast and you'll find yourself in a better favor with the god you chose to worship. This is why you condemn. This is why you think we're ruthless. It flies in the face of your hopes to be a part of a master race.

Tell us we're ruthless. Tell us we're out to destroy you. Tell us we're the evil ones.

Then ask yourself if the Jesus you worship would be the one you aspire to for salvation if he were raised to think as you do, to support and equivocate murder as you do, or to hate as you do.
Posted by Baconcat on August 18, 2009 at 10:35 AM · Report this

Loveschild - no one's imposing anything on you. You can go on living in your own little universe unabated. Gay marriage has absolutely no impact on your life, and I can prove it because there are now thousands of gay couples around the world who ARE legally married, and yet here you still are, bitching and moaning like you always do.


Rob - Agreed wholeheartedly and amen, except for one point... I'm not "asking" for anything. The rights are mine, and I want 'em in my possession. I'm just gonna go get 'em. :)
Posted by pheeeew!crack!boom! on August 18, 2009 at 10:39 AM · Report this
Prevo sells salvation to lonely people. They have to convince themselves that how they live their lives is "less wrong" than the "other" guy - just to find the will to get out of bed each morning.

Hate is the real handicap.

Being so choosy about who or who isn't suitable for equal treatment limits the hater's opportunities (in life) more than gay'ness ever could.

They all need God when they die because they exiled most of the people from their lives for "sinfulness", i.e. for being human - Jesus is the only one left to hold their hand at the end.
Posted by All I Saw on August 18, 2009 at 10:40 AM · Report this
McGee 38
I picture Loveschild's kids as fatter and jacked up on a diet of Skittles and purple drink. Thank Jebus for diabetes.
Posted by McGee on August 18, 2009 at 10:47 AM · Report this
kim in portland 39

You are absolutely priceless. Your faux martyr act, simply hilarious. I can always count on you to make me laugh, you're a tried and true worn out record. I do love you.

See if you can develop a new comedic act while I'm down in Arizona.
Posted by kim in portland on August 18, 2009 at 10:57 AM · Report this
tornadoZ 40
I was born gay. You chose to put "2B" on your protest sign.

Good luck to all the smart folks who remain in Alaska. We're with ya.
Posted by tornadoZ on August 18, 2009 at 10:59 AM · Report this
I think it time for a boycott of Alaska travel and tourism by gay, lesbian and fair minded straight people. While we are at it, I think it also time to boycott selected signature Alaska products (salmon comes to mind). We should continue until the state legislature passes legislation barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, across the whole state of Alaska -- not just Anchorage.

No dollars for H8!
Posted by Basil on August 18, 2009 at 11:16 AM · Report this
crazycatguy 42
Oh hush up, Loveschild. Your infantile ranting is mostly nonsense, and your atrocious grammar renders whatever point you are trying to make ludicrous. Until you can write a complete sentence that incorporates the basic rules for making yourself understood, please do us a favor and refrain from posting your gibberish.
Posted by crazycatguy on August 18, 2009 at 11:19 AM · Report this
How about "I was born gay but you chose to act like a stupid black male".
Posted by hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....... on August 18, 2009 at 11:24 AM · Report this
Loveschild 44
35 I haven't brought the subject of evil here. I'm not the one expressing racist preconceptions about people (see 11,13,19,38, if you want to read evil), which you not surprisingly given how common it is in your ideological circle are always silent about. All I know is that I for one would have never considered to join in the past such a proactive movement like the one taking place in Anchorage. But now seeing how people like me (who have been supportive of things like ENDA and Matthew Shepard's Act before) have been alienated for trying to defend of our values and seeing that the other side only cares to impose their will and silence us, even in our right to vote (the voice of the people), I find myself becoming more and more involved in it. I know there are many like me who have been persuaded not by preachers from a pulpit but from seeing what gay lobby groups have been doing unchallenged.
Posted by Loveschild on August 18, 2009 at 11:35 AM · Report this
Akbar Fazil 45
How exactly Loveschild is pointing out one black teenager in a picture and stating "is that your brainwashed kid" racisit? You are black. The kid is black. You are a hypocritical nutbag. This kid has been force-fed lies by authority figures.

One can easily draw a correlation between the two. But racist? Hardly.
Posted by Akbar Fazil on August 18, 2009 at 11:40 AM · Report this
yes,, please,, please, please,, boycott Alaska.. I can't think of a better tactic by the left. As good as that sounds it never works.. The PETA pinheads have tried the same thing many times and it never has worked,, go ahead,, just do some research and check out our tourist numbers......
Posted by FarNorth on August 18, 2009 at 11:50 AM · Report this
jmahlon 47
All of this is only going on because of Religion. Religion is so evil. At least their signs are all on the defensive.
Posted by jmahlon on August 18, 2009 at 11:55 AM · Report this
Baconcat 48
@44: You're failing the common sense test again. The vast majority of the GLBT community does indeed condemn racism, that's common sense. Look at Washington Families Standing Together, they have many race-based groups as supporters (including the largest Chinese American advancement group in the country). What you're doing, of course, is trying to rationalize your unchecked hatred by saying "well, someone said something racist on the internet, so I've got a pretty good reason to feel this way".

First you say that you agree that nobody should be denied a job based on sexual orientation, which is common sense. Then you say you agree that nobody should be murdered based on their sexual orientation, which is common sense. But what you do next is draw an arbitrary line and present a not-so-compelling case against families and marriage by saying that, wait, only certain families are real families, and certain marriages are real marriages, but it's okay to say that because someone pushed your buttons on the internet, so surely it's okay to feel this way.

I think you're trying to backfill your own POV by saying "well, since this happened right now, it's okay that I've felt this way in the past". Notice that you aren't explaining why you feel the way you do, just why you are suddenly politically active? And you can't justify the past with the present. That's like screaming "see, see, I told you (insert race/religion/nationality) were bad, I was right all along". It's totally different from having an evolving point of view on things, since it's clear that you don't.

Oh, and using some comments on the internet as cover for your biases? Classy.
Posted by Baconcat on August 18, 2009 at 12:00 PM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 49
44, Unchallenged? Really? I guess your lack of awareness of reality explains your unintentionally hilarious comments here. (That, and your undereducated status. Again I'll ask, did you even graduate high school?) We've been challenged by hate filled folks like you at every turn. Do you really think that gay people will suddenly vanish, or stop demanding full rights and citizenship? That would be the only way one could imagine that it is possible to stop the gay rights movement. Luckily, public opinion is finally starting to turn towards gay rights. We are making advances, and we won't stop. You are in a panic. Get used to us. We aren't going anywhere. You will lose.
Posted by Rob in Baltimore on August 18, 2009 at 12:01 PM · Report this
Vince 50
Those who lie and say being gay is a choice are the same people who refuse to believe facts relating to many things. They think ignoring facts about evolution is o.k. They think ignoring facts about global warming is o.k. They think ignoring facts about abstenince only sex education being a fraud is o.k. They think ignoring facts about many things that don't fit into their close minded views makes them right. Well, it doesn't make you right. It makes you ignorant.
Posted by Vince on August 18, 2009 at 12:02 PM · Report this
Baconcat 51
@46: Well, considering a large number of Alaska-bound ships come out of extremely liberal Vancouver, B.C. and Seattle, I think we can manage something if we had to.
Posted by Baconcat on August 18, 2009 at 12:03 PM · Report this

Go for it,, please,, I mean it,, do your best.. Take it as a challenge. I dare you,, stop tourism to Alaska.. This Alaskan wouldn't be more happy. In my opinion the lower 48 can take a hike and just bugger out. Please,, get the government to stop sending us money,, just let us run our state the way we want to and we won't have any problems.
Posted by FarNorth on August 18, 2009 at 12:17 PM · Report this
Baconcat 53
@52: No, you're a great bunch of oilcows for us.

You're the soylent green of states.
Posted by Baconcat on August 18, 2009 at 12:27 PM · Report this
kim in portland 54
Baconcat @ 44,

You're trying to use reason, not going to work. She's defalted to her threats, I used to support things like ENDA and the Matthew Sheppard Act, but now you've all made me mad and I can't support you anymore. It's her delusion that we kow to her, to keep her support and her fellow like minded individuals. If we don't honor her wishes, she's frees herself to promote violence and the loss of equal employment rights by supporting the opposition. In her mind, it's our fault that we don't have her support. Just like she went on a couple of months claiming that she supports DPs with the same exact benifits as long as they aren't called marriages. Then turned around and supported Randall and co. financially, and is screaming about possible persecution due to R 71. We play her way, or she takes her ball and runs home. I say we leave her to her ball and sand box. Everytime, we counter her she adds another gold star to her martyr cap. Besides, bullies often leave when they are ignored.

I've got a plane to catch. Sorry for the typos.
Posted by kim in portland on August 18, 2009 at 12:31 PM · Report this
kim in portland 55

Baconcat @ 48,
Posted by kim in portland on August 18, 2009 at 12:32 PM · Report this
marsgirl 56
Dan Sullivan probably thought he was doing the family name proud! After all his father, then mayor of Anchorage, vetoed a similar bill in 1976. Could it be that being closed-minded and small is also not a choice, but an inherited trait?
Posted by marsgirl on August 18, 2009 at 1:37 PM · Report this
I love the transparency of your writing! Thanks for this article; there is a lot to do for us, who believe in equality (no need to be gay or straight in order to have a sense of common good... I guess that comes just by being, BEING)
Posted by Paulina on August 18, 2009 at 1:41 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 58
@34 FarNotth - I don't know what you consider hate to be, but here's what the dictionary says:

Hate (v., tr.):
1a) To feel hostility or animosity toward.
1b) To detest.
2) To feel dislike or distaste for.

You say, "I hate no one." Just because Jesus tells you not to hate anyone doesn't mean you don't actually hate anyone. That's not how it works, unless you are a saint. You're a sinner, right? Don't feel bad - we all are.

Anyway, I hope you can see how saying that adding rights for homosexuals in your state is equal to the ruin of your state fits the definition of hate - at least as far as definitions 1a) and 2) are concerned. And 1b) might not be a stretch for you, either - it might be worth some personal reflection, at any rate.

Go in peace!
Posted by Free Lunch on August 18, 2009 at 1:44 PM · Report this
Lily Fluffbottom 59
I'm glad you guys care so much. Its been quite the struggle here.

What really irritates me is how quickly the people are here to deny the basic rights of their peers, while destroying their families with drug and alcohol abuse. Because its ok to get drunk, beat your children and pass out as long as you go to church on Sunday.
Posted by Lily Fluffbottom on August 18, 2009 at 2:32 PM · Report this
From an Anchorage-ite: EMAIL MY ASSEMBLY!

When developing your email(s) or preparing for your calls to Assembly Members please:

• Be Polite.
• Be Thoughtful.
• Ask all of them to OVERRIDE the Mayor's veto.
• On emails, please include in your subject line the action you would like them to take.
• Include all your contact information

Please contact the eight Assembly members listed below regardless of district, past votes, political leanings, and/or public statements. After you contact these Assembly Members, please invite others in the community to do the same.

Let’s make sure that all our Assembly members know that there is broad support in the community for an inclusive non-discrimination ordinance like AO-64.

Assembly Member Email/Contact Information

Debbie Ossiander
h: 907.688.2308
vm: 907.343.4113

Patrick Flynn
h: 907.278.8462
w: 907.265.2206

Harriet Drummond
h: 907.279.7763

Elvi Gray-Jackson
vm: 907.343.4118

Sheila Selkregg
h: 907.338.3636

Mike Gutierrez

Jennifer Johnston
h: 907.346.1087

Matt Claman
h: 907.248.5472
c: 907.350.5481

Thank you for your effort and continuous support. Please feel free to share/repost this message so that others may act in favor of ending discrimination in Anchorage and supporting the Anchorage LGBT community.
Posted by anchorage-ite on August 18, 2009 at 2:33 PM · Report this
SpecialBrew 61
#52: Then ask your state to STOP TAKING MORE FEDERAL MONEY PER CAPITA THAN ANY OTHER. We will gladly "leave you alone" when you and the Wyomings and Utahs stop being the national welfare states that drain tax money from the areas of the country where there is actually a real economy.
Posted by SpecialBrew on August 18, 2009 at 3:06 PM · Report this
hey,, Free Lunch,, so how is it you know why I think the way I do? You assume I don't hate anyone because Jesus tells me not to? You truely know me well enough to say what I do or don't feel and why I feel that way? Get over yourself already.

1. to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest: to hate the enemy; to hate bigotry.
2. to be unwilling; dislike: I hate to do it.

–verb (used without object) 3. to feel intense dislike, or extreme aversion or hostility.

–noun 4. intense dislike; extreme aversion or hostility.
5. the object of extreme aversion or hostility.

Do you notice the use of "extreme", "intensely" and "passionately"?

I have no extreme, intense or pasionate feelings against gay people. Unlike what I see coming from your side of the argument. Things like:

"When teenagers, my friends and I had a policy that we'd flip off the Anchorage Baptist Temple whenever we'd drive by"


"Can we use Alaska to test some ICBM's? I mean just to see if they work and all."

I can find more true examples of hate if you like.

What about my rights as a property owner or a business owner? Do your rights trump my rights? No! If I don't believe in the gay lifestyle why should I be forced to rent my property or hire you to work in my business? I'm not saying you can't live your chosen lifestyle, I'm just saying I'm not going to condone it on my property or in my business.

So,, boycott away,, I still won't rent to gays and I still won't hire them to work in my business.
Posted by FarNorth on August 18, 2009 at 3:29 PM · Report this
SpecialBrew,,,, your funny "a real economy" lol,, just do some checking on how the states different economies are doing... Especially the states run by the libs,, California,, they're in great shape right now,, lol.. funny..
Posted by FarNorth on August 18, 2009 at 3:39 PM · Report this
memorex 64
Equal Rights. Is that really too much to ask?
Posted by memorex on August 18, 2009 at 3:45 PM · Report this
marsgirl 65
@ 62 Ah but you're still missing the point. The mere use of the phrase "gay lifestyle" makes it obvious that you can't understand that sexuality isn't a choice. I never once thought to myself "hmm, I think I'll be straight", and I bet you didn't either. And neither would any sane homosexual person, considering that people like you are out to lessen their quality of life. Race, color, and physical impairment are all things you cannot discriminate against, all things you cannot control. Exactly. Like. Sexuality. Oh, and if you're so proud to keep your business and property gay-free, please, by all means, share with us the name and address of your business so we can boycott it, seeing as how being a bigot is your chosen lifestyle, one which I, and millions of other people will NEVER condone.
Posted by marsgirl on August 18, 2009 at 3:48 PM · Report this
memorex 66
Is it so hard to figure out that when you refuse to hire or rent to a specific group of people, they will respond with anger? And then fight for equal treatment?
Posted by memorex on August 18, 2009 at 3:49 PM · Report this
Baconcat 67
@62: There's a difference between comments on the internet and legislating your point of view. Oh, and I have to point out that one's choice in religion reaps the benefit of selective association and tax breaks. That's a special privilege and an invented right, especially when framed in the context of the religion of the founding fathers, most of whom held a lot of disdain towards granting the clergy special rights like we've slowly begun to do since the early 1900s.

I'll patiently wait for Alaska to come around. Or for the natives (no, you aren't a native) to revolt. Either way, you're skee-rewed..,,
Posted by Baconcat on August 18, 2009 at 3:55 PM · Report this
Uriel-238 68
Reg @5 makes a valid point (albeit a generalization, I'd love statistics to see if it's a gross one). As noted in the movie Insomnia, "There are two kinds of people in Alaska: those who were born here and those who come here to escape something." My (few) friends who've lived in Alaska have affirmed the sentiment, usually just before focusing all their efforts into getting out again.

Reality Check, @12 intolerant and xenophobic may be the way some Alaskans like Alaska, but not all, given there are actual civilized cities now. Last I checked amongst the precepts of individualism, they way you do things on your plot of land is not my business, and the law of the commons is mutual respect. Of course, this isn't exactly what frontiersfolk practice (i.e. treating non-conformists like open sport). Just to put into perspective what rugged, independent and rural is, i.e. a wilderness of savage barbarians.

Man from W.A.S.I.L.L.A., @21 my understanding is the Government subsidy isn't worth the stay. Cut it off and Alaska would empty out like North Dakota. Doesn't change your point that AK is quite the opposite of independent, but there are some justifications for it.

FarNorth, are you a secessionist? I thought Todd Palin was one until it interfered with Sarah's political career. He may be again.

Regarding the photo, as one in the thick of the discussion, I thought the image's focus on the I was born black, you chose 2B gay poster seems to suggest a low opinion of the intelligence level of the red-shirt army since a) the chose to be gay argument is commonly known to be fallacious on multiple levels, and that b) I was born black... implies the whole don't steal my victimhood personal justification by the bearer to be exclusionary about gays.

Do I have that right? Maybe the gay choice argument is still commonplace amongst the lay observers.
Posted by Uriel-238 on August 18, 2009 at 4:07 PM · Report this
If I posted my business name/rental properties name and gay people would just stay away that would be fine,, I'd do it. But you see,, it's not that easy. The militants that want to take my rights away will do things like burn my business, harass my employees and do the typical hateful things people on the left do. So,, sorry,, not going to make it that easy for ya.. Just stick with the boycott of Alaska. Or continue to live your lifestyle but don't force me to accept it. I tolerate it and that's the best you'll get from me.
Posted by FarNorth on August 18, 2009 at 4:28 PM · Report this
marsgirl 70
@69 You are gold. Seriously. You hide behind the fear of a violent militant gay army, a coward unwilling to publicly stand up for your point of view. Unlike the brave assembly members who have been subject to some really ugly threats and comments on The Anchorage Daily News website from the right and the religious. You sir, are not a real Alaskan. Go ahead and keep your right to be a bigot and hide in dark. I love my state, but I find myself ashamed and embarrassed every time Alaska makes the news thanks to people like you.
Posted by marsgirl on August 18, 2009 at 4:54 PM · Report this
Uriel-238 71
FarNorth @69 The gays in Alaska are militant enough to burn your business to the ground? Are you sure we're talking about the same guys as the blue-shirts having raves at their demonstrations? If so, please, please send them to Utah. There's a really big fortress over there teeming with anti-gay sentiments, and can use a heavy dose of arson...

Posted by Uriel-238 on August 18, 2009 at 4:55 PM · Report this
Lily Fluffbottom 72
@69 there's a company up here called Far North Yarn Co. Any relation?
Posted by Lily Fluffbottom on August 18, 2009 at 5:25 PM · Report this
Aussie Steve 73
Memo to all bigots everywhere: we're going to win. It might not happen today, but it's going to happen. You're on the wrong side of history people. So go ahead. Keep making your inane placards. Keep putting your bullshit props on the ballot. Keep trying to hold back the tide of justice for just a little bit longer if it makes you feel good. But it's ultimately futile, and deep down you know that as well as I do.
Posted by Aussie Steve on August 18, 2009 at 5:51 PM · Report this
Y.F. Redux 74
My only comment: Fuck Alaska and the polar bear it rode in on.
Posted by Y.F. Redux on August 18, 2009 at 6:10 PM · Report this
memorex 75
Wow!! Taking away your rights, burning your business, harassing your employees? Really? Honestly!? Are you sure you're not engaging in a little hyperbole? Because if you're being honest, you've got some bad-ass fags up there. In the larger scheme of things, gays are much more likely to be on the receiving end of that kind of treatment from straights (or closet cases) than vice versa.
And tell me this: how does granting gays equal treatment threaten your rights?

p.s. What's with all the extra commas?
Posted by memorex on August 18, 2009 at 6:38 PM · Report this
You can voice your disapproval of Mayor Sullivan's veto by a) writing him a nice letter explaining how hate is especially unwelcome in public officials and b) making it known at his bar - McGinley's Pub - that you won't support a business that funds fascism.
Posted by rightiswrong on August 18, 2009 at 7:04 PM · Report this
People who make a big deal about homosexuality being a choice are probably spending a lot of time choosing not to be gay.

That said, it doesn't fucking matter if it's a choice or not. Really. Whether or not people are choosing to be gay, there is no justification for not allowing people to marry people of the same gender.
Posted by dwight moody on August 18, 2009 at 7:44 PM · Report this
People who make a big deal about homosexuality being a choice are probably spending a lot of time choosing not to be gay.

That said, it doesn't fucking matter if it's a choice or not. Really. Whether or not people are choosing to be gay, there is no justification for not allowing people to marry people of the same gender.
Posted by dwight moody on August 18, 2009 at 7:45 PM · Report this
Yep, high five to Aussie Steve and Rob From Baltimore, this is what cheers me up.
While I appreciate everyone who wants to win arguments with the bigots, what can you say to willful ignorance? The simple facts that the fight isn't over until humanity wins and that things are getting better is why sometimes the answer to shouting and dishonesty is to have a little dance party.

I'm reminded of Theodore Sturgeon's story (The Cosmic Rape) about a group mind that tries to enslave earth and when it reaches us is infected by individuality, releasing every mind it has enslaved (as though humans were the antidote for the BORG, you see). Freedom will eat them all alive!
While on the subject: the same author also wrote two great stories touching on equal rights for gay folk : "Affair With A Green Monkey" (1957) and (better and more to the point, a story that everyone should be exposed to) "The World Well Lost" (1953).

Carry on!
Posted by Sifu on August 18, 2009 at 7:56 PM · Report this
Loveschild 80
62 69 FarNorth, although you and I don't share the same views when it comes to employment and probably housing related to those who have adopted the gay lifestyle, given the extremes they have gone to in other states, I can see your concerns. A word of unsolicited advice to you and all your fellow Alaskans, keep mobilizing politically and don't let your guard down. Look at 49 and 60. These ideological groups mean business and they'll throw everything at us. They're very open and adamant about it too.

You don't need to worry about boycotts tho, I can't tell you how long i've been hearing gay lobby groups near me threaten to boycott Jamaica because of its laws concerning sexual conduct, and the economy of the island hasn't suffered one bit because of it. I've had two relatives vacation there last month (envy) and its as thriving and enchanting as ever. So let them boycott till their hearts contents. Even the withdrawal of funds from the obscenely wealthy amongst them wont amount to diddly squat. Keep you're eyes on your assembly and mayor 'cause they're the ones who can keep them from really infringing on your rights or leave you and yours at their mercy. It's up to you to keep your elected officials in check and let them know who they're really working for. We're all in this together so don't give up keep up, the good fight, cause we are in the morally just, winning side of history.
Posted by Loveschild on August 18, 2009 at 8:04 PM · Report this
Alaska is a welfare state. They pay people to live there because smart people otherwise wouldn't and stupid people would freeze to death.

Once its oil runs out, they'll be abandoned to their own devices. Shortly thereafter they'll cease being a problem, because it will just be caribou, bellies fat from the carcasses of those rugged individual citizens.
Posted by Then Puerto Rico can be the 50th state on August 18, 2009 at 8:38 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 82
@ 69, you just revealed what's really in your heart with this one. Fear. And fear leads to anger, as Yoda told us.

Sorry. Keeping people who are born the way the are out of your business and off your property is not a right you'll find codified anywhere, so the "do your rights trump my rights" argument doesn't apply.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 18, 2009 at 10:47 PM · Report this
@10: Beautiful quote. That one's going on my wall.
Posted by Terry Nguyen on August 18, 2009 at 11:22 PM · Report this
Oops: forgot to mention two more things about Theodore Sturgeon:

1) He was straight.
2) He had a heart bigger than his head in his chest.
Posted by Sifu on August 19, 2009 at 12:38 AM · Report this
@10 & @83:
Desmond Tutu is a generous-hearted, openminded, and selfless person, who happens to be a Christian. FartsNorth & LovesChild = small-minded, mean people who happen to be c#nts. Oh, and claim to be Christian (but without being Christ-like, so much: I doubt that when Christ was sitting with the prostitutes and tax collectors that he was going on at them in the "loving" way that LC and similar proselytizers specialize in).
Posted by YTAH on August 19, 2009 at 3:45 AM · Report this
alaskanaturist 86
@4 abandoning the red states is exactly the opposite of what we should be doing! we need more fair minded folks moving to these "red" areas to shift that voting majority to a more moderate, or dare i say, left of center viewpoint.
@10 thanks for posting those inspiring words from a true religious leader
@24 i like the way you think
@50 well said vince
@64/66 i couldn't agree more, it's a shame that equal treatment must be legislated, but there has always been those in society that believe they, and the group they belong to, are better than another
@69 i have no desire to burn your business down, i just want the right to be employed there and not worry about being fired if my boyfriend happened to drop by to bring me lunch.
@78 while i agree with your comment 100%, this ordinance wasn't about an issue as volatile as gay marriage. it was something much simpler... fair/equal protection from employment and rental discrimination within the community.
Posted by alaskanaturist on August 19, 2009 at 3:50 AM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 87
80. Except you are losing. More and more people think that gay people deserve rights. Just as the segregationists failed in the south, you and your hateful kind will fail. Gay people are here to stay, and we will get full civil rights. (Did you graduate from high school or not?...Although your refusal to answer all this time answers the question.)
Posted by Rob in Baltimore on August 19, 2009 at 5:11 AM · Report this
lol,, I love it.. You people are so predictable. I'm bored of most you now so I'll leave you to your little pity party. God is a patient God, he's waiting for you.

Good Day!
Posted by FarNorth on August 19, 2009 at 8:39 AM · Report this
Theo Magyar 89
Wow - Farnorth and LOveschild: if I ever need a homophobic, irrational character in a novel, you won't mind if I use your posts verbatim, do you?
Posted by Theo Magyar on August 19, 2009 at 8:45 AM · Report this
But,, FarNorth, you forget one thing: Washington doesn't get subsidized to any similar degree that Alaska does, and Washington has significantly more military presence in terms of headcount than Alaska.

Alaska is a welfare state, plain and simple. Half the reason i got the holy living hell out was that the "do very little to nothing and expect the state to solve your problems" mindset was so pervasive that it led to the cycle of social problems and failure that permeate modern Alaskan society.

Alaska used to mean something. It used to be about hard work, independence, and a sense of community that gave people space but didn't leave your neighbors behind. Unfortunately, much like Texas used to mean something,'s become a backwards, intolerant nightmare populated by people who think they're pioneers and are really just pathetic fucking whiners.
Posted by harridan harriet on August 19, 2009 at 2:18 PM · Report this
@86 That's all well and good, but the bigotry was only one of the reasons I never went back... the others being the 9 months of winter, perpetual darkness, cabin fever, and extremely high rates of alcoholism and STIs.

On the plus side, the scenery is absolutely amazing in the summer- but I can always get that when I go to visit family.
Posted by UNPAID COMMENTER on August 19, 2009 at 5:12 PM · Report this
Posted by Jdangle on August 19, 2009 at 5:59 PM · Report this
guynak 93
It was a sad comedy watching the other side recruit children to hold signs... that said gays recruit children, and then being unable to see the irony. My sign "Pedophiles come from churches, not gay bars!", was called "slanderous" by one woman in red (which was soo not sexy in this context), who refused to provide a definition of slander when I asked if she knew what it meant. Instead, her defense was "Well, that's just the *Catholics* anyway, not real Christian churches." I was stymied.

Anyway, there are three online opinion polls regarding Sully's veto. We're ahead, which calls into question the Mayor's "4 to 1" opposition numbers. They're at
Posted by guynak on August 19, 2009 at 11:39 PM · Report this
Frau Blucher 94
@15 - We keep trying to TELL people like you we were BORN gay. We know our inner selves better than you know us. Yet, you continue to put your fingers in your ears, and in a sing-song manner go, "la-la-la-la-la, I can't hear you."

Therefore, it becomes YOUR problem, not ours.
Posted by Frau Blucher on August 20, 2009 at 7:35 AM · Report this
47 - No. Bigoted asshats are responsible for their own vile opinions and behavior. Without religion, people like them would find a different excuse, just as people like Kim would follow a secular philosophy to the same reasonable, kind, and compassionate ends.

I have no love of fundamentalist religion, but people are responsible for their own hate. Bigotry is entitlement for the small-minded and insecure, and just because they wrap up their justification in a spiritual system doesn't mean it doesn't come from anywhere other than straight from their own black little hearts.
Posted by laurelgardner on August 20, 2009 at 7:52 AM · Report this
Well, lucky me. I just happen to have a pre-paid trip to Alaska starting in THREE DAYS. I'm not canceling it, but I'll try not to spend much cash in Anchorage.

Far North @69, believe me, if you want to find a way to keep away gay employees and forbid gay people from renting your properties, you'll be able to do it (legal or otherwise). Just as people find ways to discriminate against catholics, mormons, protestants, jews, etc. today. It's illegal, but with enough effort you can usually find a way.

The point is that there should be a law on the books saying that it's wrong to fire an employee for something that has nothing to do with how well they do their job. And there should be a law on the books saying that it's wrong to evict a responsible tenant who pays their rent and doesn't abuse your property and lives by the terms of their lease. The law may be unenforceable, but as a civilized state these laws should exist as an example of how the best type of citizen should behave.

Don't worry, you'll still get to treat people like they aren't good enough to be near you. You'll just have to be maybe a tiny bit more creative, but it won't take much effort.

Posted by Yeek on August 21, 2009 at 7:20 AM · Report this
Lily Fluffbottom 97
There is another protest today (aug. 21st at 6:30pm) in downtown Anchorage. Any one who is able should come by and visit. Its going to be part across from town hall, and the other section is going to be protesting McGinley's Pub, which is right up the street. Those who are going to McGinley's are asked to dress in leather or drag if able, and to bring their partner or a friend for a kiss in.

McGinley's is partly owned by Dan Sullivan. It should be fun. See you there!
Posted by Lily Fluffbottom on August 21, 2009 at 2:55 PM · Report this

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