Anchorage assembly member introduces LGBT discrimination bill, allows religious exemption

Anchorage. (Creative Commons photo by Frank K.)
Anchorage. (Creative Commons photo by Frank K.)

The Anchorage Assembly is trying again to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the city’s anti-discrimination ordinances. Assembly member Bill Evans filed the amendments Thursday. The ordinances prohibit discrimination by the municipality, employers, businesses and renters.

The proposed ordinance includes exemptions for religious organizations and says that no person should be forced to participate in an event that conflicts with sincerely held religious beliefs.

Another provision says that people will be required to use restrooms and locker rooms appropriate to their gender presentation regardless of their assigned sex at birth.

In a press release, Evans wrote, “The ability of every person in society to be judged based upon their skill, accomplishments, and talents, and not because of some immutable characteristics, is a result we should encourage.”

The Assembly will take public comments on the ordinances on September 15. Previous attempts to pass a similar ordinance were vetoed by former mayor Dan Sullivan and rejected by voters.

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