Anchorage’s new law adding discrimination protections for gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual people is now officially on the books, with Anchorage Assembly Chair Dick Traini signing the legislation Friday morning in a brief ceremony at City Hall.
The Assembly passed the law in a 9-2 vote just before midnight Tuesday. Normally, the chair signs legislation with little fanfare, Traini said. But he said he wanted to have a ceremony to give the law’s supporters closure.
Traini signed the law with Assembly member Elvi Gray-Jackson at his side. About two dozen onlookers cheered as he handed out the pens he used to sign the measure.
“It’s been a long road,” Traini told the room after the signing. “And this will help a lot of people in Anchorage who have been discriminated against. So hopefully we’ve sealed that. And we’ll just move on.”
Man has this been a long time coming.
Some of you long time IM visitors may remember the Summer of Hate back in 2009 when Jerry Prevo had Fundamentalist Christians from the Valley bused in to argue against the ordinance. Resulting in some rather angry confrontations.
Despite the best efforts of Prevo and his religious homophobes, that ordinance passed.
However Anchorage's newly elected mayor, Dan Sullivan, promptly vetoed it which put us back at square one.
Now with a new mayor in place we can finally provide protection to some of our most vulnerable citizens.
And that my friends is why local elections matter.