Mayor still deciding on gay rights veto

PRIORITIES: Sullivan focusing on city budget crisis first

August 12, 2009 

Mayor Dan Sullivan said Wednesday he is studying the anti-discrimination ordinance passed by the Anchorage Assembly and will announce later whether he will veto it.

Under city law, Sullivan has seven days to make that decision. The Assembly voted Tuesday.

The ordinance bans discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It was approved by a 7-4 Assembly vote after two months of public hearings. The Assembly would need an eight-vote supermajority to override a veto if Sullivan issues one.

Sullivan said he is immersed in trying to close a new $9 million gap in the city budget. He plans to announce his plans for doing that this afternoon.

In a statement e-mailed by the mayor's office, Sullivan said, "I understand that Anchorage residents want to hear from their mayor regarding the Assembly ordinance that passed last night.

"This issue is important to our community and, as such, deserves careful consideration. It is my responsibility not only to listen to constituents but to examine the ordinance's language in depth.

"The city currently is consumed with a budget crisis, and my energy is directed at solving that problem in the immediate future.

"When the time comes to make an announcement as it relates to the ordinance, I will do so."

Find Don Hunter online at or call 257-4349.

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