Gay rights petition OK'd, set for April 3 election ballot

Anchorage Daily NewsDecember 14, 2011 

An initiative that would extend legal protections against discrimination to gay and transgender people in Anchorage will indeed appear on the April 3 ballot, the city says.

Anchorage City Clerk Barbara Gruenstein announced today that a petition to place the question on the ballot has gathered the sufficient number of signatures.

Petitioners needed 5,871 valid signatures, Gruenstein said. The clerk's office had verified more than 6,000 by this afternoon.

The question will read: "Shall the current Municipal Code sections providing legal protections against discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, age, physical disability, and mental disability be amended to include protections on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender identity?"

A conservative Christian group, the Alaska Family Council, plans to campaign against the measure. The initiative is similar to a high-profile city ordinance that the Anchorage Assembly passed in 2009. Mayor Dan Sullivan vetoed the ordinance.

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