Anchorage passes anti-discrimination ordinance

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Anchorage anti-discrimination ordinanceAfter months of contentious debate, the Anchorage Assembly approved a city-wide ordinance yesterday making discrimination based on sexual orientation illegal.

The 7 to 4 decision came down Tuesday night after the assembly heard from more than 600 people who signed up to testify throughout the summer.

The evening was emotional even before the decision, but this time it came from the other side of the testifying podium — the assembly members themselves.

After months and months of listening to public testimony on the controversial anti-discrimination ordinance, it was the assembly’s turn to talk — and they rivaled the emotion of the 600 speakers before them.

“The rest of the people in this community deserve equal rights just like the rest of us,” said assembly member Elvi Gray-Jackson.

“We need to treat each other well in this world, and we don’t, and I wish we did,” assembly chair Debbie Ossiander said.

Mayor Dan Sullivan has seven days to veto the ordinance. Hopefully this will be the first of many positive steps forward in a post Palin Alaska.

Post by ILO on 08/12/09 at 11:01 am