Prop. 1 Vote Puts Anchorage in National Spotlight

Since the Anchorage Assembly unanimously voted to include sexual orientation as a protected class under the city’s equal rights ordinance on Dec. 30 1975, Anchorage has fought over LGBTQ rights.

After the Anchorage Assembly passed the ordinance, Rev. Jerry Prevo created a Christian-conservative movement to have it overturned.

For years after, it seemed that Prevo’s side won debates over said rights time and time again.

But now, Anchorage’s Proposition 1 has proven that the tables are beginning to turn.

According to KTUU, 52.65 percent of those who voted voted no on Prop. 1, meaning that it has been turned down. However, election results are not yet official.

Prop. 1 had proposed to “prohibit any individual from using a restroom or locker room designated for a gender that does not correspond with the sex assigned on the individual’s birth certificate.”

Exceptions to the proposition would have been entry for medical assistance, entry for maintenance if the facility is otherwise unoccupied, entry for children under eight years old when accompanied by and adult, entry for caretakers assisting individuals with disabilities, entry for the opposite sex when temporarily permitted and entry during emergencies.

There were two major campaigns regarding the proposition, one of them being “Yes on 1,” organized by Jim Minnery, that used the slogan “protect our privacy.”

But the much larger campaign was that of “No on 1.” Organized by Fair Anchorage, No on 1 used endless campaigning to get their message across.

No on 1 stated that this proposition would not improve public safety since it is already illegal for anyone to enter a restroom and harm or harass someone, was an invitation to harassment, was unethical and discriminatory, unenforceable based on the fact that the proposition provided no provisions for enforcement and would be harmful to children.

The Vote No on Prop 1 campaign has been active for months now. At the Women’s March back in late January of 2018, “Vote No on Prop 1” stickers were being handed out to attendees. Since then, there have been advertisements on TV, social media and even YouTube.

Sophomore Chelsea Bruce said, “I’ve seen advertisements for No on 1 for months now. I remember being handed a ‘vote no on 1’ sticker at the Women’s March and seeing signs too.”

Sophomore Hailey Rose agreed with Bruce and said, “I remember seeing them at the march as well. I’m guessing that all of this campaigning was one of the major reasons that the proposition was turned down.”

Though the No on 1 campaign played a large role in the outcome of this vote, it could be likely that many votes came from those who saw that allowing people to use the restroom of the gender that they identify with had caused no previous problems in Anchorage.

For over two years now, Anchorage has had a nondiscrimination law in place that provides legal protection for transgender people, and Prop. 1 wold have reversed the effects of the nondiscrimination law.

Since the passing of this law, no incidents have been reported regarding a person being in danger in a public restroom due to the nondiscrimination law.

It can also be argued that other laws against stalking, discrimination and violence are what will protect people in public restrooms, not Prop. 1. Prop 1 would have only put transgender people in danger without adding protection to anyone else.

Junior Rachel Kim said, “I really think that Prop. 1 would have only caused more discrimination in our community and would put transgender people in danger of being harassed even more.”

In addition to No on 1, community businesses such as BP, Wells Fargo and Beartooth have all voiced their disapproval of the proposition as well.

Since voting to reject Prop 1, Anchorage has been in national news as an example of change.