While many of us were heading to bed in the Lower 48, the citizens of Anchorage, Alaska were counting ballots in the latest trans rights battleground.
The anti-trans hate group the Alaska Family Council had managed to get a proposition on the ballot that if it had passed, would have stripped the trans protetctions from the city’s LGBTQ rights law passed in 2015 by the Anchorage Assembly. Proposition 1 would have also barred transgender people from using the facilities and locker rooms that matched their gender presentation, even if they had changed their identity documents.
Translation: The Alaska Family Council haters were trying to pass a nastier Last Frontier version of North Carolina’s HB 2.
It was also going to be the first time that the city of Anchorage would attempt to use a mail-in ballot for a civic election, and turnout was expected to be high. Anchorage is also the largest city in the state of Alaska .
The Yes on 1 IForces of Intolerance rolled out the usual anti-trans playbook of anti-trans lies and fear mongering but were outgunned by Fair Anchorage, the coalition group working to defeat the unjust Proposition 1
The Yes on 1 haters raised $128,000 to spend on their scampaign to $800,000 for the Fair Anchorage coalition. Fair Anchoragenot only had more money, they learned the lessons from the failed HERO defense fight here in H-town and attacked the bathroom predator myth head on.
Meanwhile the Yes on 1 side was committing the cardinal sin in Alaskan politics of using a non-Alaskan in their commercials.
In addition to ads from Alaska’ native community, who have felt the sting of discrimination themselves, advocating for their trans neighbors and urging a NO vote, Fair Anchorage also had local trans people in their commercials and engaged in their coalition of groups fighting this latest trans rights battle.
That predictably deployed trans predator lie by the YES on 1 trans oppressors was also blown up not onlyin this ad featuring an APD officer, but a statement from the Fair Anchorage campaign that quoted firefighters, former state reps and a former police spokesperson.
It also pointed out that a YES vote would be bad for Anchorage.
“While backers of Prop 1 claim they’re advocating for public safety, nothing could be further from the truth,” Mike Stumbaugh, president of Anchorage Firefighters Union Local 1264, said, according to the press release issued by Kati Ward, Fair Anchorage campaign manager. “And in the 200-plus cities and 18 states with laws nearly identical to Anchorage’s nondiscrimination law, the results have been the same: Protecting transgender people is not a threat to public safety — here in Anchorage or anywhere else in the country.”
Over 40 Anchorage based businesses also opposed the passage of Proposition 1 as bad for business and the city reputation.
Fair Anchorage not only aggressively tackled and demolished the predator myth, they also took on and demolished another of the right wing’s favorite lies in claiming that by letting transgender women poop and pee in women’s restrooms, cisgender women’s safety was compromised.
And here’s one of the NO on 1 ads that featured a trans person and their parent
35,054 ballots (17.4% of the city’s voters) had already been returned before the April 3 deadline. With all the ballots counted, Proposition 1 was defeated by a 53%-46% margin.
Congrats to the Fair Anchorage coalition for decisively beating the Alaska Family Council haters.
That’s wonderful news considering Massachusetts is facing its own looming trans rights election this November.
It also lends credence to what I have been saying in terms of transphobia becoming less of a winning issue for Republicans and the conservative movement