Anchorage Is First City to Reject Bathroom Bill

In victory for transgender rights, voters opt not to repeal anti-discrimination measure
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 12, 2018 8:47 AM CDT
In this photo taken Monday, April 9, 2018, is a sign on a business door urging defeat of a proposition that would have rolled back protections for transgender residents in Anchorage, Alaska. Residents...   (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
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(Newser) – Voters in Alaska's largest city are on track to become the first in the US to defeat a so-called bathroom bill that would require people use public bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender at birth. The referendum asked Anchorage's voters to repeal an ordinance passed in 2015 that prevented discrimination based on sexual orientation and added a clause that would have prevented transgender people from using bathrooms and locker rooms corresponding to their gender identities. Voting by mail and in person ended on April 3 and the repeal effort was losing 53% to 47%, with nearly 78,000 votes counted and only several hundred to be counted when tallying ends on Friday. Supporters of the referendum have conceded defeat and opponents are claiming victory, per the AP.

After the result's final tally emerges and it is certified next week, Anchorage will hold the distinction of being the first US voting jurisdiction to defeat such an effort in a stand-alone ballot measure, said Alex Morash, spokesman for the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund. While conceding defeat, Jim Minnery of Alaska Family Action said "we're encouraged that 47% of the people in Anchorage didn't buy into the $1 million infusion that the outside LGBT activist groups poured into the city." In Massachusetts, voters will be asked in November whether they want to repeal a 2016 state law barring discrimination on the basis of gender identity in public accommodations, including allowing transgender people to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their gender identities.

(Read more bathroom bill stories.)

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