Gov. Bill Walker praised Alaska’s pro-life advocates for their work, stating that “all life is precious and singular.” In a statement read by a representative from his office, the governor thanked the gathering of crisis pregnancy center workers, abortion recovery volunteers, religious leaders and others who braved sub-zero temperatures to participate in the Jan. 24 annual Interdenominational Prayer Service. The 15th annual event took place at the Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery to mark the anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in the United States.
Pre-filed legislation for the current session of the Alaska Legislature aims at repealing the state’s constitutional understanding of marriage, which is now defined as the union between “one man and one woman.” While Alaska’s constitutional definition of marriage was struck down by a federal judge last year, the state has appealed the decision as it awaits a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court (in a separate case) on the constitutionality of any state being able to limit the legal definition of marriage to “one man and one woman.”
Two nearly identical house bills have been pre-filed in the Alaska Legislature with the aim to establish “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected classes under Alaska’s current nondiscrimination law, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin and several other classifications. The proposed legislation would require state agencies, private employers, non-religious schools and other nonprofit groups to legally recognize and accommodate the preferred “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” of employees, customers, teachers, students and others regardless of their actual physical biology.
Despite numerous academic studies showing negative outcomes for young children who spend extended time in daycare and pre-school programs, five Alaska legislators have introduced a bill to launch universal state-run pre-kindergarten. If passed, House Bill 36 would launch a voluntary state-run program for Alaskan parents of children as young as four years old.