Alaska has been targeted as a “high priority” state by a leading gay rights activist group strategically looking to roll back religious liberty provisions in states that safeguard the rights of business owners, private and religious schools and other entities to operate their organizations in accord with their religious views and deeply held beliefs.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, in partnership with the Equality Federation, released its second annual national report assessing the status of state legislation affecting LGBT rights across America, including in Alaska.
According to a Feb. 3 press release, Alaska is one of 30 states in the country that the HRC has targeted for “undermining” gay rights “in the guise of ‘religious liberty.’”
Specifically, the group aims to push for new laws that allow those who identify as transgender to use “public facilities, including bathrooms, that accord with their gender identity” and to allow them to “make gender and name changes on crucial identification documents.”
“Even with marriage equality the law of the land, the battle for LGBT rights at the state level continues to be a story of successes and setbacks,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.
According to the HRC Alaska is a “high priority” when it comes to LGBT- related legislation and policies.
According to the recent press release, the goal is to have all 50 states enact robust LGBT non-discrimination laws covering employment, housing and public accommodations, as well as allowing people who identify as transgender to change official documents to reflect their gender identity. Additionally, HRC wants to see laws requiring that private insurers pay for the medical bills if a person makes physical changes to their body to transition from identifying as one sex to the opposite. The group also aims to ban counseling or therapies that aim to help people deal with unwanted same-sex attraction.
A top priority for the HRC is to defeat measures that safeguard religious liberties when it comes to disagreements about the morality of same-sex acts and transgender identity.
The press release claims that LGBT activists are now “more united and better prepared than ever to continue our momentum toward equality for all,” according to Rebecca Isaacs, executive director of Equality Federation Institute. “We’re not going to stop until all LGBTQ people and their families are able to reach their full potential, free from discrimination, no matter what state they live in.”