Governor Bill Walker has appointed one of Alaska’s most influential and leading transgender and gay rights activists to serve on a quasi-judicial commission that aims to root out alleged discrimination. It is now up to the Alaska Legislature to vote on whether to confirm the appointment.
Drew Phoenix last year resigned from his post as executive director of Identity, Inc., a nonprofit that aims to impose transgender and gender identity ideology on schools, businesses, churches and nonprofits across Alaska.
In February Governor Walker chose Phoenix to fill a vacant spot on the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights, which hears grievances of human rights violations.
According to the state website the Commission for Human Rights has the authority to investigate complaints, interview witnesses, collect documents and visit locations of alleged discrimination to gather evidence.
The commission also has the power to subpoena witnesses or documents, “if it becomes necessary to do so,” the website states.
If the commission believes discrimination occurred, the violator will be “asked to cease the discriminatory act or practice” and may be asked to provide relief to the complainant, “undergo training in the laws prohibiting discrimination, adopt an anti-discrimination policy, or take other actions necessary to remedy the discrimination.”
If these actions are insufficient, the commission can then refer the case to the courts which can issue fines of up to $500 and 30 days in jail.
While the commission does not have explicit authority to rule on cases of discrimination involved in sexual orientation or gender identity and expression, it announced last year that it would interpret the existing legal ban on “sex discrimination” as including “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression.”
Phoenix has been a staunch supporter of mandating that Alaska schools, businesses, nonprofits and religious groups accommodate homosexual and transgender organizations that wish to utilize services and accommodations to advance their agenda, even if doing so violates the deeply held religious and moral beliefs of business owners and religious groups.
Under his leadership, Identity, Inc. has pushed for widespread acceptance of allowing men and women to use whatever showers or bathrooms they identify with, regardless of their biological sex. Identity also pushes for mandating that males be allowed to compete on female school sports teams (and vice-versa) if a person identifies as a member of that sex, regardless of their biology.
The Alaska Legislature will vote April 13 on whether to confirm all of Governor Walker’s appointees to Boards and Commissions – including Drew Phoenix.