Proposal bills would punish Alaskans who dissent on sex orientation

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. These terms are derived from gender theories claiming that the realities of male and female are social constructs and not part of any natural law or given reality. Thus, according to gender theorists, varied types of sexual orientations and behaviors are perfectly acceptable.

House Bill 19 is sponsored by Anchorage Democrats Rep. Andy Josephson and Les Gara, along with Sitka Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins. Juneau Republican Rep. Cathy Munoz and Barrow Democrat Benjamin Nageak sponsor the nearly identical House Bill 42.

Specifically the bills state that there should be legal protection for the right to express and claim a “gender, self-image, appearance, or behavior” regardless of whether these differ from “that traditionally associated with the sex assigned to that person at birth.”

The bills also aim to establish legal recognition and accommodation based on a person’s sexual practices and desires, including “heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality.”

The two bills closely resemble a proposal that was rejected by the Municipality of Anchorage in 2012 — Proposition 5.

Opponents of Proposition 5 objected that the law would have required private business owners in Anchorage to hire employees who were openly living a homosexual and/or transgender lifestyle, while also forcing service companies and rental organizations to promote, serve and facilitate causes and events which violate their moral beliefs, especially in the area of sexuality.

The state’s Commission For Human Rights currently hears grievances of human rights violations. If legislators successfully include “gender identity or expression” and “sexual orientation” among protected classes, then cases in which people feel they were discriminated against on these grounds will also be heard.

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.

The new session for the Alaska Legislature began Jan. 20 and runs until April 19. This legislation and other bills can be tracked in the Alaska Legislature’s current session at


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'Proposal bills would punish Alaskans who dissent on sex orientation' have 2 comments

  1. January 2015 @ 8:04 am Marc Grober

    Unfortunately the caption of this article is simply a false assertion, which does the initial part of your article, which is informative, a disservice.

    On the one hand you conflate dissent (the ability to disagree) with the ability to disregard the dictates of the law. The Bills in question would not bar dissent at all, while they would bar discriminatory behavior, i. e. behavior that denied to members of a class that which non-members receive on the basis of class membership. This is not a hollow difference, as we see when we get to your second mistake.

    The position of conservative Anchorage Catholics as apparently represented by the Catholic Anchor is that despite the catechism, the Gospels and the leadership of the Pope, it is appropriate to push those we don’t agree with away from us. That renders one a NIMBY Catholic, and is at the source of the worst historic excesses of the Church.

    In fact, if you, by way of example, wish to refuse to rent an apartment to a person who identifies as Gay but has rejected carnal acts of homosexuality you would be undermining your own catechism. Are you really suggesting that your premises are a sin-free zone? If so you must be living in a glass house… Do you plan to have a battery of tests to determine sinful proclivities?

    No, this is not about your right to dissent, nor your right to contract. This is about your “counter-attack” in your perceived “culture war”. And that is why that behavior, acts attempting to deprive others of places to sleep and eat, will be illegal.


    • January 2015 @ 5:30 pm Joel Davidson


      Thanks for your comments. I would point out, however, that dissent is the ability to both hold and express one’s views. In this case we are talking about the ability of someone to express their deepest held beliefs about morality and what they believe leads to human happiness. The debate is not about defending the practice of denying people who identify as homosexual the ability to buy a meal or rent a car or a house. This is not the Catholic and Christian teaching. However, the proposed legislation is much different. It is nearly identical to similar laws in Colorado and Arizona. In Colorado, a local baker is now fighting a law which prohibits him from refusing to make a wedding cake that explicitly affirms homosexual unions. This despite the fact that he believes homosexual acts are wrong. It’s not that this baker refuses to sell cakes to those who identify as homosexual. He has and continues to sell baked goods to them. But to force him to use his talents to explicitly promote and encourage behavior that he believes is morally wrong is a violation of both his religious views as well as his free speech. The baker is not interested in denying cakes to homosexuals or any other person. He just doesn’t want to promote certain behaviors. I imagine it would be similar if someone wanted a baker to make cakes that promote global warming or slavery or whatever issue one might find objectionable. No baker or printer or photographer or any other business person should be forced to promote these activities. That is the real point of disagreement. Right?

      Joel Davidson, Catholic Anchor editor


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