While One Anchorage is not ready to declare that it is over, the writing on the wall seems to be the Proposition 5 (the new proposition that would have amended Title 5, sections 1-8 to prohibit discrimination for things like maintaining a job or getting housing based on sexual orientation) has failed.
A great deal of work has been put into this. So many people gave so much time and effort. But, as was seen with Ordinance 64 (the previous version of this bill), this issue showed just how easy it is to rally a bigoted base against a cause that they are “morally” opposed to.
There argument was that this was “inhibiting religious freedom.” Never mind that the section of Title 5 that dealt with religious institutions, section 9, would not have been affected by this. Religious institutions could show preferential treatment to whomever they liked. But the truth didn’t matter to the “Protect Your Rights” campaign.
Their message was that these gays, lesbians and transgendered peoples were going to be like a seedy lot of evil monsters. This kind of propaganda is nothing new. When gay marriage has come up in other states, they try to dress it up really nice, talking abour rights and “morality.” The truth is that we have allowed this government to pretty much openly endorse discrimination.
Such a sad reality, that. American politicians have openly talked about how homosexuality is wrong. They talk about how God is the one to look up to, even though we have a 1st Amendment, and his book is filled with some of the worst morals there are.
To people like Jim Minnery, the head of the Alaska Family Council, believe it is a conflict of “values.” But what values are these people spreading by openly getting people to work against social progress? They are saying that they value bigotry, because an employer could find out that you are gay and fire you on the spot. They are saying that they value the spread of hatred, by having the people believe that these kinds of people are not worthy of respect or fairness. They are saying that they value a system of beliefs that is 2,000 years old, from a desert filled with people that America is also openly discriminating against more than they do decency and kindness.
It’s not a question that there is discrimination against the LGBT community here in Anchorage. Go to Mad Myrna’s on any day of the week and you can find this out. Take a look at some of the signs that were being held up at the battle over Ordinance 64 and you’ll see where a good chunk of the population stands.
However, many will argue that most people are not like that. Most people don’t discriminate, and most people are accepting. Here’s the problem with that – where were they yesterday? Now, I will give that there were problems with the ballots, and this is an issue that I am very curious to see how it is resolved. I’m not much for conspiracies, but that does seem to be a point of interest. However, there were options, and the people could have come out in greater numbers.
The fact is that the group who is against gay rights is so much more able to mobilize their voting base, and this is something that progressives and liberals need to learn, because the fact is that the more people think that things will turn out alright, and that they don’t have to get involved, the more we are watching progress in this country get rolled back.
We are in a culture war, and the left is losing. Badly. Every compromise, every deal that is struck is only to stave off the madness, while the smaller battles are being won by those who want to get rid of all progress. This needs to be paid attention to. But don’t take my word for it. I’m just a petty journalist who sees the writing on the wall.