Report to boost Alaskan gay rights debateTop Highlights, Around the Nation Friday, November 25th, 2011
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A report to be fully released in December aims to examine discrimination against LGBT people in Anchorage, Alaska. In August 2009, the Anchorage Assembly had passed an ordinance by a vote of 7-4 that would ban discrimination against people based on sexual orientation and gender identity in issues of housing and employment. Mayor Dan Sullivan vetoed the legislation a week later, citing insufficient evidence that discrimination was occurring against members of Alaska’s LGBT community.
Explaining the veto at the time Sullivan said, “My review shows that there is clearly a lack of quantifiable evidence necessitating this ordinance.”
Now, reports the Alaska Dispatch, a preliminary report for the new study, titled the Anchorage LGBT Discrimination Survey, looks to provide just the “quantifiable evidence” that Sullivan had said was lacking. It surveys 268 members of Anchorage’s LGBT community on issues of everyday life, employment and housing as it relates to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Although the full report isn’t due out until December, the preliminary report has some interesting numbers: 76 percent of the survey respondents reported some verbal abuse or harassment related to their sexual orientation or their gender orientation, while 44 percent said they’ve been harassed at work. And 10 percent say they’ve been denied a lease on a place to stay, even when otherwise qualified.
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