Anchorage & LGBT: if those words apply to you, we need your help

Mayor Dan Sullivan

My review shows that there is clearly a lack of quantifiable evidence necessitating this ordinance.

That’s what Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan stated on August 17, 2009 when he vetoed Anchorage Ordinance 2009-64, the Anchorage equal rights ordinance, which had been passed the previous week by a vote of 7 to 4 by the Anchorage Assembly.

AO 64 briefly added sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of personal characteristics in Title 5, Anchorage’s equal rights code, which prohibits discrimination based on those characteristics in employment, housing, financial practices, education, and practices of the Municipality of Anchorage. Its passage on August 11, 2009, followed a protracted period of public testimony at the Anchorage Assembly, with accompanying sign-waving and letter-writing both by ordinance supporters and those who opposed equal rights.

We know there is discrimination in the Municipality of Anchorage against LGBT people. Indeed, we presented quantifiable evidence from two previous studies on sexual orientation and sexual orientation bias in Alaska and Anchorage. But those studies were conducted in the 1980s, and Mayor Sullivan chose to ignore both them and the firsthand testimony of more recent incidents of antigay/antitrans discrimination that Anchorage residents testified to before the Assembly.

Many of us know a friend or a loved one who has experienced discrimination. In the absence of legal protections, LGBT people — especially transgender individuals — are vulnerable to unfair treatment. We know those stories are out there. We just need to document them.

That’s why we need your help.

If you are an LGBT person who lives, works, or spends time in Anchorage — or if you’ve lived/worked/spent time in Anchorage in the past — please complete the Anchorage LGBT Discrimination Survey.

It takes about 10 minutes to complete the survey. All survey responses are completely confidential, and survey administration has been designed to ensure the privacy of all respondents.

We need your help whether or not you have personally experienced discrimination.

To make sure that there is only one person per survey, and to ensure that only members of the LGBT community participate, a valid PIN number is required for your survey to be counted. But it’s simple. Just:

  1. Contact the Project Manager, Shelby Carpenter, at or at 907.263.2006 to get a PIN.
  2. Go to to complete the survey.
  3. Paper surveys are also available upon request.

The Community Survey Task Force has extended survey data collection to March 31, 2011 in order to give more people time to respond. Please pass the word along to other LGBT folks who live, work, or spend time in Anchorage, Eagle River, Chugiak, Peters Creek, Eklutna, Girdwood.

Thank you for your help with this important study!

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