Anti-Transgender Measure Defeated in Alaska
By Mila Madison
If the measure had passed, Proposition 1 would have forced transgender people to use restrooms, locker rooms and "intimate facilities" according to their sex assigned at birth instead of their gender identity. It would have also removed parts of a 2015 discrimination ordinance passed by the Anchorage Assembly that had banned discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
It was the state’s first election in which residents cast their votes by mail. Residents were able to mail in their votes as long as they were postmarked by last Tuesday’s election date. Though the tally on election day showed a majority were in favor of turning down the measure, there were still roughly 16,000 votes that had yet to be counted.
After a week of waiting, the votes are finally in. With 76,612 total votes cast, 52.7% were "no" votes on Prop. 1, compared to 47.3 percent who were in favor.
The measure was defeated with the help of LGBTQ+ advocates such as Fair Anchorage, which spent over $824,000 opposing the measure. They also ran an aggressive ad campaign to counter the fear based initiative.
“This groundbreaking, first-of-its-kind victory could never have happened without the hard work and courage of transgender people and their families in Anchorage who shared their experiences and stories of how Prop 1 would impact them,” said Kati Ward, campaign manager of Fair Anchorage. “When we learned last year that Proposition 1 might be on the ballot, we began to create a coalition like our city has never seen before. We brought together a powerful alliance of bipartisan elected officials, businesses, faith leaders, safety advocates, women, educators, and families to send the message that Anchorage values freedom for all. This is a victory not only for transgender people, but for their allies and everyone who is proud to call Anchorage a welcoming place.”