The debate around Proposition Five in Anchorage is starting to heat up. The proposition- on the April municipal ballot- would provide legal protections against discrimination to gay, lesbian and transgender people. Last month, the anti-prop five group ‘Protect Your Rights’ launched a website called protectanchorage.org. On the website, the organizer of that group, and the head of the Alaska Family Council, Jim Minnery, quoted openly gay Anchorage Daily News Columnist, Julia O’Malley, to make the point that the kind of discrimination that prop five would prevent does not exist in in Anchorage.
“Her column basically said it doesn’t matter – she’s been openly gay since she was 17 in Anchorage. And it didn’t matter if she approached her hairdresser or the cable guy or the postman. I can’t remember all the different examples she used and she said I have *Never felt intolerated. I’ve never felt anything but respect. And we basically said, Amen Julia. She was of course wanting to have this ordinance passed. But another quote that she had in that article which I thought was very interesting was that ‘laws, in her experience, will never change peoples’ hearts.’ It’s personal relationships. And another thing that we said Amen to. Because you cannot legislate anything that will require or affect peoples’ hearts and that’s what this is truly about.”
Minnery posted excerpts from the column on his website, but took them down after Julia O’Malley complained he was taking her words out of context. O’Malley says she supports prop five because it offers peace of mind to gay, lesbian and transgender people in Anchorage. She describes her reaction when she saw her words used on the anti prop five site.
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