ANCHORAGE, ALASKA — Senator Hollis French, D-Anchorage, a long-time supporter of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, said yesterday that marriage equality was "inevitable" in Alaska.
French's comments come a month after Gov. Sean Parnell said that his administration had no intention to push legislation repealing the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
"People across the state support the freedom to love whoever you choose," said Elias Rojas, board president of Alaskans Together for Equality. "We urge that elected officials in Juneau come out in and let their support for marriage equality be known. The Capitol hasn't had a dialogue about marriage equality for many years. It's time we revisit this issue."
In the meantime, Senator Berta Gardner, D-Anchorage, has introduced a bill in the senate to add sexual orientation and gender identity under the purview of the State Commission for Human Rights.
The bill would protect LGBT Alaskans from discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations, and financing.
"Alaskans deserve to be judged solely based on the quality of their work, not on who they love," said Rojas. "Communities across the state are mobilizing and asking their elected representatives to help move this bill out of committee."
The Senate bill is slated to hear the bill in the Health and Social Services and Finance committees. Last session, the House version of the bill, HB139, received a short hearing in the State Affairs committee. Because of Rep. Beth Kertulla's recent resignation, HB139 is in need of a new manager before being heard in committee.
Alaskans Together for Equality, Inc. is the only statewide educational and advocacy lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender with a focus on advancing civil equality for all Alaskans through grassroots organizing and advocacy, with a primary focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Alaskans. For more information please visit: www.AlaskansTogether.org