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Anchorage Rejects Gay Rights Initiative

Voters in Anchorage, Alaska overwhelmingly rejected an initiative on Tuesday that would add civil rights protections for gay citizens. Proposition Five would have extended the city’s civil rights laws to include protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

One Anchorage, a group advocating for gay rights in Alaska, organized the Proposition 5 campaign and received support from Democratic United States Senator Mark Begich. United States Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski also supported the bill, telling reporters “I think this is overdue and we make sure that within this community that there’s no discrimination and there’s no tolerance for any discrimination at all.”

The bill, originally vetoed by Mayor George Sullivan 35 years ago, was also vetoed three years ago by current mayor and Sullivan’s son, Dan Sullivan. On Tuesday, the bill was defeated 58 percent to 42 percent with 94 percent of the vote counted. Final results have yet to be announced.

Same-sex marriage is illegal in Alaska, and the state is among 14 others in the US without a law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Employees working for private companies are not legally protected from sexual orientation discrimination.

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