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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 14, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 02
National News
Section One
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National News

Activists to push Anchorage LGBT rights ordinance
Alaska's Equality Works coalition will attempt to pass a Gay and Transgender rights ordinance through the Anchorage Municipal Assembly this year.

The proposed law would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, employment and public accommodations.

Should the measure become law, anti-Gay forces have vowed to attempt to repeal it via a ballot initiative.

Should the ordinance fail to pass the Assembly, LGBT activists will work to put it on the ballot in 2012 for approval by voters.

A version of the ordinance passed the Assembly 7-4 in 2009 but was vetoed by Mayor Dan Sullivan, who said he wasn't convinced anti-Gay discrimination exists.

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

Anchorage is home to 40 percent of Alaskan residents.

Same-sex marriage threatened in New Hampshire
Even as Rhode Island legislators introduced a bill to legalize same-sex marriage on January 6, fears are mounting that New Hampshire may be preparing to repeal its same-sex marriage law.

In the November elections, Republicans took control of both houses of the New Hampshire Legislature and they have enough seats to override vetoes by Democratic Gov. John Lynch.

Bills have been filed to repeal the marriage-equality law and to amend the state constitution to prohibit same-sex couples from marrying.

'Republicans now have a veto-proof majority in the Legislature, and the newly elected House speaker, state Rep. Bill O'Brien, is a staunch opponent of marriage equality,' said Lee Swislow, executive director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD).

Four Republican senators or 32 Republican House members would need to join every Democrat in one or the other chamber to uphold a gubernatorial veto of any bill ending same-sex marriage. The Senate has 24 members, of whom 19 now are Republican, and the House has 400 members, of whom 298 are Republican.

The previous Legislature legalized same-sex marriage in June 2009 and the law took effect Jan. 1, 2010.

Same-sex marriage also is legal in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont and Washington, D.C.

With assistance from Bill Kelley

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