No "Dead Queers" means No Discrimination: opponents of Ordinance 64

UPDATE: Mayor Sullivan VETOED Ordinance 64. Read the mayor's statement HERE, then contact the Assembly and ask them to over-ride the veto. They have 21 days.

What is the anti-gay lobby saying about the passage of Ordinance 64? An Anchorage blogger* wrote:
"[Assembly members] Chris Birch and Bill Starr said they had not been convinced that discrimination against gays and lesbians is a problem in Anchorage. "I don't see signs that say, 'No Gays Allowed,'. We have a tolerant and diverse community that generally gets along," he said. Birch also bemoaned the amount of time devoted to this issue, saying he would rather have devoted the time to determine how to better deal with the homeless problem. This is a valid point, since we are not finding dead queers on our streets, but dead homeless people. (emphasis mine)
Is that what it takes: "dead queers" on our streets? We don't even know that there are no "dead queers," since no state or city agency collects data on anti-gay discrimination. And if the 3 reported anti-gay murders and dozens of attacks and harassment incidents are not enough evidence, how many "dead queers" will be necessary before the city admits there is discrimination against gays?
Homelessness is a serious problem in Anchorage, one that deserves more attention. But there is no point in blaming ordinance supporters for the 25 long hours of testimony to the Assembly. It was the opponents' strategy to delay the vote, by getting hundreds of church members to testify from as far away as Wasilla.

The blogger, who lists a dozen white supremacist groups on his blogroll, also calls supporters of Ordinance 64 "abusive." He assumes that a ballot measure to repeal the ordinance, if the Mayor does not veto it by Tuesday, will pass because:
"The gay-lovers may be the most vocal and the most abusive, but they are not the most numerous."
I attended the public hearings and watched in disbelief while dozens of anti-gay opponents shouted and insulted and threatened and preached hellfire at the Assembly members each night. They won the "most abusive" label, hands down.

Meanwhile, opponent Jerry Prevo of the Anchorage Baptist Church is keeping up the pressure on Mayor Sullivan, using his pulpit to rally the troops and flood the city with calls and letters:
"The Gay Rights Ordinance, 2009-64(s-2), is bad public policy. It will make homosexuality and transgender (which is any form of sexual perversion) an acceptable alternative lifestyle. It is ridiculous to provide special rights for people who chose to engage in immoral, unnatural, perverted sexual activity. Do they have the right to do it? Yes, but we should not be forced to condone it. Homosexuality is a diseased and depraved lifestyle. Young people do not need to be made to think it is an "ok" lifestyle." (emphasis mine)
Prevo's June 28 sermon "Did Jesus Discriminate?" preached against the equal rights ordinance, calling gays a long list of names, saying "you can't be both" gay and Christian, and claiming that Jesus did discriminate, sometimes violently. Part 1 of the sermon video is posted HERE, Part 2 is posted below.

"I watched it. I was amazed," wrote Glenn, an ordinance supporter who created the poster above. "So, I started working on a series of posters 'Jerry, In His Own Words.' Not trying to be mean, just trying to make a point: it's not the gospel, it's hate speech."

Video of Prevo's sermon, "Did Jesus Discriminate?" part 2:

- Poster Prevo: In His Own Words, used with permission.

* I'm not going to link directly to his blog, but the name would usually be a GLBT name. To find it, search for our state name followed by the short name of the LGBT community's late June Festival. Warning: this is a political blog by a white supremacist, and many posts are disturbing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

email sent to Debbie Ossiander:

Hi Debbie,

As retired ASD teachers, we have seen young children calling their classmates "gay" or "fag" frequently. It always became a teachable moment for us - to teach tolerance, even though we were paid to teach music. We believe that Mayor Sullivan has taken Anchorage in the wrong direction with his veto. A few things to consider:

1) Recently, a young couple filmed themselves attacking a defenseless, native man on an Anchorage street. I also recall vividly when a former West High hockey player beat a native to death with a hockey stick in an Anchorage alley years ago. It is only a matter of time before the same sort of thing happens with a gay, lesbian or transgender individual as the victim. The Mayor's veto seems to give tacit approval to that kind of behavior - it's OK to discriminate in Anchorage.

2) The opposition, once again, seems to be lead by "Dr." Jerry Prevo. He is a wealthy, powerful man who likes to judge others and put on a show. My Bible talks about how it's easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. It talks about leaving Judgement up to God, and praying alone in a room with the door closed rather than on the temple steps. And it summarizes Old Testament law with two simple commandments - love God, and love your neighbor. I can't help but think that there should be NO restrictions on that neighbor we are to love. The "forest" is unconditional love. The "trees" are isolated Bible verses, often taken out of context. We need to be able to view the forrest without being distracted by those trees. Question - If Christ came back tomorrow, would "Dr." Prevo even recognize Him?

3) Four years ago we were in Haines in early September and a large cruise ship was in town. We noticed the streets were crowded with passengers from the ship and they were nearly all men. It quickly became apparent that it was a gay cruise. The small shops in Haines were doing a thriving business. My friends who are gay or lesbian are intelligent people with good jobs who travel and spend money. The word will get out across the country that Anchorage turned down a Gay rights ordinance, and there will be a negative reaction. Well healed tourists will seek other travel destinations where they will be welcome. Do we want to restrict our tourist trade in the current economy by allowing the defeat of an ordinance which protects a minority and harms no one?

We hope you make the right decision when the vote to override takes place.


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