rainbow_flag_Alaska_insert_public_domain_modified_with_flag_c_Washington_Blade_by_Michael_KeyThis week, the Juneau Assembly passed an ordinance that makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. In passing this ordinance, Juneau became the second Alaskan city to pass an inclusive non‐discrimination ordinance that extends protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or national origin, race, color, age, religion, sex, familial status, and disability.

At the public hearing for the city ordinance last month, voters expressed nearly unanimous support for the measure. There are no explicit statewide sexual orientation or gender identity non-discrimination protections in Alaska. Juneau joins more than 100 cities nationwide and 19 states with similar LGBTQ non-discrimination protections.

Equality Federation member Alaskans Together for Equality congratulated the local LGBTQ community in Juneau who have been steadfast in continuing to advance LGBTQ equality at the local, state, and federal level. They also thanked all the organizations involved in this effort over the years and the last few months, including Southeast Alaska LGBTQ+ Alliance (SEAGLA), ACLU of Alaska, and Human Rights Campaign.

“We look forward to other communities passing inclusive non‐discrimination ordinances across the state,” said Camden Yehle, Board President of Alaskans Together for Equality. “In less than a year, more than half the population of Alaska is now protected from discrimination. We hope with the passage of this ordinance sends a strong signal to the State Legislature that it is time to extend protections to LGBT Alaskans from discrimination in the existing statewide non‐discrimination statute.”

Congratulations, Juneau!

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Mel King

Mel King is the Development and Operations Manager for Equality Federation, the national strategic partner to state-based organizations working to win equality in the communities we call home. In this role, he manages the individual giving program and the donor database, as well as operations for the communications department and internal systems. He also serves as the board liaison.

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