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Anchorage Assembly considering gay rights ordinance

A proposed ordinance to ban discrimination against gays and lesbians in hiring, housing and education will be considered by the Anchorage Assembly next month.

It would also ban discrimination against military veterans.

The ordinance brings to the forefront a gay rights issue that has bitterly divided Anchorage in the past, and at least one local religious leader said Tuesday he plans to battle it again.

Assemblyman Patrick Flynn, a supporter of the ordinance, said it's time Anchorage stands up for all its residents. "People are simply people," he said. "It is wrong to discriminate against them just because the person they happen to love and make a family with is the same gender."

A public hearing on the measure is set for June 9.

Acting Mayor Matt Claman, who could veto the decision if it passes the Assembly, said he supports the measure.

"In an ideal world, the code would just say, 'Thou shall not discriminate for any reason,' " Claman said.

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