Alaska mayor vetoes LGBTQ anti-discrimination protections
The mayor of Alaska’s second-largest city vetoed a local law that gave sweeping equal rights protections to the LGBTQ community, The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.
Fairbanks Mayor Jim Matherly said he hopes to put the issue on the municipal-election ballot in October and let voters decide.
Matherly made the announcement in a column sent March 1. He said he arrived at his decision “after much soul searching.”
The Fairbanks City Council approved the equal-rights ordinance on Feb. 25 by a 4-2 vote. The hotly debated measure extended anti-discrimination protections for employment, housing and public accommodations.
Supporters of the measure were planning to hold a vigil in Fairbanks.
Among them is Hayden Nevill, who said the veto “gives our neighbors a license to treat us poorly.”
Posthumous memoir by gay rights pioneer due in October
A book drawn from an uncompleted manuscript and other personal papers by gay rights pioneer Edith “Edie” Windsor will be posthumously released in October, according to a report in The Washington Post.
The book, “A Wild and Precious Life,” was finished by Joshua Lyon with cooperation from Windsor’s widow, Judith Kasen-Windsor. The book includes everything from her childhood to her coming out as a lesbian to the 2013 Supreme Court ruling she helped bring about that led to same-sex marriage nationwide.
Windsor, who died in 2017, challenged a federal law that would have only granted her an inheritance tax break if she married a man. She was facing a big tax bill after the death of her first wife, Thea Spyer, whom she had married in Canada.
Washington state Senate approves school transgender anti-bullying bill
The Washington State Senate has passed an anti-bullying measure that would require policies intended to protect transgender students in public schools, The Spokane Spokesman-Review reported.
On Feb. 27, Democrats who consider the legislation a basic school safety measure prevailed in a party-line vote over Republicans who argue the bill takes authority away from local school districts.
The bill has moved to the State House for consideration.
The bill would require the superintendent of public instruction and the school administrators association to develop strategies to eliminate gender-identity discrimination and address specific challenges for those public school students.
Republican Minority Leader Mark Schoesler said anti-bullying protections already exist, while Democratic Sen. Lisa Wellman said the measure will help prevent cases from being overlooked.
Proposed ban on LGBT conversion therapy getting pushback
A proposal to ban gay-conversion therapy for minors is encountering pushback in conservative Utah as state lawmakers question whether it could have a chilling effect on how therapists can discuss sexual orientation with young clients.
A hearing among a panel of lawmakers took place on March 1, according to KMVT.com.
Republican Rep. Karianne Lisonbee said she wants to be cautious with the proposal that’s drawn opposition from some therapists over provisions dealing with talk therapy.
Supporters say the measure is similar to those passed in 15 other states, and passing it would be an important step to curbing a practice associated with higher rates of depression and suicide attempts.
Republican sponsor Rep. Craig Hall said he expects to keep up talks and for the bill to be heard again shortly.
— Compiled by Larry Nichols