(I’ll follow this up with a happier post, probably also tonight.)

Sometimes, Anchorage is a tough place to live. (It’s probably time for my yearly complaining-about-April-snow post, but this isn’t it.) We had a ballot proposition, to afford the same protections given for race, gender, physical disability, etc., to GLBT people. It seems to have failed. Pretty badly. (60/40, though there were several “electoral anomalies,” such as certain polling places running out of ballots, some anti-equality folks showing up and casting ballots that haven’t yet been counted and will eventually be thrown out [but they were ballots that people who were actually registered could have used], and so on.) They haven’t counted the absentee ballots yet, so there’s a chance it’ll still make it through, but it’s not looking good.

The upshot: in Anchorage, it is legal, still, for businesses of any size to fire someone for being gay, lesbian, or transgender. It’s legal to kick someone out of their apartment for the same. (An important note: churches, small businesses, and individual landlords [as opposed to property management companies] were still going to be allowed to discriminate, just as they are allowed to discriminate based on gender or disability, now.)

I’m not moving to Canada, or anything like that, but I’m still angry and dispirited and … antsy. I want things to change for the better. I’m not feeling particularly at risk or victimized, myself: first off, my workplace has voluntarily adopted a non-discrimination policy. Second, I’m married, to a guy, so nobody will actually believe I am anything other than straight. (People are funny.) My orientation has never been a big part of how I define myself, for whatever reason, and so I don’t find myself personally affected by this, though I feel like I should, somehow. But I’m still really upset: we have a pretty great GLBT community, here, many of whom are my friends, neighbors, and colleagues. I cannot fathom that these people aren’t seen as equal citizens by such a large percentage of the Anchorage voting population.

It upsets me that people showed up at the polling place and said, “No, I don’t want my right to discriminate against people trampled.”

Weird: all the bonds passed. So fiscal liberalism won the day, at the same time as social conservatism did.
Weird: the Municipal Clerk was supposed to supply each polling station with enough ballots for 70% of the voters registered there. We had 20-some percent voter turnout, a pretty normal number, but a bunch of stations ran out. It’s not clear that there were enough of these unregistered voters to account for that discrepancy.
Weird: poll numbers ahead of time were very, very different from the outcome, on this proposition—more different than is usual for such things.

I might be worrying prematurely. Maybe the election will be redone altogether, because so many people were turned away from the polls. Maybe a ton of proposition supporters voted absentee. It’s hard to know. But it’s one of the things you should know about Alaska, that this kind of nonsense happens here, I guess, so that’s why I’m writing about it.