Fairbanks Mayor Says No to Homosexuality Being a Civil Right

Fairbanks, Alaska, Mayor Jim Matherly vetoed a Fairbanks City Council ordinance that would have put homosexuality and gender dysphoria on an equal plane with race and sex (male and female) under the city’s civil rights law. The mayor wants the matter decided by voters on an October ballot measure.

The city council can override the mayor’s veto with five affirmative votes within 14 days of the veto.

Hayden Nevil of the LGBT advocacy organization Gender Pioneers said, “It’s disheartening that Mr. Matherly has chosen to legitimize fear instead of legitimizing people.”

However, Mayor Matherly’s veto letter clearly states his goal isn’t to discriminate: “By vetoing I am not saying it is okay to discriminate or treat others poorly. I believe in treating others with compassion and fairness. What I am saying is that, while the Council and myself do our best to work out important issues for the community, this ordinance is bigger than a Mayor and six Council members, and the decision needs to be in the hands of the voters of Fairbanks.”

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