Target: Jim Minnery, Chair of Protect Your Rights
Goal: Pull inaccurate and inflammatory anti-LGBT advertisements from Anchorage’s television broadcasts.
For 35 years, activists in Anchorage have been working to ban discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgender persons. Now, less than a week remains until residents vote on the newest initiative to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the ordinance that prohibits workplace and housing discrimination. Grassroots advocacy groups on both sides of the issue have been gaining unprecedented momentum as Anchorage approaches the vote. But opponents of the anti-discrimination measure have recently resorted to hateful tactics to convince voters to keep transgender persons off the list of protected minorities. The conservative organization Protect Your Rights has polluted Anchorage’s channels with offensive and dangerous TV spots that misrepresent what it means to be transgender.
In the 30-second clip, a narrator laments the idea that daycare owners would be forced to hire “transvestites”–drawn as hairy men in dresses and wigs–under the new ordinance. The cartoon implies that all individuals whose gender identities do not match the sex they were assigned at birth are merely entertaining a perversion by dressing in the “wrong” clothes. In reality, the new ordinance would protect those individuals who have legally and medically transitioned between genders–not self-identified men who enjoy wearing feminine clothing.
The TV spot grossly misrepresents the intentions of Proposition 5 by reducing transgender individuals to an outdated, offensive stereotype. It cultivates a toxic atmosphere for gender-variant persons living in Anchorage who are already at risk of violence. Protect Your Rights may be free to express their opposition to Proposition 5, but they shouldn’t have to resort to hate speech to do so. Protest this damaging and dangerous campaign by signing the petition below.
Dear Jim Minnery,
As residents of Anchorage gear up for the historical vote on Proposition 5, it’s essential that both proponents and opponents of the measure remain well-informed as to its implications. But the recent television campaign launched by Protect Your Rights maligns transgender individuals by painting them as deceitful subversives seeking to force well-meaning business owners to entertain their perversions. Proposition 5 would protect transgender individuals who have legally and medically changed their gender–not transvestites who cross-dress for pleasure. Spreading misinformation about the ordinance only serves to mount intolerance at this critical time.
These TV spots promote a dangerous cultural environment for Anchorage’s transgender residents. I demand that you assume responsibility for the contents of your campaign and take these hateful ads off the air immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mel Green via Flickr.