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Let the circus begin!

July 21, 2009
From Floridana Alaskiana v2.5

From Floridana Alaskiana v2.5

John and I will be at the Loussac Library pretty soon.  Reports are that the testimonies won’t start to be heard until 7pm, but it is still very important for supporters of the Equal Rights ordinance to show up early and get a seat inside the Assembly Hall.  We need to be able to add our support to those brave enough to go up and speak.  Get there early if you can, but if you can’ t make it inside, there are still plenty of things you can do to help outside the library.  Bring some markers and and poster board and wave your signs with pride.

We also have a surprise for our friends.  If you see us, don’t be shy, ask if we have any left.

I hope to see you there.

5:30pm

The meeting has started, but there are still so many empty seats!  Apparently there are hardly any people outside, either.  The Assembly has announced that they will likely start hearing testimonies after 7:00pm.  If you wanted a chance to speak to the Assembly, today seems like a good day to try.

Keep checking back for more updates.

6:30pm

We’re still listening to the usual business.  The room has filled up a bit more, but there are still many open seats available.  Nothing eventful thus far, other than some heartfelt recognition given to retiring city employees, and a touching memorial given for former Assemnblyman Teshe, who died recently after open-heart surgery in Texas.  His daughter accepted their words on behalf of Mr. Teshe’s family.

7:35pm

They’re now discussing possible changes to the food code.  The man’s arguments seem sound.  This is the last item on the agenda before the Assembly starts to hear testimonies.

The surprise, free t-shirts, went over very well.  Hopefully we’ll have them available in a more professional capacity in a new online store very soon.

Assemblyperson Gutierrez is making comments on the proceedings through his facebook page.  Always entertaining.

8:00pm

A very well-spoken man, who is a school psychologist, is explaing that the APA has data supporting that Gay and Lesbian people are just as well-adjusted as heterosexual people.  He’s saying it much better than I am, but it’s a nice start to the evening’s testimonies.

8:02pm

According to the man speaking, we should not try to go outside of God’s design, and how he designed the human body.  I’m assuming that given the option, he would refuse to have any medical surgeries, as that would interrupt the design that God had determined for his body.

8:06pm

We’ve been informed that “‘unlike other religions, the Judeo-Christian religion does not force its beliefs and practices onto others.”  She must have missed the part in history class about the Crusades.

8:11pm

I just got my name on the list.  Number 647!

8:17pm

There are a lot of people coming up who missed their turn.  The man speaking now is explaining what a Christian is through a job application analogy.  A rather convoluted analogy, to be honest.  You apply by accepting the lord Jesus into your heart.  And then there is a 90-day probation.  Or 70 year probation.  “I hope in each of your cases, if you claim to be a Christian, you take a close look at your instruction manuals when it comes time to vote on this ordinance.”

8:22pm

The lady speaking now speaks for freedom, as well as speaking against the ordinance.  She has not witnessed any discrimination, and loves all people of all races and religions.  It is a Christian’s duty to love one another.  She may be missing her own point.

8:26pm

Amber, a resident advisor at UAA, is talking about how tax dollars were spent to train her on how to deal with issues of descrimination.  She asks, if this ordinance isn’t necessary, why was so much time and money spent to train her how deal with these situations.  She made many good points.  Thank you, Amber!

8:41pm

Assemblyman Coffey is not even pretending to pay attention to what people are saying.  Apparently his book, or magazine or whatever it is is a bit too engrossing.

8:48pm

Lynn supports this ordinance, and just sang “Jesus loves me” to the Assembly.  People from the audience quietly joined in.  It was sweet.

8:53pm

It amuses me that people keep threatening the Assembly with damnation and losing their positions on the Assembly.  Threats to the people you’re trying to sway seems somewhat counterproductive.

8:59pm

Tiffany is up speaking now.  She points out that 108 cities have statutes protecting LGBT citizens.  She argues that there was a great outcry after Brown vs. Board of Education that forced integration challenged their rights as Christians to keep the races separate.  She thinks that much of the outcry against the ordinance is very similar in tone.  She argues that for one side to win, that doesn’t mean the other side has to lose.  She points  out that white people are still here, which means that the world won’t end when one group is given equal protections under the law.

9:18pm

Chairwoman Ossiander has put out a plea to submit testimony through phone calls and email.  We’re wearing them out.  Frankly, I agree with her, which is why I’ve now crossed my name off of the list.  These people are very patient.

9:21pm

The man speaking thinks that the Assembly shouldn’t be concerned with food codes, they should be concerned about AIDS, and encouraging the lifestyle that breeds AIDS.  The majority of his speech, however, was dedicated to TV and movie commentary.  He doesn’t like seeing sex and violence on TV, but recommends that everyone watch Ma and Pa Kettle Go to the County Fair, apparently a rip-roaring good time.  He believes the internet is the most dangerous thing you can have in your house.  His last comment “I am a Christian.”

9:56pm

The lady speaking just called being Christian a “lifestyle.”  I couldn’t agree more.  Religion is a form of lifestyle that is protected under Anchorage’s anti-discrimination laws.  Why can’t my friend’s lifestyle have the same protections?

9:58pm

The lady speaking right now: “Being a lesbian is who I am.  If I were celebate for the rest of my life, I would still be a lesbian…I believe in religious freedom, but not in forcing those beliefs on others. ”

10:31pm

My kind friend, Rachael, has lent me her laptop so I can continue to live-blog.  Rachael is awesome.  I declare it to be so.

10:38pm

I disobeyed Chairwoman Ossiander and giggled at the last lady who spoke.  She stated that the APA said that necrophilia and bestiality would be made legal by passing this ordinance.  I couldn’t help it, she was very serious.

10:47pm

And I’m back on the list to speak.

10:56pm

Brittany Goodnight is up speaking about the “red” message and the “blue” message.  It’s very clear to her that the red message is “hatred and descrimination is alive and well.”  She says that what the significant thing that the Assembly can do is to pass the ordinance so that all of their constituents have equal protection under the law.   The red message only works to affirm the blue.

We are very close to finishing the list.  They are voting on completing the list now.

11:12pm

I went up and spoke.  I flubbed my lines, but I got my point across.  I don’t know if I’ve ever been so nervous in my life.

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One comment

  1. […] that maybe he was playing World of Warcraft [Ref #4] or solitaire on his iPhone [Ref#5] or reading magazines or books [Ref#6], instead of listening.  I might live in Coffey’s district, but I’ve never had […]



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