April 11, 2018

Alaska city votes down anti-transgender bathroom bill

NPR - Voters in Anchorage, Alaska narrowly rejected a controversial proposal last week that would have banned transgender people from using bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity. The "bathroom bill," as it was called, mirrored legislation passed in North Carolina in 2016.

The election result was a surprise to many in Alaska's largest city. It has implications for the upcoming midterm elections in other states and may provide a playbook for similar state-level battles.

The results are a major shift from just six years ago. In 2012 municipal elections, voters rejected a broad equal rights ordinance on the ballot. The same anti-discrimination measures were eventually passed by the city's assembly in 2015. The Prop. 1 effort was a narrowed attempt to repeal some of those expanded protections, and is similar to bills introduced in other state legislatures, as well as two ballot measures that could go before voters in Montana and Massachusetts this November.

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