FamilyPrint

Alaskans Move to Protect Privacy

Our allies at Alaska Family Action celebrated a huge success recently by gathering enough signatures to put a “bathroom-privacy” initiative on the 2018 ballot. The measure—originally named the Protecting Our Privacy Initiative—would protect the dignity, safety and privacy of women and girls in showers, restrooms and locker rooms by requiring intimate spaces to be segregated by biological sex as determined at birth rather than how individuals “identify.”

Supporters of the Protect Our Privacy initiative gathered close to 8,500 signatures — thousands more than the number required to certify a place on the 2018 ballot.

The ballot measure aims to blunt one of the many dangerous effects of a so-called nondiscrimination ordinance passed by the city of Anchorage almost two years ago that included “gender identity” as a protected class.  The ordinance allows boys and men who identify as transgender to use women’s restrooms and other facilities designated only for females.

“That’s obviously a huge privacy and safety issue for women and girls,” said Jim Minnery, executive director of Alaska Family Action, one of Family Policy Alliance’s state-based allies. “Everyone is made in the image of God and should be respected and loved but not everyone should have access to any intimate space they want because of how they feel. It’s common sense.”

The Human Rights Campaign says there are more than 100 cities in the U.S. that have similar “public accommodation” ordinances that allow men who identify as transgender to use women’s bathrooms. That means privacy measures to protect women and girls—like the one championed by Alaska Family Action—are needed now more than ever.

Minnery said despite facing marked opposition from transgender-activists who threatened and harassed their signature gatherers, the effort enjoyed a large and ethnically-diverse coalition of support from people and churches across Anchorage.

If passed, the privacy initiative would protect against, for example, a boy using the girls’ locker room at a sporting event. Don’t think that could happen? Check out this Ask Me First video about how Alaska girls already were forced to compete against a young man who says he identifies as female in the 2016 girls state track competition.

Voters will have a chance to approve the privacy measure in April 2018. Congratulations to Jim and the entire Alaska Family Action team!