In 2021, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights (ASCHR) published new guidelines saying Alaska’s LGBTQ protections included employment, finance, government practices and public accommodation.
The official ASCHR website was updated to specifically say that it was illegal to discriminate against someone due to sexual orientation or gender identity.
In fact, the executive director for the state commission co-authored an essay calling the new policy “a sea change under Alaska law for LGBTQ+ individuals’ right to be free from discrimination.”
A year later, the commission quietly u-turned on that decision and deleted the related language from its website.
On the advice of the state attorney general, Alaska’s civil rights agency quietly deleted language promising equal protections for LGBTQ Alaskans against most categories of discrimination and began refusing to investigate complaints. https://t.co/S29vtaY42F @propublica @adndotcom
— Anchorage Daily News (@adndotcom) March 5, 2023
The news was “announced” through the commission’s Twitter account to its 40 followers.
Related: Anchorage Voters Reject Anti-Trans Bathroom Bill
More from the Anchorage Daily News:
[ASCHR] deleted language from the state website promising equal protections for transgender and gay Alaskans against most categories of discrimination, and it began refusing to investigate complaints.
Only employment-related complaints would now be accepted, and investigators dropped any non-employment LGBTQ civil rights cases they had been working on.
An investigation by the Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica found the decision had been requested by a conservative Christian group and was made the week of the Republican primary for governor, in which Gov. Mike Dunleavy was criticized for not being conservative enough.
The commission made the change on the advice of Attorney General Treg Taylor and announced it publicly via its Twitter feed — which currently has 31 followers — on Election Day.
Here’s screen captures before and after the policy was reversed. Note the highlighted text:
Identity Alaska, the local LGBTQ advocacy nonprofit in Alaska, called the reversal “state-sponsored discrimination.”
Read more at the Anchorage Daily News.