Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

05/04/2017 03:00 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 184 DISCRIMINATION: GENDER ID.;SEXUAL ORIENT. TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 54 CRIME AND SENTENCING TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 173 CLIMATE CHANGE COMMISSION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
        HB 184-DISCRIMINATION: GENDER ID.;SEXUAL ORIENT.                                                                    
                                                                                                                              
3:08:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that the first  order of business                                                               
would be  HOUSE BILL NO.  184, "An Act  adding to the  powers and                                                               
duties of the State Commission  for Human Rights; and relating to                                                               
and  prohibiting discrimination  based on  sexual orientation  or                                                               
gender identity or expression."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:08:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ANDY  JOSEPHSON,  Alaska  State  Legislature,  as                                                               
prime  sponsor of  HB 184,  stated that  there have  been various                                                               
attempts at advancing the proposed  legislation - both during the                                                               
Twenty-Seventh  Alaska  State  Legislature,  2011-2012,  and  the                                                               
Twenty-Eighth Alaska State Legislature,  2013-2014.  He mentioned                                                               
key events  in the civil rights  movement in America:   the Civil                                                               
War,  the   13th,  14th,   and  15th   Amendments  to   the  U.S.                                                               
Constitution, the  Women's Suffrage Movement, Jim  Crow laws, the                                                               
Civil Rights Act of 1964, the  Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the                                                               
Fair  Housing  Act  of  1968.    He  maintained  that  the  "last                                                               
frontier"  of  civil  rights is  anti-discrimination  legislation                                                               
nationwide.   He  referred  to U.S.  Supreme  Court civil  rights                                                               
decisions  - Lawrence  v. Texas  [2003], Romer  v. Evans  [1996],                                                           
Bowers v. Hardwick [1986], and  Obergefell v. Hodges [2015] - and                                                             
asserted  that  no  one  believes that  civil  rights  are  fully                                                               
implemented relative  to race  and gender or  that the  issue has                                                               
been  resolved.   He maintained  that the  issue mostly  has been                                                               
resolved as a matter of law;  what is "tricky" is the enforcement                                                               
of civil rights.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:11:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON stated  that  the proposed  legislation                                                               
would give the  Alaska State Commission for  Human Rights (ASCHR)                                                               
jurisdiction   over    discrimination   in    housing,   lending,                                                               
employment,  and  public  accommodations -  specifically  as  the                                                               
discrimination  relates to  sexual orientation,  gender identity,                                                               
and  gender  expression.    It  would give  the  ASCHR  power  to                                                               
investigate the discrimination and offer  remedies.  He said that                                                               
ASCHR has  requested that  it be given  these powers.   Currently                                                               
because of the  lack of jurisdiction in these  issues, ASCHR must                                                               
turn  away these  matters and  absolve itself  of these  kinds of                                                               
discriminatory practices.   He asserted that  fundamentally there                                                               
are   important  personal,   liberty,  spiritual,   and  economic                                                               
interests at stake.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON explained that  a religion exemption has                                                               
been  added to  HB  184,  which was  not  in  the previous  bills                                                               
introduced.   He maintained that  such an exemption  is compelled                                                               
by the  U.S. Supreme  Court decision  in Hosanna-Tabor  Church v.                                                             
Equal Employment  Opportunity Commission  (EEOC) and  would offer                                                             
comfort to  those concerned that  they would be compelled  to not                                                               
discriminate  when their  faith dictated  otherwise.   He relayed                                                               
that Alaska's largest city, the  Municipality of Anchorage (MOA),                                                               
has implemented  a similar law, but  only after a long  fight, as                                                               
has the  capital city, Juneau.   He maintained that "this  is ...                                                               
the place  where the  world is  headed, and so  we might  as well                                                               
nudge it along and help it get there."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:15:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  relayed that  she  is  curious about  the                                                               
"religion" defense.    She  referred to  a case in  Washington or                                                               
Oregon:  a woman who owned a  cake shop refused to bake a wedding                                                               
cake  for a  same-sex couple;  she was  sued by  the couple;  she                                                               
alleged that  her religious  freedom was  impacted; and  she lost                                                               
the  case.   She asked  if  under HB  184, this  could happen  in                                                               
Alaska with the same results.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:16:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON replied  that Washington  State Supreme                                                               
Court  unanimously ruled  that  the  baker did  not  have such  a                                                               
right.   He  stated  that  even though  HB  184  has a  religious                                                               
exemption,  there may  not be  such  a right  under the  proposed                                                               
legislation either.   He  mentioned that he  needs to  spend more                                                               
time  contemplating the  proposed  legislation  and its  nuances,                                                               
which includes  the level of  scrutiny that would be  applied and                                                               
the question of fundamental right.   He expressed his belief that                                                               
similar [religious belief] claims were  made relative to race and                                                               
gender.   He  stated that  it  is his  hope, notwithstanding  the                                                               
religious  exemption,  that  the  Alaska  Supreme  Court  may  be                                                               
concerned about that sort of claim.    He said, "To be clear, the                                                               
cake may  not be  baked in  the church kitchen,  but it  would be                                                               
baked."    He  reiterated  further  research  is  needed  on  the                                                               
proposed legislation.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked for a  situation in which  the issue                                                               
of "religious  freedom" would apply,  if not in a  situation like                                                               
the one in Washington.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  referred to  page 4,  Section 5,  of HB                                                               
184  and said  that the  proposed  legislation would  apply in  a                                                               
church hierarchy  in which a person  was applying to be  a member                                                               
of the  clergy and wanted  to assert a  right to a  lesbian, gay,                                                               
bisexual, transgender,  queer/questioning (LGBTQ) lifestyle.   He                                                               
said in  that circumstance,  the exemption  would apply,  and the                                                               
church  could decline  the person  based on  the person's  sexual                                                               
preference, gender, or other orientation.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  suggested that  if Section 5  presents the                                                               
only  exemption,  then the  exemption  only  refers to  hiring  a                                                               
minister or a priest.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  responded, "I  think that  is correct."                                                               
He added that  he believes that the reason the  MOA ordinance was                                                               
able to pass  was because of its sensitivities to  the need for a                                                               
religious exemption.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:20:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEGAN  HOLLAND,  Staff,  Representative  Andy  Josephson,  Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  on behalf of Representative  Josephson, prime                                                               
sponsor  of  HB  184,  paraphrased from  the  sectional  analysis                                                               
included  in   the  committee  packet,  which   read  as  follows                                                               
[original punctuation included]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1:  Amends AS 18.80.060  the powers  and duties                                                                  
     of  the  Human  Rights  Commission.  The  section  adds                                                                    
     "sexual orientation, gender  identity or expression" to                                                                    
     the  list of  protected categories  that include  race,                                                                    
     religion, color, national  ancestry, physical or mental                                                                    
     disability,  age,  sex,   marital  status,  changes  in                                                                    
     marital status, pregnancy, or parenthood.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                              
     Section  2:   Amends  AS   18.80.200  to   add  "sexual                                                                  
     orientation,  gender  identity  or expression"  to  the                                                                    
     list  of discriminations  which  are  cause for  public                                                                    
     concern, and asserts the need  for the state to prevent                                                                    
     such   discrimination   in   employment,   credit   and                                                                    
     financing  practices, public  accommodations and  sale,                                                                    
     lease or rental of real property.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                              
     Section  3:   Amends  AS   18.80.210  to   add  "sexual                                                                  
     orientation,  gender  identity  or expression"  to  the                                                                    
     categories of protected civil rights.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
     Section  4:   Amends  AS   18.80.220  to   add  "sexual                                                                  
     orientation,  gender  identity  or expression"  to  the                                                                    
     prohibitions against unlawful employment practices.                                                                        
                                                                                                                              
     Section  5: Creates  a new  section under  AS 18.80.220                                                                  
     which   provides   a   religious  exemption   for   the                                                                    
     prohibitions against  discrimination under the  area of                                                                    
     employment, stating  that section  4 does not  apply to                                                                    
     an   employment   relationship  between   a   religious                                                                    
     organization and  a minister employed by  the religious                                                                    
     organization.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:22:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  asked if  the exemption  in Section  5 could                                                               
apply to the  protected categories in Section 1 [on  page 1 of HB                                                               
184] -   race,  religion, color,  national ancestry,  physical or                                                               
mental disability,  age, sex, marital status,  changes in marital                                                               
status, pregnancy, or parenthood.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. HOLLAND  answered, "Yes, that  exemption does apply  to those                                                               
other  categories."   She stated  that a  church would  be exempt                                                               
from  discriminating  based  on  the  protected  categories  when                                                               
hiring someone for a "minister" type position                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  offered that there are  certain human rights                                                               
protections and  asked if it would  be totally within the  law to                                                               
state that  someone was not being  hired due to age  or race, for                                                               
example.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  relayed that  his wife is  a practicing                                                               
Lutheran.   There  are three  main Lutheran  Church synods  - the                                                               
Wisconsin  Synod,   the  Missouri  Synod,  and   the  Evangelical                                                               
Lutheran Synod.   The Missouri Synod  does not allow for  a woman                                                               
to be a pastor; the  Evangelical Lutheran Church synod does allow                                                               
a  woman to  be  a pastor.    He  said he  is  confident that  an                                                               
exemption due to gender is allowed  in that situation.  He opined                                                               
that  an  exemption  due  to  race  in  a  religious  setting  is                                                               
concerning and offensive.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL asked  about  a religious  school using  the                                                               
exemption  to  not hire  staff,  such  as teachers  or  janitors,                                                               
because they are "x, y, or z."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:26:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HOLLAND replied  that  she believes  that  the U.S.  Supreme                                                               
Court case [Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC],  which created the exemption,                                                             
addressed  a specific  type of  employment that  could compromise                                                               
the internal governance of the  institution.  She maintained that                                                               
the employment of  a janitor may not  compromise that governance,                                                               
but the employment of  a teacher might.  She stated  that it is a                                                               
very specific  exemption; she offered  to research  that question                                                               
and provide a more definite answer.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:27:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX offered  that  Section 5  of the  proposed                                                               
legislation only appears to exempt  a minister, and a minister is                                                               
clearly prescribed.   She asked if under HB 184,  a Jewish school                                                               
would have to hire maybe a  practicing Muslim who on his/her free                                                               
time advocates for the end of Israel.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HOLLAND replied  that it  would depend  on the  position for                                                               
which that  person was hired.   She expressed her belief  that if                                                               
it were a  ministerial type position, the  exemption would apply,                                                               
and if  not, it would not  apply.  She  agreed that it is  a very                                                               
narrow, specific  exemption, and  its purpose  is to  protect the                                                               
internal governance of religious institutions.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:29:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON  mentioned  that his  wife  attended  a                                                               
Lutheran  college;   for  tax  purposes,  she   is  considered  a                                                               
"Minister  of  the   Gospel."    He  maintained   that  the  term                                                               
"minister"  may be  broadly  interpreted.   He  relayed that  the                                                               
language in the  proposed legislation copies the  language in the                                                               
MOA ordinance; it may not be  perfect, and it may not be language                                                               
that the committee wants to adopt.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:30:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. HOLLAND  continued to paraphrase from  the sectional analysis                                                               
included  in   the  committee  packet,  which   read  as  follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Section  6:   Amends  AS   18.80.230  to   add  "sexual                                                                  
     orientation,  gender  identity  or expression"  to  the                                                                    
     prohibitions  against  unlawful   practices  in  public                                                                    
     accommodations.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
     Section  7:   Amends  AS   18.80.240  to   add  "sexual                                                                  
     orientation,  gender  identity  or expression"  to  the                                                                    
     prohibitions against unlawful practices  in the sale or                                                                    
     rental of real property.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                              
     Section  8:   Amends  AS   18.80.250  to   add  "sexual                                                                  
     orientation,  gender identity,  or  expression" to  the                                                                    
     prohibitions  against unlawful  practices in  financing                                                                    
     and extending credit.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
     Section  9:   Amends  AS   18.80.255  to   add  "sexual                                                                  
     orientation,  gender identity,  or  expression" to  the                                                                    
     prohibitions  against unlawful  practices by  the state                                                                    
     or its political subdivisions.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Section  10:   Defines  blockbusting,  and   amends  AS                                                                  
     18.80.300 to add  "sexual orientation, gender identity,                                                                    
     or  expression" to  the  prohibitions against  unlawful                                                                    
     practices  in  blockbusting,  or practices  by  a  real                                                                    
     estate agents [sic] to close a transaction.                                                                                
                                                                                                                              
     Section 11:  Amends AS 18.80.300 to  add definitions of                                                                  
     "gender   identity   or    expression,"   and   "sexual                                                                    
     orientation" to Alaska statute.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS asked for a definition of "blockbusting."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON  suggested   that  blockbusting  is  an                                                               
unlawful  practice  whereby a  real  estate  agent, for  example,                                                               
tries to  undermine the  right of  someone to  live in  a certain                                                               
neighborhood by suggesting to the  neighbors that there is reason                                                               
to leave.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. HOLLAND stated  that blockbusting is a practice  of trying to                                                               
keep certain people  out of certain [residential] areas  - a real                                                               
estate version  of segregation.   She gave  an example:   raising                                                               
the  price for  someone based  on their  ethnicity, religion,  or                                                               
sexual orientation.  She added  that there are various methods to                                                               
do  that, which  include  convincing people  in the  neighborhood                                                               
that there  will be  certain consequences  of that  person moving                                                               
into the neighborhood.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:33:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK   summarized  by  saying,   "It's  basically                                                               
segregating neighborhoods."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:34:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALIZA  KAZMI,  Policy  Specialist,  Alaska  Network  on  Domestic                                                               
Violence  &  Sexual  Assault (ANDVSA),  began  her  testimony  by                                                               
saying  that  she and  the  membership  of  ANDSVA will  need  to                                                               
further  examine Section  5 regarding  religious exemption.   She                                                               
said that of  particular concern to the  providers under ANDVSA's                                                               
19  member  programs,  which consist  of  the  domestic  violence                                                               
shelters  and  victim  services  throughout  the  state,  is  the                                                               
vulnerability  of  transgender  ("trans") people  to  sexual  and                                                               
other types of violence.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. KAZMI paraphrased  from her written testimony,  which read as                                                               
follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     The Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual                                                                       
     Assault strongly supports HB 184 ('Discrimination:                                                                       
     Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation'). We urge you                                                                    
     to also support it and ensure that it passes. This                                                                       
     important legislation needs to be a priority - it                                                                        
     cannot wait.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                              
     Even with important policy gains, and gradual socio-                                                                     
     cultural shifts towards understanding and tolerance,                                                                     
     the LGBTQ community continuously faces very real                                                                         
     discrimination and inequality. This discrimination and                                                                 
     inequality perpetuates high levels of violence against                                                                 
     people who are LGBTQ. Responding to and preventing                                                                     
     such discrimination and violence is a civil rights and                                                                 
     human rights issue.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                            
     The transgender community in particular, and                                                                             
     specifically trans youth and trans women of color,                                                                       
     face the threat of violence on a daily basis and need                                                                    
     laws in place to protect them from discrimination.                                                                         
         This vulnerability can be related to a lack of                                                                         
      resources due to deeply imbedded disenfranchisement                                                                       
      and discrimination--in school, housing, employment,                                                                       
     and access to health care.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                              
     To highlight just a few statistics                                                                                     
   · Statistics documenting transgender people's experience                                                                 
     of sexual violence indicate horrific levels of sexual                                                                  
     abuse and assault. One in two transgender individuals                                                                  
     are sexually abused or assaulted at some point in                                                                      
     their lives.  More than half experienced some form of                                                                
     intimate partner violence. (2010 report by National                                                                    
     Center for Victims of Crime and the National Coalition                                                                   
     of Anti-Violence Programs, 2015 US Transgender Survey)                                                                   
   · Some reports estimate that transgender survivors may                                                                   
     experience rates of sexual assault up to 66 percent,                                                                   
     often coupled with physical assaults or abuse. This                                                                    
     indicates that the majority of transgender individuals                                                                 
     are living with the aftermath of trauma and the fear                                                                   
     of possible repeat victimization (2010 report by                                                                       
     National Center for Victims of Crime and the National                                                                    
     Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs)                                                                                       
   · 12 percent of transgender youth report being sexually                                                                    
     assaulted in K-12 settings by peers or educational                                                                       
     staff; 13 percent of African-American transgender                                                                        
     people surveyed were sexually assaulted in the                                                                           
     workplace; and 22 percent of homeless transgender                                                                        
     individuals were assaulted while staying in shelters.                                                                    
     (2011 Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the                                                                             
     National Transgender Discrimination Survey)                                                                              
   · There was an 11% increase in anti-LGBTQ homicides in                                                                   
     2014. Looking at broad category of homicide victims,                                                                   
     50% were trans women of color (2014 National Report on                                                                 
     Hate Violence Against LGBTQ and HIV-Affected                                                                             
     Communities, National Coalition of Anti-Violence                                                                         
     Programs)                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                              
       As service providers, we encourage any legislative                                                                       
     frameworks to support us as we continuously expand our                                                                     
     LGBTQ cultural competence.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                              
     Discrimination compounds economic, health, and other                                                                     
     disparities and is a root cause of violence that                                                                         
     perpetuates the culture of violence against people who                                                                   
     are LGBTQ; and the social acceptance of this violence.                                                                   
     We join our colleagues who are victim advocates all                                                                      
     around the country in saying: to create a social,                                                                        
     political, and economic environment in which violence                                                                      
     against women no longer exists, we must support                                                                          
     equality and safety for all.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                            
     Let's make sure that Alaska is on the right side of                                                                    
     this issue. Please take a stand and show that Alaskans                                                                 
     do not support discrimination and violence, and do                                                                     
     support tolerance and peace. Support HB 184. Thank                                                                     
     you.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:39:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MELISSA   GREEN,    Principle   Investigator,    Anchorage   LGBT                                                               
Discrimination  Survey, made  reference to  two previous  studies                                                               
she  has been  involved with  that are  relevant to  the proposed                                                               
legislation:  "One in Ten: A  Profile of Alaska's Lesbian and Gay                                                               
Community," 1986, is a statewide  survey of 734 gay, lesbian, and                                                               
bisexual  respondents on  a wide  variety of  questions including                                                               
experiencing  discrimination,   violence,  and   harassment;  and                                                               
"Identity Reports:  Sexual Orientation  Bias in Alaska,"  1989, a                                                               
report looking at housing discrimination  in Anchorage and actual                                                               
case   studies  of   violence,  harassment,   and  discrimination                                                               
statewide.   She  stated that  in 2009,  when Anchorage  began to                                                               
consider its ordinance,  the research she just  mentioned was two                                                               
decades  old.   After  the  2009 attempt  to  pass the  ordinance                                                               
failed, it was  decided that the research should  be made current                                                               
and that gender identity and  expression should be included along                                                               
with  sexual orientation  in the  examination of  discrimination.                                                               
The result of that effort  was the "Anchorage LGBT Discrimination                                                               
Survey," which was conducted from January through March 2011.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GREEN relayed  that  the  key findings  of  the survey  were                                                               
disseminated in  a preliminary report in  November 2011, entitled                                                               
"Anchorage  LGBT  Discrimination   Survey:  Preliminary  Report,"                                                               
included in  the committee packet.   The final  report, completed                                                               
March 2012,  presents the key  findings in the  executive summary                                                               
along with detailed methodology  and data, extended discussion of                                                               
the findings  of the  two prior  reports, comparisons  with other                                                               
types of discrimination in Alaska  such as racial discrimination,                                                               
examination of  several years of  case filings of both  ASCHR and                                                               
the  Anchorage Equal  Rights  Commission (AERC)  to  date, and  a                                                               
comparison of  the anti-LGBT discrimination findings  in the 2011                                                               
survey with national LGBT data on anti-LGBT discrimination.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:43:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. GREEN  stated that  the sample  size for  the survey  was 268                                                               
LGBT men and  women out of an estimated 11,000  LGBT residents in                                                               
MOA  -  an estimate  based  on  the Williams  Institute  national                                                               
estimates  of 3.5  percent of  Americans identifying  as lesbian,                                                               
gay,  or   bisexual  and  about   [.3]  percent   identifying  as                                                               
transgender.   She  added that  the Williams  Institute estimates                                                               
that  statewide  there are  about  19,200  LGBT adults,  of  whom                                                               
13,100 are  in the Alaska workforce.   She relayed that  she will                                                               
focus on employment discrimination  data in her testimony because                                                               
it  is the  most  common type  of  discrimination brought  before                                                               
ASCHR and  AERC.  The  2011 survey found  that 44 percent  of the                                                               
268  respondents were  harassed  by their  employers or  reported                                                               
that they were  harassed by their employers  or coworkers because                                                               
of  their  sexual  orientation or  gender  identity;  16  percent                                                               
reported they were forced to  leave their jobs due to harassment;                                                               
21 percent reported that they were  turned down for a job because                                                               
of gender identity or sexual  orientation; 18 percent were denied                                                               
promotions; and 15 percent said  they were fired because of their                                                               
sexual orientation or gender identity.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. GREEN relayed that when  comparing the four groups of people,                                                               
transgender people  reported higher levels of  discrimination and                                                               
violent  harassment  than  was  reported  by  lesbian,  gay,  and                                                               
bisexual  people, but  the figures  were high  among all  groups.                                                               
She  said that  the  findings on  sexual  orientation and  gender                                                               
identity  discrimination  were  comparable  to  rates  of  racial                                                               
discrimination reported  in the  2009 Anchorage  Community Survey                                                               
(ACS)  conducted  by the  University  of  Alaska Anchorage  (UAA)                                                               
Justice  Center.   She maintained  that the  rates for  anti-LGBT                                                               
discrimination  in  the 2011  Anchorage  survey  were like  those                                                               
reported in national studies.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GREEN  referred to  the  1989  report  and stated  that  one                                                               
component  of this  "prima  facie" report  is  the 84  documented                                                               
actual  instances of  anti-gay bias,  discrimination, harassment,                                                               
or  violence, including  three murders.   She  claimed that  most                                                               
importantly, the  narrative stories  compiled in the  report were                                                               
evaluated by  a former  intake investigator  of ASCHR,  who found                                                               
that 42 percent  of the instances would  have been jurisdictional                                                               
under AS 18.80, if AS 18.80  had included sexual orientation as a                                                               
protected class  at that time.   She  added that the  1989 report                                                               
did not  look at gender  identity.   She maintained that  she was                                                               
not aware  of any current  efforts to compile  similar narratives                                                               
of discrimination.  She questioned  why studies on the issue must                                                               
be done by  the population that is trying to  get protection from                                                               
discrimination, while at the same  time, ASCHR has had to refrain                                                               
from investigating  the cases, because it  is not jurisdictional.                                                               
She said, "The whole point is - let's make it jurisdictional."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GREEN  concluded  by  saying  that  in  2015,  the  Williams                                                               
Institute  report, entitled  "Employment Discrimination  Based on                                                               
Sexual  Orientation and  Gender  Identity  in Alaska,"  estimated                                                               
that about six  cases per year would likely be  reported to ASCHR                                                               
if  sexual orientation  and gender  identity and  expression were                                                               
made jurisdictional.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:49:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MATTHEW  SCHULTZ,  Minister,   Christians  for  Equality;  Alaska                                                               
Christian  Conference, testified  that  he  believes that  sexual                                                               
orientation  and gender  identity should  be added  to the  anti-                                                               
discrimination  statute  so that  all  Alaska  citizens may  have                                                               
equal protection.   He lamented  that much of  the discrimination                                                               
that occurs is  done under the guise of  spiritual leadership and                                                               
under the false impression that  the Christian faith requires it.                                                               
He  stated that  he wishes  to correct  that error  and encourage                                                               
Alaska   to  protect   LGBTQ  people   from  discrimination   and                                                               
persecution.   He  maintained that  the ministerial  exemption is                                                               
complete and sufficient; and freedom  of religion would not be in                                                               
jeopardy under  the proposed  legislation.  He  said that  he has                                                               
studied  and taught  extensively  on the  topic  of morality  and                                                               
ethics; and  he can say  without hesitation that any  system that                                                               
allows  for discrimination  against even  one person  is immoral.                                                               
He  said that  protected categories  exist because  people within                                                               
those categories  are in physical  and emotional  jeopardy; their                                                               
jobs are in  jeopardy; they are discriminated against;  and it is                                                               
Alaska's ethical  responsibility to stand  up for them,  to stand                                                               
with  them, and  to  address and  prevent  discrimination of  the                                                               
LGBTQ community.   He stated  that it is  not illegal to  be gay,                                                               
yet a person  can be fired simply for placing  a photo of his/her                                                               
legal  spouse on  his/her desk.   He  maintained that  people can                                                               
lose  their homes  because  they  are gay.    He emphasized  that                                                               
Alaska can  and must be  better.  He asked  that HB 184  be moved                                                               
out of committee.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:52:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BILLY FARRELL,  Executive Director,  Identity Inc.,  relayed that                                                               
the  mission  of  Identity  Inc. is  to  advance  Alaska's  LGBTQ                                                               
community; its  members envision  a world  in which  all Alaskans                                                               
can  be their  authentic selves  in their  communities and  still                                                               
feel safe,  supported, and  welcomed.  He  stated that  the LGBTQ                                                               
community has experienced much progress  in recent years, but the                                                               
fear  of discrimination  is  still very  real  for many  Alaskans                                                               
today.   He maintained that  due to  the hard work  of passionate                                                               
residents  and lawmakers,  LGBTQ people  living in  Anchorage and                                                               
Juneau and city employees in  Bethel have basic nondiscrimination                                                               
protection.   He asserted that  most Alaska residents  still live                                                               
in communities  without equal protection from  discrimination due                                                               
to  sexual orientation  and/or  gender  identity and  expression;                                                               
therefore,  every day  many must  decide between  being "out"  or                                                               
"open"  and  keeping  their  jobs, staying  in  their  homes,  or                                                               
(indisc.) in public.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. FARRELL  reported that it  is not acceptable that  members of                                                               
the LGBTQ  community must face  this injustice with little  to no                                                               
recourse.   He  stated  that  because Alaska's  nondiscrimination                                                               
protections  currently  do  not include  sexual  orientation  and                                                               
gender identity, ASCHR is barred  from investigating these claims                                                               
of discrimination.  He asserted that  HB 184 is needed so someone                                                               
facing discrimination can report it;  it can be investigated; and                                                               
the person can seek justice for the wrongdoing.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  FARRELL   relayed  that  the   state's  lack   of  inclusive                                                               
nondiscrimination   protection  hampers   its  economic   growth;                                                               
equality  is  good  for  business;  89  percent  of  Fortune  500                                                               
companies  prohibit discrimination  based on  sexual orientation,                                                               
and nearly  six in  ten prohibit  discrimination based  on gender                                                               
identity.  He  maintained that changing Alaska's  laws to reflect                                                               
public values  will help Alaska  attract and retain the  best and                                                               
the  brightest  to  the  workforce.   All  of  Alaska's  workers,                                                               
including those  who are gay  and transgender, should  be treated                                                               
fairly  and equally  by  the laws  of the  state.   All  Alaskans                                                               
should  have the  opportunity to  earn a  living and  provide for                                                               
themselves  and  their  families.   He  said  that  updating  the                                                               
statutes will  ensure that all  Alaskans will be judged  on their                                                               
job performances  and qualifications  - nothing more  and nothing                                                               
less.  No one should have to  live in fear of being legally fired                                                               
for  reasons   that  have   nothing  to   do  with   his/her  job                                                               
performance.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  FARRELL  stated  that  there   has  been  a  great  deal  of                                                               
discussion in  the current legislative  session about  the future                                                               
of Alaska;  he has had the  privilege of working with  many young                                                               
LGBTQ  Alaskans from  across the  state.   He relayed  that these                                                               
young people  are not considering  staying in Alaska  for college                                                               
or employment,  because they do  not feel  welcomed or safe.   He                                                               
conceded  that  HB  184  alone cannot  change  that  culture  and                                                               
climate of  hate, but it could  be a foundation for  all Alaskans                                                               
feeling safe,  welcome, and (indisc.)  in their communities.   He                                                               
concluded  by saying,  "Discrimination is  not an  Alaskan value,                                                               
and it's time to make those values law."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:56:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARTY BUSCAGLIA, Executive Director,  Alaska State Commission for                                                               
Human  Rights (ASCHR),  testified  that  the religious  exemption                                                               
protection currently exists under current  Alaska law.  She cited                                                               
the Alaska  Administrative Code (ACC),  6 AAC 30.985,  which read                                                               
as follows:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Any   organization    operated   for    charitable   or                                                                  
     educational  purposes and  supervised or  controlled by                                                                  
     or in  connection with a religious  organization is not                                                                  
     prohibited  from   limiting  admission  to   or  giving                                                                  
     preference  to   persons  of   the  same   religion  or                                                                  
     denomination  or  otherwise  making a  hiring  decision                                                                  
     that will  promote the  religious principles  for which                                                                  
     it is established or maintained.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BUSCAGLIA relayed  that  in November  2016,  ASCHR passed  a                                                               
resolution which called on the  legislature to expressly prohibit                                                               
discrimination  based on  sexual orientation  or gender  identity                                                               
and expression.  She stated  that ASCHR authorized staff to draft                                                               
proposed  regulations addressing  the  inclusion of  prohibitions                                                               
against  discrimination based  on  sexual  orientation or  gender                                                               
identity and  expression under the  existing law  prohibiting sex                                                               
discrimination.    She  maintained  that  the  language  for  the                                                               
regulation has been  drafted and is now in the  Department of Law                                                               
(DOL) for  a legal opinion.   She said that there  are many steps                                                               
to follow, including  public comment, review by  the governor and                                                               
the  legislature, and  review by  Legislative Legal  and Research                                                               
Services.  She maintained that  the resolution could be halted at                                                               
any point.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BUSCAGLIA  stated the  position  of  ASCHR on  the  proposed                                                               
statute change:   it would  constitute a much  stronger statement                                                               
of  the state's  position on  anti-discrimination; it  would have                                                               
greater force;  and it would  be a more robust  interpretation of                                                               
the law. She  maintained that ASCHR's mission is to  seek out and                                                               
eradicate  discrimination throughout  the State  of Alaska.   The                                                               
ASCHR  has a  long history  of  supporting equal  rights for  all                                                               
Alaskans; since  1990, it has supported  greater protections from                                                               
discrimination  based on  sexual orientation.   She  relayed that                                                               
Alaska's laws  against discrimination are based  on the principle                                                               
that people  should not  be denied employment,  a place  to live,                                                               
public  accommodations,  and  government services  for  arbitrary                                                               
reasons   that  are   not  connected   to   their  abilities   or                                                               
qualifications.  She  maintained that making sure  people are not                                                               
discriminated  against because  of  their  sexual orientation  or                                                               
gender   identity  and   expression  is   consistent  with   this                                                               
principle.    She  offered  that  Alaska has  been  a  leader  in                                                               
adopting  strong, simple  civil rights  protections:   the Alaska                                                               
Human Rights  Act [1963]  was adopted a  year before  the federal                                                               
Civil Rights  Act of  1964; Alaska added  protections to  its law                                                               
for persons  with disabilities three  years before  the Americans                                                               
with  Disabilities Act  (ADA) was  passed in  1990; strengthening                                                               
its statute now to protect people  in the LGBT community would be                                                               
consistent  with  the strong  advocacy  of  civil rights  in  the                                                               
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:59:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS announced that HB 184 would be held over.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON referred  to  the testimony  suggesting                                                               
that  someone could  be terminated  from his/her  job because  of                                                               
displaying a  picture of  his/her lawful  spouse, and  he offered                                                               
that committee members should find this very disturbing.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 184 4.4.17.PDF HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Sponsor Statement 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Sectional Analysis 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Letter Planned Parenthood 4.27.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Letter HRC 4.28.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Letter LWVA 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Letter SAGE 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Letter ATFE 5.1.2017.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Letter Fbx PFLAG 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Letter AAARP 5.4.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Letter EGJ 5.4.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Public Letters 5.8.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Court Decisions 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - 2017 Survey(2) 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - 2017 Survery(1) 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB184 Supporting Document - 2010 Census 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Anch LGBT Discrimination Preliminary Report 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - ASHRC Resolution 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Legal Memo 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - HRC State Laws 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Williams Institute 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Ministerial Exemption 5.9.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - 18.80.300 5.9.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Memorandum, Religious Exemptions 5.9.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Opposing Document - Letter AFC 5.5.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 173 Sponsor Statement 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 5/9/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 173
HB 173 ver U 5.3.17.PDF HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 173
HB 173 Additional Document - Article ADN 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 5/9/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 173
HB 173 Additional Document - Overview EPA 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 5/9/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 173
HB 173 Additional Document - Paper PNAS 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 5/9/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 173
HB 173 Additional Document - Report CPI 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 5/9/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 173
HB 173 Additional Document - Chapter NCA 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 5/9/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 173
HB 173 HSTA CS ver R 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 5/9/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 173
HB 173 Summary of Changes ver U to CS HSTA ver R 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 5/9/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 173
HB 184 Sponsor Statement 1.19.18.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184