Legislature(2019 - 2020)GRUENBERG 120

04/23/2019 03:00 PM House STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ An Act relating to voting by mail, voter access, TELECONFERENCED
and election modernization; and providing for an
effective date.
<Pending Introduction & Referral>
Moved CSHB 110(STA) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Moved HB 31 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Moved HB 82 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
        HB 82-DISCRIMINATION: GENDER ID.;SEXUAL ORIENT.                                                                     
3:43:49 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  announced  that   the  final  order  of                                                               
business  would be  HOUSE  BILL NO.  82, "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."                                                                                  
3:44:06 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   ANDY   JOSEPHSON,  Alaska   State   Legislature,                                                               
provided a  brief summary of  HB 82, as  prime sponsor.   He said                                                               
the   lesbian,  gay,   bisexual,   transgender,   and  queer   or                                                               
questioning (LGBTQ) community does  not enjoy the same protection                                                               
as  everyone else,  and HB  82  would give  them that  protection                                                               
through  the   remedies  available   through  the   Alaska  State                                                               
Commission  for Human  Rights (ASCHR)  and Alaska's  civil rights                                                               
laws in  the areas of employment,  housing, public accommodation,                                                               
and financing practices.                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL noted  that an ordinance in  Fairbanks on the                                                               
same issue was  controversial.  He said the  committee received a                                                               
letter  about  a transgender  female  being  denied access  to  a                                                               
women's shelter.  He asked  Representative Josephson if he wanted                                                               
to address  these topics or  pass the  bill out of  committee and                                                               
"let the courts figure that stuff out."                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON said  he  is prepared  to answer  those                                                               
questions, but "we" can't wait  until every hypothetical scenario                                                               
is  solved before  "this class  of individuals"  is protected  by                                                               
civil rights.   He pointed  out that questions  about affirmative                                                               
action  are still  unresolved  by  the U.S.  Supreme  Court.   He                                                               
articulated that  in the situation referred  to by Representative                                                               
Wool,  an  individual sued  when  she  was  "not invited  into  a                                                               
religiously  based domestic  violence shelter."   He  offered his                                                               
understanding that  the shelter was  run by the Hope  Church, and                                                               
the  church sought  a  declaration from  federal  court that  the                                                               
shelter  did not  need to  invite  this the  individual into  the                                                               
shelter.   He  said that  the Anchorage  Equal Rights  Commission                                                               
(AERC) took a position that  the federal court should stand down,                                                               
demur, and  wait for the commission's  investigation to continue.                                                               
He  concluded, "Those  things will  get resolved,  and that's  an                                                               
example of what I'm talking about."                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL said  he  did  not intend  to  "go into  the                                                               
weeds" of  all the  potential "things," but  just wanted  to know                                                               
whether the sponsor planned to  deal with the possible situations                                                               
under HB 82.                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  said it could  be that the  Hope Church                                                               
will prevail, in which case there  is a provision in Section 6 of                                                               
the bill related  to ministerial activity and churches.   He said                                                               
someone could argue that churches  are public accommodations, but                                                               
he reiterated that all these  issues could not be solved "without                                                               
waiting for generations to pass this bill."                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL noted that the  example given was regarding a                                                               
religious affiliation;  he speculated that the  issue would still                                                               
have to  be addressed  if it  had happened  in connection  with a                                                               
nonprofit agency's shelter.                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  noted that  in the various  articles he                                                               
provided  to the  committee, there  are other  shelters mentioned                                                               
that do not have any issue with transgender persons.                                                                            
3:50:27 PM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 3:50 p.m. to 3:51 p.m.                                                                       
3:51:14 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE  referred to the  use of the  phrase "public                                                               
accommodation",  on   page  5,  line   4,  of  HB   82,  [Section                                                               
7(a)(2)(A)].   She  said she  had  asked for  a definition,  then                                                               
stated that  "public accommodation" has an  exhaustive definition                                                               
as  "a  place that  caters  or  offers  its services,  goods,  or                                                               
facilities to  the general  public," and  that includes:   public                                                               
inns, restaurants, eating houses,  hotels, motels, bathrooms, and                                                               
public amusement  businesses.  She  said under HB 82,  anyone who                                                               
states,  or even  implies, that  he/she  does not  want to  allow                                                               
public accommodation  for anyone,  that person would  be breaking                                                               
the law.   She asked what kind of protections  there are for sole                                                               
proprietors of businesses with  public accommodations that "don't                                                               
feel   comfortable  with   an   individual   coming  into   their                                                               
accommodation for whatever reason."                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE   JOSEPHSON    answered   that   "there    is   no                                                               
accommodation  of  that  feeling  in  the bill."    He  said  the                                                               
philosophy  is  that  when a  person  puts  himself/herself  into                                                               
commerce, there are rules that  he/she must follow.  He mentioned                                                               
the Heart of  Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States  case in 1964,                                                             
when the U.S.  Civil Rights Act [of 1965] was  challenged and the                                                               
U.S.  Supreme Court  said African  Americans need  to travel  for                                                               
business to  make a living,  and it is a  hassle for them  not to                                                               
find accommodations  readily.  He  opined the result of  the case                                                               
was  great and  "it  was an  economic  way to  get  to a  justice                                                               
conclusion."  He  clarified that the same  analysis applies here,                                                               
because there  is a  theory that those  who put  themselves "into                                                               
the economy"  must play  by a  certain set of  rules.   He added,                                                               
"And I'm trying to change those rules."                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE  responded  that   there  are  "some  loose                                                               
definitions  here."     She  directed   attention  to   the  word                                                               
"implies", on  page 5,  line 2,  and said that  it can  mean many                                                               
things and could create legal  challenges.  She expressed concern                                                               
regarding  the  accommodation  industry in  Alaska;  people  open                                                               
their homes  - either through  Airbnb or  a bed and  breakfast; a                                                               
single  host may  feel  uncomfortable letting  in  a person  "for                                                               
whatever reason";  and under HB  82, even the  implied discomfort                                                               
would be breaking the law.                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON answered  that that is how  he reads the                                                               
proposed legislation.  He recollected  from past legal study that                                                               
the U.S. Civil  Rights Act has certain exemptions  for a boarding                                                               
house with five or fewer rooms.  He stated, "Bills are known ...                                                                
to have carve-outs, like the one you're talking about; this one                                                                 
doesn't have that."                                                                                                             
3:56:24 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE moved to adopt Amendment 1, labeled 31-                                                                    
LS0177\A.1, Wayne, 3/28/19, which read as follows:                                                                              
     Page 1, line 2, following "on":                                                                                          
          Insert "preborn status,"                                                                                            
     Page 2, line 5, following "sex,":                                                                                          
          Insert "preborn status,"                                                                                          
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          Insert "preborn status,"                                                                                          
     Page 2, line 24, following "sex,":                                                                                         
          Insert "preborn status,"                                                                                          
     Page 3, line 3, following "sex,":                                                                                          
          Insert "preborn status,"                                                                                          
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          Insert "preborn status,"                                                                                          
     Page 3, line 14, following "sex,":                                                                                         
          Insert "preborn status,"                                                                                          
     Page 3, line 17, following "sex,":                                                                                         
          Insert "preborn status,"                                                                                          
     Page 3, line 26, following "sex,":                                                                                         
          Insert "preborn status,"                                                                                          
     Page 4, line 9, following "sex,":                                                                                          
          Insert "preborn status,"                                                                                          
     Page 4, line 29, following "sex,":                                                                                         
          Insert "preborn status,"                                                                                          
     Page 5, line 5, following "sex,":                                                                                          
          Insert "preborn status,"                                                                                          
     Page 5, line 10, following "sex,":                                                                                         
          Insert "preborn status,"                                                                                          
     Page 5, line 19, following "sex,":                                                                                         
          Insert "preborn status,"                                                                                          
     Page 5, line 24, following "sex,":                                                                                         
          Insert "preborn status,"                                                                                          
     Page 5, line 30, following "sex,":                                                                                         
          Insert "preborn status,"                                                                                          
     Page 6, line 6, following "sex,":                                                                                          
          Insert "preborn status,"                                                                                          
     Page 6, line 12, following "sex,":                                                                                         
          Insert "preborn status,"                                                                                          
     Page 6, line 19, following "sex,":                                                                                         
          Insert "preborn status,"                                                                                          
     Page 6, line 30, following "sex,":                                                                                         
          Insert "preborn status,"                                                                                          
     Page 7, line 6, following "sex,":                                                                                          
          Insert "preborn status,"                                                                                          
     Page 7, line 23, following "sex,":                                                                                         
          Insert "preborn status,"                                                                                          
     Page 7, line 29, following "sex,":                                                                                         
          Insert "preborn status,"                                                                                          
     Page 7, line 31, following "sex,":                                                                                         
          Insert "preborn status,"                                                                                          
     Page 8, line 13, following "religion,":                                                                                    
          Insert "preborn status,"                                                                                          
     Page 8, following line 24:                                                                                                 
     Insert new paragraphs to read:                                                                                             
               "(20)  "natural person" means a human being,                                                                     
     regardless   of  age,   race,   religion,  size,   sex,                                                                    
     citizenship,    ancestry,     disability,    deformity,                                                                    
     location,  gender identity,  sexual orientation,  stage                                                                    
     of  development,  life   expectancy,  or  condition  of                                                                    
     dependency from the moment of conception;                                                                                  
               (21)  "preborn child" means a natural person                                                                     
     from the moment of conception who has not yet left the                                                                     
     Renumber the following paragraph accordingly.                                                                              
CO-CHAIR FIELDS objected.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE  spoke to Amendment  1.  She  mentioned that                                                               
the  proposed  legislation is  a  human  rights bill  to  protect                                                               
individuals against discrimination.   She said that "the preborn"                                                               
have  been   "discriminated  against  or  simply   discarded  for                                                               
whatever reason."  She stated  her belief that "these millions of                                                               
individuals  should  have representation  when  it  comes to  the                                                               
human rights."  She asked for consideration of Amendment 1.                                                                     
CO-CHAIR FIELDS said  he cannot support Amendment 1.   He said he                                                               
thinks  the  committee should  stay  focused  not only  on  human                                                               
rights, but  also on jobs  and economic  growth, and he  does not                                                               
think Amendment 1 would be  "conducive to that."  Co-Chair Fields                                                               
maintained his objection.                                                                                                       
3:58:22 PM                                                                                                                    
A  roll call  vote was  taken.   Representatives  Vance and  Shaw                                                               
voted  in favor  of Amendment  1.   Representatives Story,  Wool,                                                               
Fields,  and   Kreiss-Tomkins  voted  against  it.     Therefore,                                                               
Amendment 1 failed by a vote of 2-4.                                                                                            
3:59:51 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS opened public testimony on HB 82.                                                                       
4:01:31 PM                                                                                                                    
JESSICA  VAUDREUIL  testified  in  opposition  to  HB  82.    She                                                               
expressed   surprise    that   "this   gender    identity   anti-                                                               
discrimination  clause"  is  already  in  school  district  board                                                               
policy.  She opined that  HB 82 undermines First Amendment rights                                                               
and "harms innocent children by  glorifying what is considered by                                                               
most  as  essential abomination."    She  described the  proposed                                                               
legislation as  "a wolf in  sheep's clothing," but she  thinks it                                                               
is "coercive indoctrination of every  child in the country and in                                                               
the  state."    She  said  HB 82  asks  citizens  to  approve  of                                                               
transgenderism and homosexuality  as moral and a  diversity to be                                                               
celebrated, "while  denying the obvious message  of the God-given                                                               
human body."   She posited  that the goal of  this indoctrination                                                               
is "to  separate a child  from bigoted parents, who  subscribe to                                                               
the  teaching of  Jesus regarding  a  male/female foundation  for                                                               
sexual ethics."   She said  this is only  part of the  reason she                                                               
opposes HB 82, and she would submit further reasons in writing.                                                                 
4:03:45 PM                                                                                                                    
LILLIAN LENNON testified  in support of HB 82.   She related that                                                               
she  is a  transgender woman  and  has known  this about  herself                                                               
since she  was little;  it is what  makes her what  she is.   She                                                               
stated  that   she  has   experienced  discrimination,   and  the                                                               
ordinance passed by the Municipality  of Anchorage that "protects                                                               
people on  the basis of  gender identity and  sexual orientation"                                                               
makes her  feel safe.   She expressed  concern knowing  that such                                                               
protection is  not statewide.   She said  she wants people  to be                                                               
able  to  live  authentically,  no matter  race,  gender,  sexual                                                               
orientation, or  ethnicity.   She reiterated  her support  for HB
4:05:36 PM                                                                                                                    
ZHENIA PETERSON  testified in  support of  HB 82.   She  said she                                                               
believes that  Alaska's anti-discrimination laws should  apply to                                                               
everyone, including  LGBTQ people.   She  expressed that  gay and                                                               
transgendered  people can  be denied  work,  public service,  and                                                               
educational  opportunities.    She   opined,  "Every  one  of  us                                                               
deserves  to   live  without  fear  while   contributing  to  our                                                               
4:06:39 PM                                                                                                                    
DENISE SUDBECK, Ph.D.,  said she is a pastor  of the Metropolitan                                                               
Community  Church in  Anchorage,  and  she indicated  involvement                                                               
with Christians  for Equality.   She stated  that as a  member of                                                               
the   LGBTQ   community   in    Alaska,   she   has   experienced                                                               
discrimination, especially when outside  of protected areas, such                                                               
as Anchorage.   She  has been  refused public  accommodations and                                                               
the  purchase of  gasoline.   She shared  that she  is a  Vietnam                                                               
Veteran, who has  contributed to the welfare of the  nation.  She                                                               
expressed hope that the committee would pass HB 82.                                                                             
4:08:36 PM                                                                                                                    
LIN DAVIS  stated that she  has been working toward  equality for                                                               
the LGBTQ  community since 1975.   She said for 20  years she has                                                               
been the leader of a cleanup  crew comprising two LGBTQ groups in                                                               
Juneau that  cleans a stretch of  road near the university.   The                                                               
sign on  the side of  the highway that  depicts the names  of the                                                               
groups has  been smeared  and knocked over;  however, it  has not                                                               
been  damaged in  the past  six  or seven  years.   She said  she                                                               
thinks there  is "a rising  fairness and respect,"  and statewide                                                               
protections  can encourage  this  for jobs,  housing, and  public                                                               
services.   She stated,  "There's no  good reason  not to  do it;                                                               
it's  all  for the  common  good;  it benefits  communities  when                                                               
there's  fairness  and  respect."   She  said  she  watched  this                                                               
legislation pass out of committee  a year ago, and she encouraged                                                               
the committee "to have that same wisdom today."                                                                                 
4:10:46 PM                                                                                                                    
EMOGENE   KIMBERLY  LEA   stated   that  the   preamble  of   the                                                               
Constitution of  the United States  reads, "We the people."   She                                                               
pointed out that there is  no discrimination in those words; they                                                               
include all  the people.  She  said that is what  civil rights is                                                               
all about;  it is the strength  of the U.S. and  of the military.                                                               
She reflected that all [legislators]  present are sworn to uphold                                                               
the  constitution,  and they  recite  the  Pledge of  Allegiance;                                                               
therefore,  there is  an obligation  to fulfill  that oath.   She                                                               
urged the committee to support HB  82 - providing equal rights to                                                               
all people.                                                                                                                     
4:12:35 PM                                                                                                                    
ALYSON  CURREY, Legislative  Liaison,  Planned Parenthood  Votes,                                                               
testified in  support of  HB 82.   She  stated that  the proposed                                                               
legislation  would ensure  that LGBTQ  Alaskans are  afforded the                                                               
same  rights  and  protections  under  law  that  other  Alaskans                                                               
already  have.   Those rights  provide the  ability to  live life                                                               
with safety, privacy, and dignity.  She continued as follows:                                                                   
     As   a  healthcare   provider  and   employer,  Planned                                                                    
     Parenthood  knows that  this  legislation  is good  for                                                                    
     public  health  and  safety   and  good  for  business.                                                                    
     Because of  discrimination and fear  of discrimination,                                                                    
     many  LGBTQ employees  hide their  identities at  work,                                                                    
     are paid less, and  have fewer employment opportunities                                                                    
     than  their  non-LGBTQ  counterparts.   This  prejudice                                                                    
     puts LGBTQ  people at increased risk  for poor physical                                                                    
     and mental  health.  Gay  and transgendered  people are                                                                    
     friends, neighbors,  family, and co-workers;  they work                                                                    
     hard, serve in  the military, and pay taxes.   And like                                                                    
     everyone  else, they  just want  to  contribute to  the                                                                    
     economic  health  of  our state,  earn  a  living,  and                                                                    
     provide  for their  families.   When they  apply for  a                                                                    
     job, search  for housing, walk  into a  business that's                                                                    
     open  to the  public,  or a  restroom,  they should  be                                                                    
     treated  like   anybody  else  and   not  discriminated                                                                    
     It became  crystal clear to  us during the  recent non-                                                                    
     discrimination  fight  in  Fairbanks,  that  our  LGBTQ                                                                    
     friends  and family  badly need  the protection  of the                                                                    
     law.   We  sat  through hours  of  hateful and  hurtful                                                                    
     testimony of the few loud  opponents trying to convince                                                                    
     the Fairbanks  City Council that queer  and transgender                                                                    
     individuals deserve to  be discriminated against simply                                                                    
     because of their gender and who they love.                                                                                 
     I fear that until  we pass statewide non-discrimination                                                                    
     protection, every  day Alaskans  are going  to continue                                                                    
     to  live  in fear  of  being  harassed, harmed,  fired,                                                                    
     [and] denied  housing or  public services  just because                                                                    
     they're gay or transgendered.   So, I ask you to please                                                                    
     support HB 82 and pass the bill from committee.                                                                            
4:15:01 PM                                                                                                                    
BRITT TONNESSEN testified in support of  HB 82.  She related that                                                               
she  is a  professional in  gender-based violence  prevention and                                                               
intervention,  an  advocate  for  survivors of  violence,  and  a                                                               
person who seeks to prevent violence.   Further, she said she has                                                               
a  background in  "human  security," which  she  explained is  "a                                                               
freedom from want" and "fear."   She indicated two documents that                                                               
show victims  of violence  how to regain  power and  control; one                                                               
was for people  in heterosexual relationships, and  the other was                                                               
for people  in LGBTQ  relationships.  The  latter deals  with the                                                               
issue  of "outing"  people and  "using  each other's  differences                                                               
against each  other."  She talked  about a system where  there is                                                               
homophobia,     bi-phobia,    and     transphobia,    and     how                                                               
uncomfortableness can be  in a moment or in the  everyday life of                                                               
someone.   She said,  "Naming what  we see,  what we  have, gives                                                               
these people  power."  She said  people face threats daily.   She                                                               
urged the committee to pass HB 82.                                                                                              
4:17:33 PM                                                                                                                    
BECKY ANDERSON testified  in support of equality and HB  82.  She                                                               
said she did  not make the choice to be  heterosexual, white, and                                                               
female, but because  she is, she does not  face discrimination in                                                               
the areas  of housing,  employment, and  services provided.   She                                                               
exclaimed, "Yay,  me!"  She  pointed out that  unfortunately that                                                               
is  not the  case  for  many Alaska  citizens.    She said  LGBTQ                                                               
citizens  did not  have  a  choice in  being  who  they are,  yet                                                               
current  laws punish  them for  existing.   She  said within  the                                                               
LGBTQ  community are  friends, family,  coworkers, students,  and                                                               
people in  various occupations.   She emphasized, "They  are us."                                                               
She talked about the efforts made  over the last several years to                                                               
reach equality, and she said  legislators can help make Alaska an                                                               
equal rights  state.  At  that point, [the exclamation  will be],                                                               
"Yay,  us!"   She said  now is  the time  to stop  treating LGBTQ                                                               
people  as  "less  than"  and   stop  procrastinating  in  giving                                                               
attention  to this  issue.   Ms. Anderson  explained that  she is                                                               
fighting for  this, because it is  the right thing to  do and the                                                               
time to do it is now.                                                                                                           
4:19:51 PM                                                                                                                    
REBECCA DUNNE  testified in  support of  HB 82.   She  echoed the                                                               
voices  of  those  who  have already  stated  that  the  proposed                                                               
legislation is  important and the time  for it is now.   She said                                                               
the House  State Affairs Standing  Committee has heard  a version                                                               
of this  legislation several  years in  a row  and has  heard and                                                               
read  about  how equality  is  good  for business,  tourism,  and                                                               
community health.  She continued:                                                                                               
     My sexual orientation  is not a choice, and  I am tired                                                                    
     of people telling  me that it is.   My husband's gender                                                                    
     identity  is not  up  for  debate, and  I  am tired  of                                                                    
     people  debating it.   We  do not  have equality  under                                                                    
     federal  law,  state  law, or  municipal  law  here  in                                                                    
     Fairbanks, and I'm  tired of people telling  me that we                                                                    
     do or,  at the same  time, that equality under  the law                                                                    
     is  actually  special rights.    I  don't need  special                                                                    
     rights.  I just want to  know that I can't be fired for                                                                    
     being gay;  that I  can't be  denied housing  for being                                                                    
     gay;   that  I   can't  be   denied  medical   care  or                                                                    
     prescriptions  for being  gay; that  I can't  be kicked                                                                    
     out of a restaurant or a  store for being gay; and that                                                                    
     my husband  can use  a public bathroom  without getting                                                                    
     harassed.   I just want to  know that we can  live like                                                                    
     straight  and cisgender  people without  hiding who  we                                                                    
     are.  Please pass HB 82 out of committee.                                                                                  
4:21:34 PM                                                                                                                    
KRISTEN SCHUPP  testified in support of  HB 82, which is  a human                                                               
rights  bill   addressing  a  group  of   people  that  regularly                                                               
encounter  discrimination for  being  who they  are  daily.   She                                                               
listed many of the roles  and occupations filled by LGBTQ people,                                                               
and she opined that there are  no good reasons not to grant equal                                                               
rights  and protections  to the  LGBTQ  community.   She said  21                                                               
states  already  have.    She   said  there  will  be  plenty  of                                                               
illogical, fearful,  or hateful [testimonials], but  they are not                                                               
good,  compassionate,  or  logical.    She  said  religious-based                                                               
reasons have no place in formulating  policy in a country that is                                                               
supposed  to have  separation  of  church and  state.   She  said                                                               
religion, itself,  is a  choice that is  protected.   She stated,                                                               
"This is  not about special  rights; it's about equal  rights and                                                               
human rights."   She posited that  there is no neutrality  on the                                                               
issue  of human  rights; "you're  either part  of the  problem or                                                               
part of the solution."   Ms. Schupp said there is  "a lot of fear                                                               
around   [transgender]  people   or  people   pretending  to   be                                                               
[transgender] in order  to assault people in  bathrooms," but she                                                               
said  this  is "statistically  negligible,"  and  it is  actually                                                               
transgender  people who  are at  risk  of being  assaulted.   She                                                               
stated, "You're  more likely, statistically,  to be  assaulted by                                                               
the current President  of the United States, and  much, much more                                                               
likely to  be assaulted by a  religious figure, such as  a priest                                                               
or youth pastor  or a cop."   She urged the committee  to pass HB
4:23:34 PM                                                                                                                    
ALEXANDER THORNTON  stated that he  is a small business  owner in                                                               
Fairbanks, and he  is trying to purchase property.   He explained                                                               
that the reason for his testimony  is that in the five years that                                                               
he has  been in Fairbanks, he  has been denied housing,  has been                                                               
prevented  from accessing  his work  place, has  been fired  from                                                               
employment, has been prevented from  accessing education, and has                                                               
been denied medical care, not just  because he is queer, but also                                                               
because he  is disabled.   He said that is  why he is  asking the                                                               
committee  to support  HB 82.   He  said he  loves the  people in                                                               
Fairbanks.   He  stated  that he  wants  to be  free  to run  his                                                               
business without fear  of "legalized harassment" and  free of the                                                               
fear of being  denied housing, education, and medical  care.  Mr.                                                               
Thornton said he  has faced discrimination all his  life, but not                                                               
as  readily as  he has  faced it  in Fairbanks.   Notwithstanding                                                               
that, he said he loves the  state and its people, and he believes                                                               
in "this  community."   He indicated  that the  passage of  HB 82                                                               
would  benefit all  those who  are  marginalized.   He asked  the                                                               
committee to "do the right thing" by supporting HB 82.                                                                          
4:25:58 PM                                                                                                                    
RINA KOWALSKI asked the committee  to support the protections for                                                               
the LGBTQ  community, as  she and  her daughter  are LGBTQ.   She                                                               
said  she wants  to ensure  her daughter's  future is  protected.                                                               
She said  she has  been harshly  judged her  entire life  for her                                                               
LGBTQ status.   She said  she has always encouraged  her children                                                               
to see the good  in all people and have free  choice in whom they                                                               
love.   She  reiterated her  concern for  future generations  and                                                               
thanked the  committee for supporting equality  and for "treating                                                               
us as the equals we are."                                                                                                       
4:27:07 PM                                                                                                                    
ABIGAIL NORTH stated  that she is a transgender woman,  she has a                                                               
wife,  and  she  is  a  teacher.     She  said  she  grew  up  in                                                               
Gainesville,  Georgia, attending  Pentecostal Holiness  churches,                                                               
and knowing people would hate her  for her gender identity and be                                                               
vile to  her.  She said  she has "heard that  a lot, particularly                                                               
with  the equality  stuff here  in  Fairbanks over  the last  few                                                               
months."  She asked the committee  to support HB 82.  She related                                                               
that she has been told by  more than one white stranger that they                                                               
were  "uncomfortable  being in  a  public  restroom with  African                                                               
Americans."  Regarding  the issue of being  made uncomfortable by                                                               
someone and having  the right to refuse service,  she said, "This                                                               
has been argued for decades."   In the deep south, Georgia fought                                                               
desegregation, and  she still hears the  same religious arguments                                                               
against desegregation.                                                                                                          
4:29:36 PM                                                                                                                    
MELANIE LINDHOLM stated that she  and her fiance identify as part                                                               
of the  LGBTQ community and have  both experienced discrimination                                                               
because  of  their  identities  -   especially  in  the  area  of                                                               
employment.   She related that  in 2015,  after 13 years  under a                                                               
contracted  position at  a  hospital, her  fiance  was fired  for                                                               
coming  out as  transgender.    That same  year,  she was  denied                                                               
employment at  the University of Alaska  Fairbanks (UAF), because                                                               
it was known by some of  the members of the hiring committee that                                                               
her fiance was  transgender.  She asked the  committee to support                                                               
HB  82,  because  she  believes   that  all  people  should  have                                                               
employment protections.   She said  she believes in  equality for                                                               
and the value  of all citizens, regardless  of their orientation,                                                               
identity,  or expression.    She concluded,  "We  are all  human,                                                               
deserving of human rights and equal protection."                                                                                
4:30:50 PM                                                                                                                    
ALYSSA   QUINTYNE,  Community   Organizer,  The   Alaska  Center,                                                               
testified in support of HB 82.   She said via a nondiscrimination                                                               
ordinance, protections were  in place for four  days before being                                                               
vetoed.   That  was following  months of  testimony.   She opined                                                               
that legislation,  such as HB  82, is absolutely necessary.   She                                                               
said people  have shared  through testimony  that they  have lost                                                               
homes, jobs,  access to medical  care, and that people  have lost                                                               
their lives, because  of legalized discrimination.   She said The                                                               
Alaska Center understands that its  residents and voters are much                                                               
more  likely to  participate  in their  community and  government                                                               
when their rights are protected;  they are welcome both in public                                                               
and private sectors;  and they are given  unrestricted access "to                                                               
any of those participatory avenues."   She said discrimination on                                                               
any  matter limits  access to  necessary resources  and services.                                                               
She opined that holding leaders  accountable is "key to holding a                                                               
healthy  democracy  and  a  healthy community."    She  said  the                                                               
support  of  HB   82  will  ensure  all  Alaskans   are  free  to                                                               
participate  in   their  government  and  communities,   and  she                                                               
encouraged the committee to support the bill.                                                                                   
4:33:10 PM                                                                                                                    
ERIN WORLEY  testified in support  of HB 82.   She said she  is a                                                               
nursing student about  to graduate, and she would  talk about the                                                               
statewide health  implications of the proposed  legislation.  She                                                               
stated that when legislation is  passed that supports the ability                                                               
of  LGBTQ  community  members  to  thrive  regardless  of  sexual                                                               
orientation, gender identity, or  gender expression, "we start to                                                               
remove   an  external   stigma."     A  message   is  sent   that                                                               
discrimination is  not acceptable in  Alaska.  She said  there is                                                               
established research  correlating stigma and  discrimination with                                                               
higher  rates of  depression, suicide,  mental health  disorders,                                                               
and maladapted coping, such as  substance abuse and smoking.  She                                                               
said states  with protective legislation  in place  have improved                                                               
the  health  outcomes  of  LGBTQ people  though  lower  rates  of                                                               
depression,  suicide,  mental  health  disorders,  and  substance                                                               
abuse.    She  said  the American  Nurses  Association  issued  a                                                               
statement  on   this  topic  describing   a  commitment   to  the                                                               
elimination  of health  disparities and  discrimination based  on                                                               
sexual  orientation,  gender   identity,  and  gender  expression                                                               
within healthcare.   She added that as a nurse,  she will "commit                                                               
to  that."   She  asked  the  committee  to  commit to  making  a                                                               
statement against  discrimination and making Alaska  healthier by                                                               
supporting HB 82.                                                                                                               
4:35:09 PM                                                                                                                    
HAYDEN NEVILL,  Gender Pioneers, testified  in support of  HB 82.                                                               
He stated  that he  is a  transgender man; it  means he  was born                                                               
female and is  now legally and socially male.   He mentioned that                                                               
he is  a veterinarian, a  taxpayer, a husband,  and a voter.   He                                                               
has heard  many stories from  LGBTQ people since  founding Gender                                                               
Pioneers:    denied  housing; denied  employment;  denied  retail                                                               
service; denied  prescriptions by a  pharmacist.  He  said, "This                                                               
is  not  how  Alaskans  treat  each other."    He  mentioned  the                                                               
overwhelming   support  for   the  Fairbanks   non-discrimination                                                               
ordinance.  He referred to  the question of transgender ("trans")                                                               
women in shelters  and locker rooms and said,  "It's important to                                                               
be  clear that  trans people  have  been in  shelters and  locker                                                               
rooms for  a very long  time."   He stated that  public testimony                                                               
from  the three  shelters in  Fairbanks indicated  that any  non-                                                               
discrimination ordinance  would not  affect them; they  are happy                                                               
to  serve  transgender  people.   He  referred  to  the  question                                                               
regarding  Airbnb and  relayed  that Airbnb  already  has a  non-                                                               
discrimination clause that includes  queer people.  He emphasized                                                               
that  the passage  of HB  82 would  send a  message that  all are                                                               
welcomed, loved, and important.                                                                                                 
4:37:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CRIS EICHENLAUB testified  in opposition to HB 82.   He expressed                                                               
his  opinion that  the acronym  - LGBTQ  - is  not well  defined;                                                               
therefore, the group  that would be protected under HB  82 is not                                                               
well defined.   He opined that the  proposed legislation reflects                                                               
a national agenda;  it would put employers and  women shelters at                                                               
risk of lawsuits.                                                                                                               
4:39:55 PM                                                                                                                    
HERMAN  MORGAN  testified  that  he is  appalled  by  people  who                                                               
support the  proposed legislation; the public  comment reflects a                                                               
well-organized  effort.   He  said  that he  is  appalled by  the                                                               
drafter of  the bill "to try  to say it's a  civil rights issue."                                                               
He stated, "I am a Native. I was  born a Native.  I didn't choose                                                               
to  become what  the  bible calls  an abomination."    He read  a                                                               
prayer and expressed his concerns  with the proposed legislation.                                                               
He concluded, "Please don't support this bill."                                                                                 
4:42:28 PM                                                                                                                    
BERT  HOUGHTALING  testified   in  opposition  to  HB   82.    He                                                               
maintained that Alaska's equal  rights amendment already protects                                                               
people from  discrimination, and if anyone  cannot identify under                                                               
that amendment,  then it is a  failure on the part  of the person                                                               
or a failure of the legal  system.  He offered that the provision                                                               
under HB 82  is so important that  it should go to a  vote of the                                                               
people.   He expressed his  concern that using the  wrong pronoun                                                               
to refer to someone could result in a discrimination charge.                                                                    
4:44:06 PM                                                                                                                    
MAUREEN  LONGWORTH,  MD,   testified  that  she  grew   up  in  a                                                               
religious, Christian home where she  learned from her parents and                                                               
her  church "to  treat others  as we  wish to  be treated."   She                                                               
stated that  equality is written  into the U.S.  Constitution; HB
82 should  be passed  because it  upholds the  U.S. Constitution.                                                               
She  relayed  that  she  has   practiced  in  communities  across                                                               
Southeast Alaska;  and small communities  lack the  anonymity and                                                               
support  organizations that  the  larger cities  can  offer to  a                                                               
person who  is struggling.   She said, "Universally  young people                                                               
have at times  reported they would rather be dead  than be gay or                                                               
trans,  and   they  do  not   see  hope  of  survival   in  their                                                               
communities."   She  mentioned that  trans people  experience the                                                               
highest rates of suicide and  victimization.  She emphasized that                                                               
most often  the people who rape  women are straight men;  a white                                                               
Catholic priest  raped her.   She expressed  her concern  for the                                                               
health  of Alaskans  and  the  economy.   She  said that  medical                                                               
research shows  that the  healthiest communities  are communities                                                               
where  equality resides;  disparities in  rights for  segments of                                                               
the population  wear down  members on both  sides of  the divide.                                                               
She  advocated  for  retaining  young people  in  the  state  and                                                               
assuring them equal treatment.  She urged passage of HB 82.                                                                     
4:47:08 PM                                                                                                                    
GREG WEAVER  testified that the  state has more  important issues                                                               
than  guaranteeing  equal  rights  for  sexual  preference.    He                                                               
expressed  that  sexual preference  is  a  personal endeavor  and                                                               
should be kept personal.                                                                                                        
4:49:39 PM                                                                                                                    
CHRISTINE HUTCHINSON testified that  she believes that government                                                               
should be  limited and  "every little nook  and cranny  cannot be                                                               
legislated  by   the  government."    She   maintained  that  the                                                               
government has  demonstrated its ineptness in  monitoring people.                                                               
She expressed her belief that  government should not be intruding                                                               
into  the personal  lives of  people.   She asserted  that sexual                                                               
orientation  and  the  desire  to  be  transgender  are  personal                                                               
issues.   She  stated  that she  opposes the  passage  of HB  82,                                                               
because it is unnecessary.                                                                                                      
4:51:57 PM                                                                                                                    
LOIS HENDERSON  testified that she  supports HB 82,  equal rights                                                               
for all, and  all people being treated the same.   She continued,                                                               
"As  a country  we do  not discriminate  against people  based on                                                               
inborn differences.   We  need to  be sure  to include  the LGBTQ                                                               
community in  these guarantees."   She shared that as  the mother                                                               
of a transgender woman who grew  up in Fairbanks, the sister of a                                                               
gay woman, and the aunt of  a transgender boy, she is exquisitely                                                               
aware  of  the  importance  of equal  rights  to  the  individual                                                               
people.  She offered that  the proposed legislation hurts no one,                                                               
and in the year 2019, should not even be a question.                                                                            
4:53:11 PM                                                                                                                    
ROSE  O'HARA-JOLLY testified  that  recently  the Fairbanks  City                                                               
Council  passed its  first non-discrimination  ordinance; it  had                                                               
overwhelming support;  public comment against the  ordinance from                                                               
a  vocal  few  demonstrated  the importance  of  having  such  an                                                               
ordinance.  She stated that  publicly sharing aspects of her life                                                               
which she  wished to  remain private  took a  heavy toll  on her.                                                               
She relayed  that straight and  cisgender ("cis") people  are not                                                               
required to  come to public meetings  and beg to be  treated with                                                               
dignity and  respect - beg  to be allowed  to keep their  jobs or                                                               
rent their  homes free from  fear.  She  offered that as  a queer                                                               
person, she  has been called  many names, including  a pedophile.                                                               
She  relayed  the   actions  of  one  city   council  member  who                                                               
disrespected  her, other  testifiers, and  various people  in the                                                               
community to generate  hate.  She said that  ultimately the mayor                                                               
of Fairbanks vetoed the ordinance.   She asked that the committee                                                               
lead by example, make a stand  against hate, vote for dignity and                                                               
safety, and pass HB 82,                                                                                                         
4:55:47 PM                                                                                                                    
ADAM HYKES  testified that as  a Christian,  he is sorry  for the                                                               
testifiers who  have been treated  poorly; that should  not occur                                                               
to  anyone  regardless  of  age,  skin  color,  religion,  sexual                                                               
orientation.   He stated  that from  a scientific  perspective, a                                                               
person's gender is  fixed at birth.  He opined  that it is unwise                                                               
to legislate that  which has not been thoroughly  researched.  He                                                               
asked,  "How  exactly  do  you  plan to  uphold  this  when  it's                                                               
challenged or  scrutinized in  court?"   He opined  that everyone                                                               
deserves to  be treated with  respect, but it  is not the  job of                                                               
government to oversee  this on every level.  He  said he supports                                                               
limited government.                                                                                                             
4:58:03 PM                                                                                                                    
KRISTA  CHRISTENSEN testified  that she  is in  support of  HB 82                                                               
because of  discrimination and the  fear of  discrimination among                                                               
LGBTQ people  in Alaska.   They must hide their  identities; they                                                               
are paid less; and they  have fewer employment opportunities than                                                               
their non-LGBTQ  counterparts.  They deserve  the same protection                                                               
as  all other  citizens.   She stated  that every  citizen should                                                               
have  equal  protection  under the  law  regardless  of  personal                                                               
character traits.   She urged  passage of  HB 82.   She expressed                                                               
her  regret for  the  treatment that  the  LGBTQ testifiers  have                                                               
4:59:53 PM                                                                                                                    
TAMARA  KRUSE-ROSELIUS  testified  in  support of  HB  82.    She                                                               
expressed  appreciation that  Alaska  has  a strong  constitution                                                               
regarding civil rights and guaranteed  privacy rights.  She urged                                                               
that equal rights  be protected under state law.   She added that                                                               
because Alaska law  has not defined "sex"  in sex discrimination,                                                               
there is  nothing to prevent  it statewide.   Because the  law is                                                               
not  clear,  it  is  not  clear how  courts  will  interpret  sex                                                               
discrimination.   "The  last thing  we  need in  Alaska is  every                                                               
jurisdiction doing  their own thing,  especially as far  as equal                                                               
rights are concerned."   She cited survey  results of transgender                                                               
Alaskan residents, in which  almost one-third experienced housing                                                               
discrimination   within   the   year.     She   emphasized   that                                                               
historically Alaska was  a leader in civil rights  and urged that                                                               
Alaska not "fall  behind [the curve]."  She added:   as an Airbnb                                                               
landlord,  she  is  already  unable to  discriminate;  she  is  a                                                               
Christian who  believes in  the separation  of church  and state;                                                               
and "there is  nothing more important than equal rights.   If you                                                               
don't think so, it's because you already have yours."                                                                           
5:01:52 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS closed public testimony on HB 82.                                                                       
5:02:17 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE STORY moved to report  HB 82 out of committee with                                                               
individual recommendations and attached zero fiscal note.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE objected.                                                                                                  
A  roll  call  vote  was taken.    Representatives  Story,  Wool,                                                               
Fields, and Kreiss-Tomkins voted in  favor of reporting HB 82 out                                                               
of committee.   Representatives Vance and Shaw  voted against it.                                                               
Therefore,  HB  82 was  reported  from  the House  State  Affairs                                                               
Standing Committee by a vote of 4-2.                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB082 Fiscal Note GOV-ASCHR 3.22.19.pdf HSTA 4/23/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 82
HR 3
HB082 Letter of Support - IHRSA 4.22.19.pdf HSTA 4/23/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 82
HB082 Letter of Support - NEA 4.15.19.pdf HSTA 4/23/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 82
HB082 Letter of Support - FNSB Resolution 4.11.19.pdf HSTA 4/23/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 82
HB082 Supporting Document - ADN Article #2 4.9.19.pdf HSTA 4/23/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 82
HB082 Supporting Document - ADN Article 4.9.19.pdf HSTA 4/23/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 82
HB082 Supporting Document - ADN Article #3 4.9.19.pdf HSTA 4/23/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 82
HB082 Supporting Document - ADN Article #4 4.9.19.pdf HSTA 4/23/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 82
HB082 Supporting Document - ADN Article #5 4.9.19.pdf HSTA 4/23/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 82
HB082 Supporting Document - ASD Administrative Guidelines 4.9.19.pdf HSTA 4/23/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 82
HB082 Letter of Support - Alaskans Together For Equality 03.26.19.pdf HSTA 4/23/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 82
HB082 Amendment A.1 (Vance) 4.22.19.pdf HSTA 4/23/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 82
HB082 Letter of Support - Identity 4.23.19.pdf HSTA 4/23/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 82
HB082 Email Explanation 4.9.19.pdf HSTA 4/23/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 82
HB082 Supporting Document - Womens Groups in Support of Trans Sports Participation 4.23.19.pdf HSTA 4/23/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 82
HB082 Supporting Document - National Consensus Statement 4.23.19.pdf HSTA 4/23/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 82
HB082 Letter of Support - Planned Parenthood 4.23.29.pdf HSTA 4/23/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 82
HB110 Amendment M.1 (JKT) 4.23.19.pdf HSTA 4/23/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 110
HB082 Opposing Document - Letters of Opposition 4.23.19 - 4.24.19.pdf HSTA 4/23/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 82
HB082 Supporting Document - Email from Dr. Maureen Longworth 4.23.19.pdf HSTA 4/23/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 82
HB082 Supporting Document - Letters of Support 4.16.19 - 4.14.19.pdf HSTA 4/23/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 82
HB082 Supporting Document - Letter of Support ACLU 4.23.19.pdf HSTA 4/23/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 82
HB082 Supporting Document - Letters of Support 4.21.19 - 4.25.19 Redacted.pdf HSTA 4/23/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 82
HB 82 Letter of Support - Testimony #3 3.9.20.pdf HSTA 4/23/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 82
HB 82 Letter of Support - Testimony 2.4.20.pdf HSTA 4/23/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 82
HB 82 Letter of Support - Testimony #2 3.4.20.pdf HSTA 4/23/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 82