More

    Kenai City Council to vote on support of statewide LGBT hate crimes bill

    AlaskaWatchman.com

    City council members in Kenai and Soldotna are pushing for the expansion of statewide hate crimes legislation to include “sexual orientation and gender identity.”

    Last month the Soldotna City Council voted 5-1 in favor of a resolution urging state legislators to pass House Bill 198. Sponsored by Rep. Andy Josephson, D-Anchorage the bill would add “sexual orientation and gender identity” to categories like race, sex, religion, national origin and others when determining sentencing for hate crimes. Soldotna Council Member Dave Carey was the only member to vote against the resolution.

    In reality, however, hate crimes in Alaska are extremely rare…

    On Wednesday, Feb. 5, the Kenai City Council will consider its own resolution in support of HB 198. Sponsored by Vice Mayor Tim Navarre and Council Member Bob Malloy, the resolution claims that there is “a series of escalating incidents of harassment and assault in the Central Kenai Peninsula, which were apparently targeted against an individual based on sexual orientation.”

    The resolution, however, cites only one alleged incident, which led to a town hall meeting to raise support for House Bill 198.

    In reality, however, hate crimes in Alaska are extremely rare according to the FBI’s latest Hate Crimes Statistics released in November. In 2018 Alaska reported no hate crimes motivated by bias against a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender. Anchorage reported one hate crime related to bias against race/ethnicity/ancestry. Fairbanks had two hate crimes under this category and one related to disability. Juneau reported two hate crimes against people for their religion, and Kotzebue reported one hate crime due to race motivations.

    Critics note the problem of lumping “sexual orientation and gender identity” in with objective and immutable classifications like race, sex and national origin when expanding sentences for hate crimes. A key concern is that such legislation often uses a person’s religious views about traditional marriage and human sexuality to increase sentences when a crime is committed.

    In December, an Iowa man who was arrested for stealing and burning a church’s LGBT rainbow flag was sentenced to 16 years in prison because the arson was ruled a “hate crime.” Additionally, Michigan’s Attorney General Dana Nessel has utilized hate crimes legislation to target and track peaceful Christian organizations that support religious beliefs in traditional marriage.

    The argument is not that an objective crime against a member of the LGBT community is justified, but whether a person’s religious views about human sexuality should be factored in when determining sentencing.

    The Kenai City Council will take up this matter at its Feb. 5 meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers (210 Fidalgo Ave.).

    Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

    Share this article

    Related articles

    Leave a reply

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Donate

    Alaska Watchman relies on the generous support of our readers. All donations go directly to supporting and expanding our news coverage. Please consider becoming a regular supporter.

    Select a Donation Option (USD)

    Enter Donation Amount (USD)

    Donate

    $
    Personal Info

    Donation Total: $100.00

    Stay Informed

    Receive breaking stories and analysis from the Alaska Watchman directly to your inbox for free.

    No spam ever. Guaranteed.

    Latest articles

    Abortion is the paramount political issue

    “The future of Alaska is at stake!” “The future of America is at stake!” Liberals, conservatives,...

    The ‘equity’ police are really after political power

    Both in Alaska and around the country we hear a lot these days about the quest for “equity” in city council meetings,...

    Ballot Measure 2 replaces fair elections with political trickery

    You’ve likely heard the saying that politicians are like diapers: they should be changed often, and for the same reason.

    Fairbanks resumes push to radicalize schools with LGBT, anti-Christian courses

    Wouldn't it make sense that if parents objected to the pornography in the proposed Fairbanks North Star Borough School District curriculum that...

    News tips