Freedom Archives - Alaska Watchman
 

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News and Stories that affect liberty and the public and private freedoms we enjoy, or are entitled to, as proclaimed in the Alaska State Constitution, or endowed by our creator.
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As of Aug. 3, all indoor gatherings in Anchorage, including religious services, are restricted to 15 people or fewer. The new emergency order was imposed by Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz in response to COVID-19. The sweeping order imposes far greater restrictions on religious gatherings than it does on grocery stores and retail outlets. The mayor’s 15th order limits outdoor gatherings involving food or drink to 25 people, and outdoor gatherings without food or drink to...

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The University of Alaska Southeast, which has campuses in Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan will impose mask mandates for all students, staff and visitors as it provides both online and in-person classes this fall. According to the university’s newly released orders, masks are required for anyone in a shared enclosed space such as a classroom or lab or any time a person can’t consistently maintain six feet separation from others. The university will provide cloth face...

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Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson joined 21 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief to the Ninth Circuit in support of a Washington state high school football coach who was fired for exercising his religious freedom by praying after games. Kennedy, who worked for the Bremerton School District, routinely dropped to one knee and offered short silent prayers after each game, thanking God for player safety, sportsmanship and spirited competition. Often players and fellow coaches...

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In an effort to allow greater public input over another hot-button social item the Anchorage Assembly unanimously voted to postpone debate over a proposal that would ban any Anchorage counselor, therapist, psychologist or health care provider from helping a minor work through unwanted same-sex attraction. The ordinance also prohibits counseling that helps a person reconcile and identify with their actual biological sex. As written the ordinance would only allow therapy that supports the idea of...

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A leading national attorney warned of legal challenges if the Anchorage Assembly presses ahead with a proposed ban on counseling that aims to help minors overcome unwanted same-sex attraction or gender identity confusion. “So much of this counseling is based on either counselors who come from a religious perspective and are offering guidance from their faith, whether it’s the Christian faith or Jewish faith or otherwise, to adherence to that faith,” said Matt Sharp an...

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The day before the Anchorage Assembly takes up debate over an ordinance to outlaw counseling for minors with unwanted same-sex attraction, a conference will occur in Anchorage to help equip parents to take a stand against the measure. Hosted by the Alaska Family Council, the Anchorage Baptist Temple and Alliance Defending Freedom, the conference is set for Monday, July 27, from 12-1:30 p.m. The event will be both in-person and via Zoom teleconference. In-person participants...

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Seward residents have been living under an extensive list of COVID-19 mandates. On Monday, July 27, the Seward City Council will consider extending emergency ordinances that restricts campgrounds to 50% capacity, prohibits gatherings of 20 or more people, and requires masks in public indoor settings. The ordinance (2020-009) extends a state of emergency in the town of 2,700 despite the fact that there have been zero hospitalizations or deaths due to COVID-19, and there are...

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In imposing his latest COVID-19 mandate Mayor Ethan Berkowitz’s emergency order made no mention of religious entities. According to July 24 email Municipal Attorney Kathryn Vogel, however, churches are still under a previous order in which gatherings of 500 people are permitted so long as they practice “safe distancing.” This is the maximum capacity afforded to any entity under the mayor’s order, his 14th. In past mandates, Berkowitz imposed greater restrictions on churches than he...

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Update from editor: While the actual text of Mayor Berkowitz’s latest emergency order makes no mention of churches or religious exemptions, his legal department clarified on July 23  that churches will be allowed to operate under a previous order which permits gatherings of up to 500 people. This is the greatest amount of freedom afforded to any entity under his latest orders. This becoming a pattern with Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz. In imposing his latest...

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Residents of Alaska’s capital city and surrounding borough are now required to wear face masks when gathered in indoor public settings or communal spaces outside the home. Those who resist the law are subject to a civil fine of up to $25. The Juneau Assembly unanimously passed an ordinance to this effect on June 20. It is effective for the next 90 days unless terminated earlier. Settings in which residents must be masked include the...