Alaska mayor vetoes LGBTQ anti-discrimination protections

Published: Mar. 1, 2019 at 1:25 PM AKST
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The mayor of Alaska's second-largest city vetoed a new local law that gave sweeping equal rights protections to the LGBTQ community.

Fairbanks Mayor Jim Matherly says he hopes to put the issue on the ballot in October and let voting residents decide.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Matherly made the announcement in a column sent to the newspaper Friday. He says he arrived at his decision "after much soul searching."

The Fairbanks City Council approved the equal rights ordinance on Monday by a 4-2 vote. The hotly debated measure extended anti-discrimination protections for employment, housing and public accommodations.

Supporters of the measure were planning to hold a vigil Friday night in Fairbanks.

Among them is Hayden Nevill, who said the veto "gives our neighbors a license to treat us poorly."