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Jim Minnery: Politics is weird, but Alaska gender politics is a whole new level of weird


Republicans are good at getting elected to majorities in the State House and Senate. As far as organizing around common goals and strategies? Not so much.

It seems like there are always a few Republicans (you know who you are) who give Democrats in the minority power and when that happens, the agreement is “Let’s agree not talk about the ‘controversial’ social issues like abortion and the LGBTQIA+ agenda.” But that doesn’t always go as planned either.

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Recently, HB 99, a bill to add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the State’s anti-discrimination list, made it out of two House Committees with help from Republicans Justin Ruffridge from Soldotna and Jesse Sumner from Wasilla. Interestingly, those are the two most conservative leaning areas of the state.

Alaska Family Action has been opposing sexual orientation and gender identity laws for many years and for good reason. To make it very local, this bill is identical to an ordinance in Anchorage that led to the extended harassment of the Downtown Hope Center for the “crime” of not allowing a biological man to sleep in a shelter for abused women. This disastrous policy should not be imposed on the entire state.

In addition, sexual orientation and gender identity laws like HB 99:

  • Trample fundamental liberties and unnecessarily impinge individuals’ rights to live in ways consistent with their values.
  • Ban disagreement on LGBT issues by enforcing a sexual orthodoxy and treat reasonable actions as discriminatory.
  • Do not protect equality before the law; instead, they grant special privileges that are enforceable against private actors.
  • Threaten to punish individuals and businesses simply because they decline to engage in speech, or participate in events, that violate their religious beliefs or personal convictions. 

Similar laws have had disastrous consequences in other states and cities. Instead of ending discrimination, HB 99 will authorize and encourage discrimination to occur against religious institutions and other private citizens, based only on their decision to operate their businesses, schools, organizations and professional careers in a manner that is consistent with their consciences.

The State anti-discrimination law has long prohibited discrimination in housing (which includes rentals and sales), employment, and public accommodations on the basis of certain classifications (i.e. certain protected classes of people). The classifications are race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, physical or mental disability, marital status, changes in marital status, pregnancy, or parenthood.  

All of the modern day extra classifications of “gender identity,” “gender expression,” and “sexual orientation,” are not included.

The fact that those latter classifications are not included in the statute is why the Alaska State Human Resources Commission has been declining to accept complaints regarding discrimination on the basis of those classifications. To be clear, that is the very reason why HB 99 has been introduced which is to add those classifications to the statute.

Although Sumner hasn’t justified his reason, Ruffridge has let some people, including this writer, know why he voted in support of HB 99. “Bizarrely,” Ruffridge states, “there have been some who claim this bill allows men to enter women’s restrooms. It does not do anything of the kind.”

Actually, the only bizarre thing is his claim that this bill won’t force establishments (public accommodations like restaurants, private offices, commercial and state buildings, schools both public and private when they host sporting events to make their bathrooms and locker rooms open to any and all persons without regard to biological gender.  

Not all bathrooms are public accommodations, but a whole heck of a lot of them are. Any restroom or locker room that is affiliated with a business that caters to the public (or to part of the public) or a public venue (think Alaska Club, or schools that host sporting events like basketball games, etc.) will be prohibited from discriminating (i.e., excluding) any male who identifies as a woman (the classification of gender identity) from entering and using a women’s rest room or locker room.

When Ruffridge says the “bill has absolutely nothing to do with bathrooms,” he is flat out wrong.

The law prohibits discrimination in “public accommodations” (See A.S. 18.80.230) on the basis of whatever the list of classifications are in the statute. A whole lot of bathrooms fit the bill as “public accommodations.” (see above). 

If amended as the current bill proposes, the statute would even prohibit placing a sign on a bathroom or locker room door that suggest some aren’t allowed to enter (think putting a sign on bathroom or locker room doors that say “Women” or “Men”).

When Ruffridge says HB 99 “has absolutely nothing to do with … the safety of women and children” he might want to take notice of the publicized cases from back east where young girls were attacked and raped in school bathrooms by so-called transgender students. 

He might also want to ask women how safe they feel having a guy with a penis who claims to be a woman undressing in front of them in a bathroom of locker room.

Ruffridge says that HB 99 does “NOT make LGBTQ individuals a protected class” and yet that is exactly what the law does. The following classifications are clearly and unambiguously added to the statute: “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” “gender expression,” “sexual orientation.” 

Fortunately, HB 99 will likely not survive in House Judiciary, the next committee it’s been assigned to. But many questions will remain as to why Jesse Sumner and Justin Ruffridge parted ways with the majority of Alaskans in their districts. 

Jim Minnery is executive director of Alaska Family Council.



  1. These Christ deniers demand orthodoxy of even non-believers or not even members of their LGBT cult. They are out of touch with reality.

  2. “Republicans are good at getting elected to majorities in the State House and Senate. As far as organizing around common goals and strategies? Not so much……..”
    It’s called Republican In Name Only. They need party money, organization, and campaigning power, but couldn’t care less about the party platform. It’s all about the money.

  3. “political orientation”, “political identity”, “political expression”
    “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” “gender expression,”

    It’s all make believe these days…

  4. The Alaska GOP is useless and needs to be nuked out of existence. Allow something actually conservative to grow in its place.

  5. Wow! I suggest people write and email both legislators even if you are not a constituent. Thankfully it likely won’t survive further review but I truly wonder what these two are thinking. Sumner is a fiscal conservative and for limited government. I am not sure how socially conservative he is. And I should say this bill smacks of more government control which is antithetical to smaller government. It is plan nuts.

  6. Jim thanks for your thoughts.

    What is the specific special right you are concerned about? I always hear a concern for special rights, but never hear what thespecial right is.

    Any point of view that isolates to their own issues and population will struggle to communicate across views.

    • Look, Maureen, I’ll be as nice with you as I can be and simply note that nobody cares much what you do by yourself or with other consenting adults behind closed doors as long as you aren’t spreading disease but the moment you step outside of your closet with the expectation that normal and decent people should accept you and your crimes against nature as anything other than a mentally ill wart on healthy society is the moment you’ve gone too far.

      • Sally I am as nice as I can be here in replying a whole lot more folks say the same things you wrote—> about those expressing their religious beliefs.

    • Hi Maureen.

      Let’s take the separation of the sexes as an example. It’s a societal norm in America that functions such as using a bathroom or removing/changing clothing is done in a separated environment. It’s ‘the way it’s done’ here. And it has it’s reasons, even reasons other than religious. Our laws and policies tend to protect the most vulnerable citizens that have the least ability to physically protect themselves. I.e., if I assault another man close to my age, I will get one punishment. But if I assault a 90 year old man in a wheelchair, my punishment will be more severe. I think most of us can agree that if a woman posing as a man was caught in a men’s locker room she would simply be tossed out. Physically if need be. But consider the reverse. If a man posing as a woman is discovered in a women’s locker room, he is up to no good. Think about the Virginia school case cited above where the young woman was raped in a women’s room by a man in women’s clothing. He had prior similar offenses. In Sun Prairie Wis, recently four freshman girls were attempting to shower after a swim class when they were approached by an older male student that told them not to worry as he was ‘trans’. He then stripped in front of them. In 2021 a man in women’s clothing stripped in a women only area at an LA spa. The spa staff claimed that they could not ‘discriminate’ against the man as he claimed to be a ‘trans woman’. Several witnesses claimed later that he had an erection. I am stating here, as clearly as I can, these men all had bad stuff on their minds when they went into these women only areas. Even people such as ‘Lia’ Thompson and ‘Chelsea’ Manning assumed a female identity for personal gain. One for medals and the other to avoid life in prison/execution.

      An even more extreme example is the idea that a guy cannot be denied entry to a battered women’s shelter because he’s wearing a skirt. The LAST thing any woman in a shelter needs to see is a guy. Screw legalities at that point, protect the vulnerable.

      We already have a ton of personal protections built into our legal system. Enough that it intrudes on personally owned businesses. If I have a business and I want to only employ men, if you applied for a job and I turned you down, you could sue me. Why? Why should I, as a private businessman, be barred from hiring anyone I wish? Why should you be barred from hiring anyone YOU wish?

      Where I might see the argument for the ‘protection’ is in the public offices. As I’ve stated in the past, if ANY legal citizen goes into ANY city, borough, state, or federal office to conduct business, there should be NO discrimination beyond verifying citizenship/residency.

      Think about the repercussions of the above bill. Churches would not be able to exclude drag queens. There will be many, many more wedding cake lawsuits. If it’s pushed to ridiculous lengths, what’s to stop a Muslim from suing a Jewish synagogue for entry?

      • Again my question is what is the special rights above rights of others the conservative community speaks to but does not define?

        Paul I hear your arguments. I noticed you used the term stripped several times as opposed to undressed or disrobed. This needlessly ramps sexual innuendo. Of course if it were a quote that would be different but I don’t see quotes and you are a pretty on top of it commenter otherwise.

        When I have hired folks I’ve generally have gone with best qualified to meet the job duties. But I understand you wish to hire Irish guys with mustaches whether they are qualified or not.

        I think it would be good of our churches to acknowledge how many of their children they ostracized over these issues.

        • The terminology was intentional. Let me explain. The majority of people claiming trans status are men claiming to be women. And as a nearly 60 yo male, with the correct appendages and chromosomes, I know how the male mind works. The vast majority of these men choose to play as women because of the sexual component of the act. It’s not identity, it’s fantasy. They think they will be ‘treated’ as a woman or they will get access to a nude show.

          As for hiring, qualifications just get you in the door. I’ve had to fire people that were qualified but just did not fit in. Some did not follow the rules and others were disruptive to
          the other employees. You’ve hired before so you know what I mean.

          That brings me back to your question of special rights. Just the current laws leave employers open to frivolous lawsuits. I once fired a guy that actually smoked crack while on the clock (behavior. Later found the pipe) but since I did not actually SEE him smoke, I fired him due to being late for work nearly every day for about six weeks. Think that’s enough? It’s not. I was forced to pay him unemployment or he could have sued me. Under current law, a prospective or former employee can sue because they were rejected due to age, sex, marital status, children/no children, or even for being gay/straight/bi/anything else. Then lets add another layer for ‘gender identity’. I can’t hire some guy, wearing a skirt, calling ‘herself’ Stephanie, and not expect it to cause problems in the shop. But, as a protected class, ‘Stephanie’ could sue me for not hiring ‘her’ or for firing ‘her’ later. All ‘she’ has to do is accuse me of discrimination.

          As for church behavior, part of me is on board with your views but I think that should be a separate debate.

          • WHERE IS THAT SEPARATE DEBATE HERE Paul? So many many many recent reports of arrests of church ministers, and church employees. No report here. It’s hard to believe Suzanne isn’t blasting this.

            Your reflections are much appreciated. I hear your points beyond getting inthe door regarding hiring.

            I understand your position in the service was important to you in relation to being in charge of your guys. Would you not provide some training to the group? Would you not hire the far more qualified and willing to work on the issue that others will have a problem with or just hire the underproducing Irish guy with a mustache because you don’t want to deal with your other hires’ unprofessional behavior on the job in your shop?

          • The separate debate is because anyone abusing another sexually, in spite of position, is a criminal already. Forced sexual contact is and has always been a crime of the highest order in the U.S. If the perpetrator is from a ‘trusted’ position such as teacher, religious leader, community, leader, or even a family member, this results in extra layers of punishment.

            What I was addressing from the story is both a personal freedom and also (since I hire for my business) a freedom to conduct business as I see fit. Let’s change the business setting to your world. If you found a well qualified person for the reception area or even as another counselor, would you still consider that person if they had tattoos above the collar and dressed like a biker? Of course not! That image is NOT conducive for your type of business. And what would happen if you hired that person and they continuously acted unprofessionally toward the other employees? You would have to fire that person in order to maintain your workplace environment. But if there was a law against firing that person due to the way they dress or identify themselves, you could then be sued.

            All of these laws that are claimed to be protecting someones ‘rights’ (whatever rights that may be at the time) in the long term can be twisted into a legal club to be used to control a person or a business.

            Let me hire who I wish and you hire who you wish. Is that a harmful thing?

  7. We need a new party to vote for. The uniparty does not work. They are shoving taxes school funding sexual identities and beliefs on the public no matter what we say or vote for. They steal from us and lie to us. I don’t know anybody who likes or respects a politician. They are worthless.

  8. Seems to me that the classifications of sex and mental disability cover any of the LGBTQABCDEIEIO’S concerns already.

    They are already one of one sex or the other, as there only two, and the mental disability clause covers the rest.

    Just saying.

  9. That is, L is of one sex. G is of one sex. B is of one sex. T is of a mental disability. Q, as I understand it, is the same as L or G.

    The rest?

    Convenient victimhood, and also a mental disability, or a self-constructed victimhood to attain a popular base as a victim.

    • I encourage you to consider biological determinents at this point. You’ll likely find the victimization they receive in living who they are comes after.

      • Biological determinants are individual bases of one’s physical existence, Maureen, and has nothing to do with the latter of your statement, as biological determinants have nothing to do with whether one is part of the A through Z community or not.

        What you are speaking of is Mental determinants, not biological determinants, and the victimization of said same are of a Mental issue, rather than a biological one, ESPECIALLY within regards unto the ‘Trans’ issue, whereas the individual mentally believes, or more popularly chooses to identify, rather than honestly believe, that they are of a gender of which they are not.

        For the vast majority of said ‘identified’ Transsexual, probably 99% or better, it is simply beneficial for them to do so based upon their individual desire to do so, for their own desire to watch and denigrate members of the actual true sex of females, so as to get off on it.

        For the less than 1 percent that actually believe themselves to be of the incorrect sex, again the majority males thinking themselves females, it is a mental issue, not a biological one.

        Tell me, Maureen, how many women identifying as males, whilst containing all of their individual parts, demand to be let into a male’s locker room or shower area as a male, even though it is most obvious that said individual is NOT a male?

  10. As an Alaskan my entire 60 years, it’s incomprehensible to me that homosexuality, LGBTQ, and transgender politics has become a number one issue in the Last Frontier state. It’s extremely odd that the hard working independent minded people in this “can-do” and “make do” state are so preoccupied with this nonsense that is best suited for people who live in San Francisco, New York City, and Portland. What has Alaska really become?

    • I agree. I always thought that the more harsh climate would preserve peoples common sense- survival instinct and keep their heads straight but the truth is without the fear of the Lord, insanity will take hold no matter where you’re at. Time is short, salvation is urgent, eternity is forever! God help us, make Gospel revival take over all of our souls.

      • Just remain in His Word. Stay in fellowship with believers. Listen for his voice from daily being in His Word. And pray in thanksgiving in All things. Remember a Jesus Follower is set apart from the World, we won’t win them over when we act like our old self. Remember growing a person or changing is . God’s job. Our jobs are to be praying, scattering seeds. or also watering and fertilizing with the bible to understand the. Word. (thats disicipling a believer.)

    • TG:
      The answer to your question is that Alaska has become an extension of the cities you have named by way of a few extremely Left-wing individuals who have gotten themselves elected into Alaska offices, both local and state, and have brought their outside, radical politics here and made these issues front and center because everyday normal Alaskans were either unwilling to counteract the nonsense, or were too busy working and raising their families to get involved. Let this be a lesson for Alaskans:
      Unless immediate action is taken to countermeasure their radical agenda, you will always be placed on the defensive and trying to play catch-up to the Lefties. Early involvement IS the countermeasure. Action in opposition IS the remedy. The radical leftist Democrats are the opioids. We have to be the Narcan.

      • It’s just hard to believe that rugged-individual Alaska has become a haven for homosexuals and transvestites. Seems totally counter-intuitive. The tourists must be laughing their effing *sses off when they get off the plane or cruise ship. Hang on tight to your return ticket.

  11. So where was the support for the original HB105? Crickets, as usual. And it made me gag to read that the teacher-representative who voted against it did so because she felt that it would destroy her “teachable moments.” Related to what? Fox reports that high schoolers now listing themselves as gay or trans is approaching a quarter of the student population. If true, this means that those who want to limit the population growth have found the ultimate tool. Negate the reproduction by turning the majority into gender confused adults. Davos or Tavistock Institute anyone?

  12. The Alaska Constitution guarantees privacy, AFC’s policies are more in line with Muslim countries such as Afghanistan, or Iran. There is no place in a Democracy for Minnery and his religeous fanatics

      • Similar to Iran and Afghanistan leaders, Minnery wants to get between people and their doctors. I do not need to go to a Muslim country to understand the Alaska Constitution.

  13. All this needs, is the big push back, send them packing if they don’t like it and be done! All this mess is, is another distraction to keep us all focused on the wrong things.
    So let’s treat it as that. No special treatment for them, no special laws. If you can’t hack it here then go to SF or Seattle.
    Who cares about the “social” score…. Morality means more than that! We need a Governor that will not tolerate it, and one who will make Alaska a hard worker state like it always has been.
    Stand up and push it all back.. I guarantee it will start losing ground fast.

  14. One only has to look at the Assembly and former mayor to realize why Anchorage is what it is. Any governing body that pushes the transgender LDBTQ+ gay rights agenda the way it has is most definitely on a mission to transform not only the municipality but all the public schools as well as the State run University system and even the Alaska Native Heritage group. The gay assembly members are not content with just being gay. They want everyone else to be gay and mostly the children as they are the easy soft targets pedophiles target to satisfy their addiction. The more gay children they can transform the larger their fishing hole becomes. If you count the number of assembly members pushing a gay agenda one would think half of Anchorage might be gay. California has a unique way of pushing the gay agenda. Where is the former mayor as well as the assembly appointed mayor from?

  15. When we vote in the same people over and over again, despite their lies and political whoring of alleged principles, we are telling them we want this.

    We have the government we deserve. We put them in there. Knowing what they were.

  16. I canceled my membership to the Wasilla Planet Fitness because a man pretending to be a woman was using the women’s locker room while my wife was in there. Support businesses that know the difference between a man and a woman.

  17. Many folks don’t understand what the real agenda is here. Politicians that push this garbage are on the take. They are being paid by non-profit organizations that are funded by Americas enemies like Soros, Gates and other dark money entities. They can’t break America unless we are divided. This is all designed to break our resolve to protect our Republic. They put who they want in office through election fraud and push their crap down our throats. Stay strong and united, do not allow them their victory. They are pushing hard now to fully implement their agenda and destroy any remaining image of what America was. There is nowhere left to go folks except forward. Stand up to these criminals and fix the election system. Start calling or mailing thousands of complaints to your Governor and ask him to show leadership on these issues. He needs to veto any bill that normalizes mental illness and subjects our children to being sexualized.

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