After a florist refused service to a same-sex couple, the Alaskan city of Ketchikan- with just over 8,000 residents- stepped up to protect the rights of all their citizens. Town lawmakers unanimously voted to pass a non-discrimination bill for the LGBTQ+ community making them the fourth city in Alaska to pass such measures. Read on for the full story.
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Alaskan Florist Refuses Same-Sex Couple & Town Responds By Banning LGBTQ Discrimination Entirely
Ketchikan, a small town in Southern Alaska, unanimously approved measures to protect all of their citizens, LGBTQ+ included, after the Heavenly Creations florist refused service to a same-sex couple.
Heather Dalin, the owner of the florist, says that they’ve always served LGBT people.
I have personally made and delivered bouquets to the members of LBGTQ community on numerous occasions. We have not, and do not discriminate.
Later, though. she contradicts herself, saying that nothing can force her to do something against her religious beliefs.
When it comes to the holy sacrament of marriage, God’s word is clear. Marriage is one of the seven sacraments where the Lord Jesus Christ is present. For you to pass an unnecessary ordinance to try and force myself to participate in a ceremony that violates not only God’s holy truth, but also strips me of my rights as an American tax-paying, law-abiding citizen is unreasonable.
City votes unanimously after hearing florist’s statement
After the city’s council heard her statement, they decided to completely ban any discriminatory actions towards the LGBT+ community.
Ryan McHale, a museum curator who participated in the hearing, said.
Much like their pro-slavery predecessors, segregationists during the Jim Crow era cited scripture as justification for maintaining racial segregation and inequality. There is little that distinguishes the religious freedom claim of today from those of the segregationists who argued that they should not be forced to hire, serve or associate with African Americans or Native Americans.
Essentially, the “religion excuse” used to deny the same-sex couple isn’t much different from that used to defend segregation.
Ketchikan’s new law takes effect by mid-August. As mentioned above, it will officially be the fourth city in Alaska. It joins Sitka, Juneau and Anchorage in establishing a law protecting the LGBT+ citizens.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of protecting LGBTQ rights. That protection includes prohibiting discrimination against workers based on gender identity or sexual orientation. However, as KTOO explains, how the ruling affects other settings remains unsettled. Until it is, protecting the LGBTQ community falls almost entirely to local lawmakers.