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Alaska lawmaker introduces bill to bar sexual orientation discrimination

Sunday, February 24, 2013
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JUNEAU, Alaska — House Minority Leader Beth Kerttula has introduced a bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of traits that businesses, unions and landlords cannot discriminate.

The Democrat from Juneau said Friday that the added language is needed to cover people who currently are not protected by anti-discrimination ordinances under Alaska law.

The Juneau Empire reports that Kerttula sponsored a similar bill in 2011 that did not get a committee hearing. The following year Anchorage voters rejected adding sexual orientation to anti-discrimination laws.

The new bill has been referred to the House State Affairs Committee and the House Judiciary Committee.

Republican chair Rep. Bob Lynn of Anchorage says the bill will get a hearing if Kerttula requests one.

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