Alaska-based lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocates say they are angered by the release of a new animated TV ad asking viewers to reject controversial anti-discrimination legislation.
Produced by opponents of Proposition 5, which would extend anti-discrimination protections to LGBT people, the "Daycare" clip shows a cartoon "transvestite" applying for a gig at a daycare center. "If [the daycare center's owner] hires him, she risks losing customers," the narrator announces. "And if she refuses, she can be fined or imprisoned."
The ad then concludes, "Anchorage is already a tolerant city. Vote no on Proposition 5."
The clip was quickly denounced by one of the state's former governors among others. "The ads opposing Proposition 5 depict unacceptably offensive and intentionally stigmatizing and distorted cartoons of gay and transgender individuals," Tony Knowles is quoted by Alaska Dispatch as saying. "Such dehumanizing stereotypes do not represent the values we share as a community."
Meanwhile, Jim Minnery, a leader of the Protect Your Rights -- Vote No On Prop. 5 campaign, which produced the commercial, defended the ad because he said it points out that because "transgender" isn't defined in the ordinance, a scenario like the one portrayed could play out under the new law, according to the Anchorage Daily News. "I think it's a shocking flaw in Prop. 5 and shows profound disrespect to voters that the authors didn't feel it was important to provide a definition of transgender identity," he said.