Letter: South Africa Leads Way
Anchorage Daily News,
October 13, 1998
P. O. Box 149001, Anchorage, AK 99514-9001
Last Friday, The Juneau Empire reported that the highest court in South Africa struck
down the last laws that criminalized sex between people of the same gender. In fact, gay
rights have been protected by the (South African) Constitution since 1994. South Africa is
the first country on earth to protect gay rights in its constitution.
This is the same South Africa that systemically and ruthlessly discriminated against
and murdered people based on their skin color for decades. This is the same South Africa
that viciously brutalized some parts of its population because it was different. This is
the same South Africa that was the scorn and ridicule of the rest of the world.
This is the same South Africa that turned around and said, "What we did was
wrong." This is the same South Africa that has made it a national priority to fix
what happened through its Truth and Reconciliation Commission. For once, freedom has come
to that country for all its citizens regardless of their race, religion, sex or sexual
Now Alaska wants to enshrine discrimination based on sexual orientation in its own
constitution. It wants to prevent people who love each other from marrying forever just
because they may not be one man and one woman. While were at it, why dont we
amend the constitution so that were the new "old South Africa" so that
only white, rich, ultra-conservative Christians have any rights. Then we can suffer from a
worldwide embargo and trade sanctions, color wars just outside of town and hate crimes on
Wont that just be fun?
Dont be fooled. It isnt fun. If South Africa can move radically forward
toward equality and freedom, then Alaskans certainly dont want to go backward.
Lets not start down the wrong path; encourage everyone to vote no on Ballot Measure
Michael Ray Wilson, Anchorage