There were some tense moments at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting Tuesday night, regarding a resolution of support for House Bill 198 in the Alaska Legislature, which would add gender identity and sexual orientation as a protected class to the law that allows for increased sentences for people who commit hate crimes.
Assembly President Kelly Cooper called the meeting to a halt at one point during public comment on the resolution.
Tammie Willis, of Sterling, is one of several people who spoke in favor of the resolution. She talked about her experiences finding a threatening note with gay slurs on her truck, having a rock shatter her windshield and being attacked at her home.
“On December 9, things escalated to include an assault in my home, where I was repeatedly cut with a knife and punched until almost my entire left side was covered in bruises,” Willis said. “It took 20 staples and two stitches to put me back together and almost a month for the bruises to heal.”
After Willis’ testimony, Assemblyman Jesse Bjorkman questioned whether Willis was lying about being attacked.