FAIRBANKS - A member of the Fairbanks City Council is standing by comments he made at a Friday luncheon in which he claims supporters of an equal-rights ordinance are “full of (expletive)” in claims that they suffer discrimination for being LGBTQ members.
Councilman David Pruhs made the statement at the weekly Interior GOP Luncheon, held in the backroom at Denny’s. Audio of the luncheon was uploaded to YouTube on the Hrrrl Scouts channel.
“In the last 2.5 months, I’ve never heard how bad Fairbanks is, with discrimination, in my life. And I think they are full of (expletive). That’s me,” Pruhs said just minutes into the meeting.
His statement was followed by one “amen” and light applause.
Toward the end of Friday’s luncheon, Pruhs did apologize for using the expletive, but followed up saying “at least I can use it here.”
“I stand by every word I said,” Pruhs said in a phone interview Monday morning.
“They’re trying to say we’re bad to get this ramrodded through. This one group is making exaggerated claims to get this ramrodded,” Pruhs said Monday.
He said supporters of the legislation claim people aren’t visiting Fairbanks because there are no legal LGBTQ protections.
“Once we postponed it, the ax that fell upon us in a vengeful way. They’re trying to make it like we are the worst community,” he said via telephone.
The controversy is related to Ordinance 6093 being considered by the Fairbanks City Council.
Ordinance 6093 proposes protections for employment, housing and public accommodations as well as creating a means for potential victims to challenge discriminatory practices in court.
The council postponed the ordinance at its Dec. 10 meeting, and will vote on it again tonight after hours of expected public comment.
At Friday’s meeting, Pruhs went on to say that he’s been sexually discriminated against by the Hrrrl Scouts, which he called a “very militant lesbian group.”
On their Facebook page the group identifies themselves as “a club for feminist malcontents and cool dogs.” Their activities include “rabblerouse on the regular … yell about politics & hustle hard to actively build community & promote intersectionality.”
He said that the group specifically targets himself, Mayor Jim Matherly and Councilman Jerry Cleworth with aggressive emails because they are the only males on the governing body.
“I’ve been targeted, discriminated against, called white trash, called white privilege,” he said on Monday.
At Friday’s luncheon Pruhs also said religious freedoms have come under attack since the ordinance was introduced.
“I’ve never seen, since we did this, such an assault on religion, in my life. This is unprecedented.”
Pruhs, one of the ordinance’s original co-sponsors, said he was very proud of the original legislation. But “where this is and where this has gone, is completely upside down,” he said on Friday. Pruhs has since removed his name from the legislation.
Additionally, Pruhs said he’s received significant support for his Friday statements.
“I’ve got a lot of phone calls saying ‘Thank you David for saying what needs to be said.’”
Contact staff writer Robin Wood at 459-7510. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMcity