Dave Bronson

Dave Bronson

David Bronson launched his bid to become Anchorage’s next mayor last August on the back of the Save Anchorage Facebook group — a group which often makes local news when group members engage in newsworthy behavior. Bronson’s current campaign is just one more in a long chain of efforts to exert his extremist beliefs on Anchorage and its residents.

This past Tuesday, Save Anchorage made the news cycle after federal documents revealed Save Anchorage member Aaron Mileur of Wasilla, Alaska, had been arrested for his alleged role in the Capitol Hill Insurrection. Federal documents also revealed that Mr. Mileur had allegedly posted a video to the Save Anchorage group, which the FBI says was “recorded from inside the United States Capitol Building.”

The following day, the FBI's Anchorage Field Office announced the March 10, 2021 arrest of an Anchorage resident, who was charged with distribution and possession of child pornography. That individual had also been a Save Anchorage group member.

Rumors have been circulating online for months that the Save Anchorage group, which many have called “extreme,” had come under scrutiny from law enforcement officials. The timing of these recent arrests may have been purely coincidental, but both arrestees were, in fact, members of the group.

That aside, the Save Anchorage-backed mayoral candidate himself, whose current campaign manager is also a Save Anchorage group member, has many personal beliefs that some have called “extreme,” especially with respect to LGBTQI+ issues.

David Bronson has lurked mostly in the background, or engaged in issue politics, for years. His current mayoral campaign website was registered on July 29, 2020 just 19 days after the Save Anchorage group was created on Facebook.

In 2011 Bronson ran unsuccessfully for the Midtown Anchorage Assembly seat against Elvi Gray-Jackson, perhaps an ominous foreboding of what lay in store for him in the April mayoral election.

Bronson is a founding board member of the Alaska Family Council and a member of Alaska Family Action, which promotes the “union of one man and one woman,” and which claims that those who subscribe to “natural views on marriage” are “vilified as bigoted or discriminatory.”

On August 15, 2003, David Bronson penned an Anchorage Daily News Compass piece praising Jerry Prevo of Anchorage Baptist Temple after Mr. Prevo split with the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America when they voted to lift a ban prohibiting openly gay individuals from joining the Scouts. Bronson referred to young men as “avowed homosexuals,” and wrote that “The Bible teaches homosexuality -- both the act and advocacy for it -- is a sin.”

David Bronson’s name appears again in a 2015 Anchorage Daily News article related to public debate of a then proposed ordinance which would ban discrimination in Anchorage on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Bronson is quoted as having testified at an Anchorage Assembly meeting on the matter, saying, "Every Alaskan should be free to work according to their faith without fear of being unjustly punished by their government."

The anti-discrimination ordinance ultimately passed by a 9-2 vote of the Anchorage Assembly in September 2015 making Anchorage the first city in Alaska to protect its residents from discrimination and unfair treatment on the basis of who they are or who they love.

In November of that same year, the Midnight Sun reported that a group of citizens, including Deborah Bronson — wife of David Bronson, and former Anchorage Republican Women’s Club President and current Anchorage School Board candidate Judy Eledge, had filed a petition to repeal the Anchorage gay rights ordinance (AO-96) passed in September of the same year.

But perhaps Bronson’s most telling personal views on homosexuality can be found in public testimony he gave on HJR-9 in 2007 — a proposed amendment to the Constitution of the State of Alaska which read:

“No other union is similarly situated to a marriage between a man and a woman and, therefore, a marriage between a man and a woman is the only union to which the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage shall be extended or assigned.”

Bronson testified in support of the proposed Constitutional Amendment on March 27, 2007 at 8:40 a.m. before the House State Affairs Standing Committee. Bronson testified on “behalf of himself” even though he served on the board of the Alaska Family Council and Alaska Family Action at the time.

In summary, Mr. Bronson testified that it would “be nice” if the issue of gay marriage would “go away,” and claimed that “a small group of homosexual activists and their willing allies in the judiciary through very tortured logic determined that since homosexual employees of the state could not be married, they must be treated as if they are married and that is through same-sex benefits.”

Bronson called the desire for same-sex benefits “an incremental attack on the institution of marriage, with same-sex benefits used as a primary weapon in that attack,” and said that “activists will be at the door demanding same-sex marriage, and they will prevail.”

At the end of his testimony in support of HRJ-9, Bronson asked to be included with his remarks, testimony by Dr. Jeffrey Satinover, which had been presented before the Massachusetts Senate Judicial Committee studying gay marriage on April 28, 2003.

Bronson claimed that Dr. Satinover’s testimony would provide a “fundamental understanding” of the issue that was before the Committee.

Dr. Satinover's book, ‘Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth’, debates the nature of homosexuality from psychological, religious and scientific perspectives, discusses homosexuality in the context of being a condition that can or should be treated, contrary to the views of the mainstream psychiatric and psychological community.

Satinover draws comparisons in his book between homosexuality and various pathologies such as alcoholism and pedophilia — and argues that homosexuality involves compulsive impulses.

In seeming agreement with Satinover, Bronson espoused his views on homosexuality in 2013 when he posed a question on Twitter about Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson's beliefs on homosexuality. Robertson, at the time, had equated homosexuality to "bestiality and promiscuity."

It seems clear that David Bronson lacks the insight, compassion and understanding needed to be a mayor for all of Anchorage’s residents. His outdated and arguably extreme views on matters related to homosexuality and marriage-equality should disqualify him from running for public office, much less from holding the title of mayor in Alaska’s most diverse city.

If you don't believe me, just read the words of former Conservative Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who responded to opponents of gay marriage, such as David Bronson, in the landmark case Obergefell v. Hodges.

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. It is so ordered.”

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