Anchorage residents rejected a ballot initiative that sought to add “sexual orientation” and “transgender identity” to the list of protected legal classes in the city code.

More than 54,000 residents voted -- far more than city officials had expected. In fact, some precincts ran out of ballots and had to be restocked an hour before the polls closed.

Anchorage Archbishop Roger Schwietz urged residents to vote against the ballot measure.

Opponents, who included more than 100 area pastors and priests, raised concerns that the proposed law could have required faith-based schools, private businesses and area churches to employ openly homosexual and transgender employees, while also forcing service companies and rental organizations to promote and facilitate causes and events that are contrary to their moral beliefs.