Tags: gay | marriage | ban | alaska

Alaska Gay Couples Seek Marriage Licenses After Judge Dumps Ban

Monday, 13 Oct 2014 04:13 PM

Alaska officials began accepting marriage license applications from gay couples on Monday, a day after a federal judge ruled the state ban's on such nuptials was unconstitutional in the latest victory for U.S. supporters of same-sex matrimony.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Burgess ruled on Sunday that a ban on gay marriage approved by the state's voters in 1998 violated the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law. In striking down the ban, Burgess also barred Alaska from refusing to acknowledge lawful same-sex marriages conducted in other U.S. states.

Alaska Bureau of Vital Statistics Section Chief Phillip Mitchell said the state began taking marriage license applications from same-sex couples on Monday. Mitchell noted that the state has a three-day waiting period between filing a marriage license application and being able to wed.

The Alaska move came as barriers to gay marriage fell state-by-state last week following days of federal court actions that could extend sex-sex marriage to 35 states.

The Alaska ruling on Sunday was in response to a lawsuit by five couples, four of whom had already legally married in other states, who took legal action in May challenging a ban enacted in 1998 by Alaska voters in a constitutional amendment.

"Refusing the rights and responsibilities afforded by legal marriage sends the public a government-sponsored message that same-sex couples and their familial relationships do not warrant the status, benefits and dignity given to couples of the opposite sex," Burgess wrote in his ruling.

Alaska Governor Sean Parnell said on Sunday the state would appeal, and that the constitutionality question was in flux.

Allison Mendel, an attorney for the couples who sued, said such an appeal would be unlikely to change anything given the higher courts' rulings. "It's disappointing that the state is going to throw more time and state money on this," Mendel said.

Last Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear appeals in gay marriage cases in five states, leaving intact regional appeals court rulings that struck down gay marriage prohibitions in those states.

The following day, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down same-sex marriage bans in Nevada and Idaho in a ruling that promised a ripple effect on other states under that court's jurisdiction, including Alaska.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
US
Alaska officials began accepting marriage license applications from gay couples on Monday, a day after a federal judge ruled the state ban's on such nuptials was unconstitutional in the latest victory for U.S. supporters of same-sex matrimony. U.S. District Judge Timothy...
gay, marriage, ban, alaska
374
2014-13-13
Monday, 13 Oct 2014 04:13 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved