Marriage

Gay Marriage Laws in Alaska

Gay Marriage Laws in Alaska

Gay Marriage Laws in AlaskaWhen
Alaska finally determined that state and local benefits must also apply to same
sex partners in 2005, they began to allow for some equal rights for same sex
couples. However the courts  really began addressing the issue in 1998. In
fact, a judge ruled that there should be equal gay marriage rights and granted
a constitutional right for same sex marriage. However, the decision was stayed
while appeals pended in the State Supreme court. 



In 1999, the state Supreme
Court ruled against gay marriage  and stated that LGBT couples could not
seek the right to marry due to a 1998 amendment. That amendment ruled against
gay marriage rights and held that LGBT couples had no right to get married or
appreciate the benefits of marriage. 


Finally, in 2005, the Alaska Supreme
Courts ruled that same-sex partners  employed by the government, were
entitled to all benefits granted in marriage and upheld some gay marriage
rights . The road to such benefits, was long and complicated. Hopefully, Alaska
is on the path to provide for equal gay marriage rights.


In 1998, an Alaskan Supreme Court Judge ruled that gay marriage rights existed,
as long as there was no compelling reason to deny those rights. However,
approximately ten months later, the state’s voters amended the states
constitution to define marriage as a contract between a man and a woman. 

In
addition, Section 25, forbid same sex couples from the benefits of marriage and
ruled against gay marriage. In fact, it stated that no union between same sex
couples, would be recognized by the state, regardless of what state or country
the marriage took place in. 


The Supreme Court and residents of Alaska, had
ruled against gay marriage. In addition, no rights regarding domestic
partnerships or civil unions were recognized. Of course that included divorce
and state benefits. If one spouse were ordered to pay spousal support in
another state, and moved to Alaska, they would be relieved of that duty.


However, in 2005, Alaska finally recognized certain gay marriage rights for
same sex partners. Initially, the Supreme court ruled against gay marriage, but
later granted gay marriage rights and awarded the same benefits as those
afforded to marriage to same sex partners of local and state employees. 


Now, gay
marriage rights in Alaska are beginning to compare favorable with those of
marriage between a man and a woman. In fact, Alaska may be on the road to
offering gay marriage rights that are in line with those afforded to marriages
between a man and a woman.



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