Alaska next to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Marriage
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 10/13/14, 02:08 pm

Same-sex couples in Alaska began applying for marriage licenses today after an Alaska judge overturned the state’s marriage amendment yesterday. Alaska was the first state in the union to approve an amendment to its constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman. 

Last week, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Alaska, ruled that similar laws in Idaho and Nevada were unconstitutional. Alaska District Judge Timothy Burgess heard arguments in the case Friday afternoon and released his decision Sunday afternoon. 

A week ago, the Supreme Court set off a wave of unrest and uncertainty in marriage law when it rejected seven appeals of rulings in favor of same-sex marriage, effectively legalizing marriage in the five states that lost appeals and setting precedent for many others. By not officially hearing the case, the Court left open the possibility that it could reconsider its stance in the future. 

Gov. Sean Parnell said in a statement Sunday he was appealing to defend and uphold the law and the Alaska Constitution: “Although the district court today may have been bound by the recent 9th Circuit panel opinion, the status of that opinion and the law in general in this area is in flux.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital's managing editor. She is a graduate of World Journalism Institute, the Missouri School of Journalism, and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Lynde resides with her family in Wichita, Kansas. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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