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Gay Marriage Laws in Alaska


When 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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