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Friday, January 28, 2022

Marriage Equality Comes to Alaska!


It happened more quickly than most were expecting. Judge Timothy Burgess ruled Sunday afternoon that Alaska’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The finding in the case Hamby v. Parnell read in part as follows:

“The court finds that Alaska’s ban on same-sex marriage and refusal to recognize same sex marriages lawfully entered in other states is unconstitutional as a deprivation of basic due process and equal protection principles under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”

The Hamby suit was filed in May by five same-sex couples – four of whom sought to have their marriages in other states acknowledged by the state, and the other to be allowed to marry in Alaska. The suit challenged the state’s constitutional amendment which defined marriage as “between one man and one woman.” The amendment was approved by Alaska voters in 1998.

The court heard oral arguments in the case on Friday, and you can read the writeup HERE.

In an email, Governor Sean Parnell (who also happens to be a lawyer and should presumably know better) declared his intention to appeal the ruling, despite the fact that higher courts have already ruled, and nothing will come of the appeal other than spending the state’s money. Alaska will, in essence, be funding Parnell’s pander to the religious right before the election.

“As Alaska’s governor, I have a duty to defend and uphold the law and the Alaska Constitution. Although the district court today may have been bound by the recent Ninth Circuit panel opinion, the status of that opinion and the law in general in this area is in flux. I will defend our constitution.”

Despite Parnell’s appeal, the judge’s order is effective immediately, preventing further enforcement of the unconstitutional law, clearing the way for same-sex marriages to begin.




16 Responses to “Marriage Equality Comes to Alaska!”
  1. juneaudream says:

    Whereas..all the modern tech. toys..leave moi cold..I love the fact that..information..of all kinds..whizzes around this a speed..we really..cannot grasp. It is like an..avalanche..of bits..almost..sandgrain size..and in its scientific structure modes..abrades, nay carves..into the mental abilitys..of our young. That erasing, eradicating..of stupidity..and religious ‘termite-isim’..bring clean, viable new dance of wisdom. The old, crippled..too fear..cannot be..revived..they just have to age, die..and gracefully..make way..for newness. (Gracefully..oppsie..I fear I see..bootmarks..flailing all over the conservative bastions..oh well in public places..I smile gently..and inside, MOST happy dance!….

  2. Mo says:

    Reading Hrafnkell Harraldson this morning Love America, Ignore Republican Fear I thought about how social justice is slowly but surely arriving here in Alaska, despite the best efforts of our bible-thumping oilies, who hate and fear everything that doesn’t validate their own cramped little lives.

    Saying “Thank you!: to the brave couples who brought this lawsuit seems so inadequate to what their persistence achieved. I guess that’s why HH’s essay today resonated with me.

    The problem is that because Republicans live in their own world, and have their own “experts” on every subject, the real world is seldom allowed to intrude on their fantasies. And they thrive on terror. Like the kids in the horror film-spoofing GEICO commercial, they’ll eschew the running car to hide in the garage full of chainsaws, where they can cast themselves as victims.

    We must constantly remind ourselves that the issues we talk about here will never make it into the bubble. If they’re not suddenly screaming Benghazi, they’re playing Hannity or accusing us of ignoring facts for “feelings,” even though our last Republican president started two wars, three, really, if you include the “war on terror,” based on what his gut – not facts – was telling him.

    A hatred for humanity is no basis for a system of government, and that is all Republicans have at this point … I write this knowing the reaction my words will have on a shield so impermeable that it could have saved the Death Star from Luke Skywalker.

    We can’t reach them. That is the sad and inescapable truth.

    We can only rally, as that part of America not closed off to the effects of our shared reality, to un-do the evil they have wrought, and will still inflict upon us and the world if given half a chance.

    Republicans like to say just because you don’t believe in God doesn’t mean God doesn’t believe in you. But let’s turn that around and apply it to a real-world setting: just because you don’t believe in reality, doesn’t mean you’re immune to it. It will come back to bite you in the backside. And while they’ll just blame the nearest Democrat, all of us will have to deal with the fall-out.

    We can agree to vote this midterm, and expose our independent-minded fellow Americans to actual facts: that both parties don’t do it; that both parties are not the same; that only one party wants to keep people from voting; and that voting FOR a party that will take that right away doesn’t make much sense in the grand scheme of things.

    • Mike D. says:

      Surely there must be conservatives who don’t believe in Fox, the Koch brothers, voter suppression, and the fear, hatred, denial, bigotry, and stupidity expounded by so many on the right. If there are such individuals, it would nice to hear from them instead of letting nut job politicians, conservative media, and ministers define them and speak for them.

      • Alaska Pi says:

        My beloved dad died almost 3 years ago.
        I’m not sure there are any conservatives like him left.
        I sure haven’t heard or seen any…

  3. mike from iowa says:

    Slowly and surly,whitey wingnut Neanderthals are being drug into the 21st century. Tomorrow we can introduce them pottyt training. Good on you,ALASKA!

  4. mark says:


  5. The rusty wheels of progress inched forward and I am glad!

  6. Zyxomma says:

    Dump oily Parnell and his minions.

    Congratulations and best wishes, Alaska. I look forward to some weirdly fabulous wedding attire: I was picturing tuxedo and bunny boots, “just married” signs with spam cans dangling from a snow machine or a dogsled … you get my drift.

  7. WELL DONE…!!

  8. Dagian says:


  9. fishingmamma says:

    “As Alaska’s governor, I have a duty to defend and uphold the (parts of Alaska’s) law and the Alaska Constitution (that I do not find to be an inconvenient contradiction to my worthless ‘choose respect’ campaign).”

    I have added, in italics, the text which explains the statement released by the Governor’s office. I humbly submit this in order to answer the many questions I have seen regarding Captain Zero’s fervent enforcement of the law, except in cases of rape, abuse, and molestation.

  10. About time

  11. Alaska Pi says:

    Yay! for the ruling!
    Pfffttt! on Governor Torpedo.

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