Gay couples began applying for marriage licenses in Anchorage on Monday, 15 years after Alaska helped touch off a national debate with a ban on same-sex unions…
Ann Marie Garber and her partner, Koy Field, were among the first gay couples seeking a license to wed in Alaska. “I had no idea this would happen in my lifetime,” she said.
They decided to apply immediately after the ban was overturned by a federal judge Sunday.
U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess ruled that ban violated both due process and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution. His ruling came over the objection of gay marriage opponents, including Alaska Republican Gov. Sean Parnell, who has promised to appeal, saying blah, blah, blah, blah.
The ruling in favor of five couples who sued the state in May overturns a constitutional amendment approved by Alaska voters in 1998, defining marriage in the state as between one man and one woman.
It bars enforcement of any state law that keeps gay couples from marrying or refuses to recognize same-sex unions performed elsewhere…
The landscape has changed very quickly for gay marriage in the U.S. Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear appeals from several states seeking to retain their bans on same-sex marriage. The Oct. 6 move effectively legalized gay marriage in about 30 states and triggered a flurry of rulings and confusion in lower courts across the nation, including the Alaska decision.
The lead plaintiff in the Alaska lawsuit was Matthew Hamby, who helped other couples through the application process Monday before completing his own.
He and his husband, Christopher Shelden, plan to renew vows they made in their 2008 marriage in Banff, Alberta, Canada. They haven’t set a date yet, but the $60 licenses are good for three months.
Congratulations from the lower 48 to all the happy couples.
Any other Alaskan whose bigotry and hatred has their knickers bunched — take it and work it, chump!