Alaska State and Flag

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 26, 2015

ANCHORAGE – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that all fifty states must license and recognize same-sex marriages.  In the 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court found that bans against same-sex marriages violate the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. 

“I support equal rights for all,” said Rep. Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage).  “It’s an honor to represent the most diverse neighborhood in America.  That diversity is our strength.  Our country must have policies that provide the opportunity for every person to fulfill their constitutional right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Today’s Supreme Court decision ensures that same-sex marriages will remain legal in Alaska despite the 1998 constitutional amendment that defines marriage in Alaska as between one man and one woman.  Rep. Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage) is a sponsor of House Joint Resolution 1 that seeks to put a constitutional amendment before the voters to remove that language from the Alaska Constitution.

“I am delighted by today’s ruling, holding that all Americans have a constitutional right to marry whomever they wish, wherever they wish,” said Rep. Josephson.  “My own House Joint Resolution 1, calling for a re-vote of Alaska’s 1998 preclusion on gay and lesbian marriages, can happily be set aside as moot.  However, it would be nice if Alaska’s Constitution did not carry this unnecessary stain.  I believe Alaskans would repeal the language prohibiting gay marriage so that the last word on this subject is a tolerant one.”

The case at the heart of today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling was brought by fourteen individuals who rightly claimed that their constitutional rights were violated by states that refused to recognize same-sex marriages.  Alaska is among the 37 states that already recognize such unions.

“Today the words ‘and justice for all’ mean even more,” said Rep. Les Gara (D-Anchorage), who is a prime sponsor of HJR 1.  “Congratulations to America’s same sex couples.”

To date, over 150 same-sex couples have been married in Alaska.

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