Sunday, October 12, 2014

Now There Are 30!! Federal Judge Strikes Down Alaska Ban On Marriage Equality!

According to Freedom to Marry, on Friday October 10 there were 29 states (not 27, as I declared in a blog post published that day) where same-sex couples can get married. Then, Freedom to Marry summarized the state of play thusly:
In 29 states - CA, CO, CT, DE, HI, ID, IA, IL, IN, ME, MD, MA, MN, NC, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OK, OR, PA, RI, UT, VA, VT, WA, WV and WI, plus Washington, D.C. - same-sex couples have the freedom to marry.  
In an additional six states - AK, AZ, KS, MT, SC, and WY - federal appellate rulings have set a binding precedent in favor of the freedom to marry, meaning the path is cleared for the freedom to marry there.

As of Sunday evening, even that number (29) is out of date, since Alaska's ban on same-sex marriages was struck down by a federal judge in Hamby v. Parnell just hours ago. As Joe Jervis notes, that brings the number of marriage equality states to 30. Last week at this time the number was 19!

The judge demolishes the state's arguments in his written opinion and delivers  the coup de grace to all heterosexual supremacists with this quote:
In sum, any relationship between Alaska’s same-sex marriage laws and the government interests asserted by Defendants is either nonexistent or purely speculative. Alaska’s same-sex marriage laws are a prime example of how “the varying treatment of different groups or persons is so unrelated to the achievement of any combination of legitimate purposes that we can only conclude that the legislature’s actions were irrational.” Refusing the rights and responsibilities afforded by legal marriage sends the public a government-sponsored message that same-sex couples and their familial relationships do not warrant the status, benefits, and dignity given to couples of the opposite sex. This Court finds that Alaska’s same-sex marriage laws violate the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment because no state interest provides “exceedingly persuasive justification” for the significant infringement of rights that they inflict upon homosexual individuals.
Bizarrely, Gov. Sean Parnell (R-Alaska) announced that he is going to appeal this ruling to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which just announced on Tuesday that it was striking down Idaho's and Nevada's bans on marriage equality. Isn't insanity doing the same thing over and over again and hoping to hey a different result? Then again, Parnell is running for re-election so maybe he feels like he needs to appear as if he is "defending marriage."

Hat/tip to Joe Jervis

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