Victory! The freedom to marry comes to Alaska

Yesterday, October 12, a United States District Court Judge in the 9th Circuit in Alaska ruled in favor of the freedom to marry, striking down the state's ban on marriage between same-sex couples. This ruling came after the United States Supreme Court denied review in five cases involving the freedom to marry, including a case in the 9th Circuit. Because Alaska is in the 9th Circuit, that ruling is now binding for this state.

This historic ruling was in the case Hamby et al. v. Parnell et al., which was filed in May on behalf of five same-sex couples who either were seeking respect for their marriage in Alaska or wanted to get married in the state. On October 10, oral arguments were heard, and two days later, on a Sunday afternoon, the judge ruled.

Judge Timothy M. Burgess wrote:

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.

Today, October 13, same-sex couples were able to apply for marriage licenses. There is a three-day waiting period to be issued marriage licenses.

Alaska Governor Sean Parnell said that he would appeal this ruling. However, in light of the Supreme Court's decision last week, it is likely that same-sex couples will continue to be able to be married.