7 Things You Need to Know About: Alaska’s same-sex marriage ban overturned

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Welp, it finally happened. And no matter how you feel on the subject, its a win in the column for equal rights. Alaska has joined the ranks of U.S states that have passed ruling allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry in the state. Seems legit right? Land of the free? As history has taught us, nothing comes without a fight… soon after a federal judge made his ruling, this statement was released by Governor Sean Parnell, “As Alaska’s governor, I have a duty to defend and uphold the law and the Alaska Constitution. This also appears legit… right? Well, before we jump to conclusions, here are 7 Things You Need to Know About: Alaska’s same-sex marriage ban overturned.

1. Fastest to last place
Today’s announcement can only be short lived. While its a celebration for some, others realize that its a battle, not the war. At least 27 states now allow same-sex marriage, with 8 including Alaska who still have to wind their way through the federal appeals process. Now the question is, which state will be the last to legalize?

2. What we have here is a failure to communicate.
So why the ban in the first place? Stating in 1998 that the ban “does not target anybody or deny anybody their rights.”Alaska joined Hawaii as the first of two states to define marriage as a union between a “man and a woman”.  OK, honest mistake… sooo there shouldn’t be any problem changing that then huh?

 3. Take a look at the bad guy.
In cases like these, it’s easy to point the finger at mean old Uncle Sam. But what can be lost in translation is that back in 1998, the same ban that was victoriously overturned, was put to vote. Which means “Alaskans” passed the very same ban being debated. It is awesome however to see how much things can change in 16 years. We’ve come a long way baby.

At least 25+ states now allow same-sex marriage

4. Heading to the chapel and we’re gonna married.
Well actually, hold the crab cakes and keep the shrimp on ice. With the state announcing plans to appeal the decision, there could be a turn in the decision or a continued legal battle. It doesn’t appear the state has a case, but you know what they say about those who assume. But as early as 8 a.m. October 13th 2014 same-sex couples can begin applying for marriage licenses. Currently Alaska has a three-day waiting period between between applications and marriage ceremonies.

5. How many people does it take to overturn a bill?
The ruling was prompted by a lawsuit brought by five gay couples who had asked the state (Alaska) in May to overturn a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 1998. The amendment defined marriage as being between one man and one woman. Therefore making it unlawful for individuals seeking matrimony between same sexes.

6. So who is this Federal judge and what’s his role in this whole thing?
U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess, is currently a judge on the United States District Court for the District of Alaska. He was nominated by George W. Bush on July 28, 2005 to the seat on the United States District Court for the District of Alaska. Burgess released his 25-page decision Sunday afternoon stating,

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 ‘excessively persuasive justification’ for the significant infringement of rights that they inflicted upon homosexual individuals,”

Burgess and his wife Joanne Grace reside in Anchorage and have four children.

7. So everyones happy, remaining states are following suit now.
This would be awesome if it was true, but if you still live in a state where the ban is still legitimate, it doesn’t necessarily mean they want it that way. Its no secret, change scares people. A victory for some, undermines the very core of others rights and beliefs. And that’s exactly what every racial or political fight in our history has been about. Just because someone believes same sex marriage shouldn’t be allowed doesn’t make them bad people, its their right as Americans to feel that way and vice versa.

Now, the outward attack toward another persons because of their beliefs, is WRONG < VERY WRONG. Its almost impossible to make 2 twin toddlers happy at the same time… let alone an entire country. But the amazing thing about the United States of America where we live and that is often over looked is, the opportunity to be heard and have your issue addressed. And in the case like this one… even if it takes 16 years, you have a chance of having one bad choice… well, overturned.


Were you shock to hear the news ? Excited? Feel free to share your thoughts and photos in the comments below. 


Phillip Crawford

Content creator and video/photographer for You can follow Phillip on Twitter and Instagram - @phillip907

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