Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has reluctantly agreed to follow the state Supreme Court ruling that same sex partners should receive equal benefits to heterosexual couples.

The court ruled on the issue in October 2005 and Ms Palin, a Republican, has vowed to introduce a law from next month.

She said: “The Supreme Court has ordered adoption of the regulations by the State of Alaska to begin providing benefits January 1, we have no more judicial options. We may disagree with the rationale behind the ruling, but our responsibility is to proceed forward with the law and follow the Constitution.”

In addition to adoption of the regulations, Governor Palin signed HB4002 today, which calls for a statewide advisory vote on the issue, proposed by the Legislature during its November special session.

“I disagree with the recent court decision because I feel as though Alaskans spoke on this issue with its overwhelming support for a Constitutional Amendment in 1998 which defined marriage as between a man and woman. But the Supreme Court has spoken and the state will abide.”