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US: Federal judge to hear arguments in challenge to Alaska gay marriage ban

Joseph McCormick October 10, 2014

A federal judge is set to hear arguments in a lawsuit which challenges the US state of Alaska’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The lawsuit was brought by five couples, one who wished to marry in the state, and four already married out of state.

They argued that the 16-year-old constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage violated their process and equal protection.

The plaintiffs asked for a ruling in August as the lawsuit was filed in May.

However, the state’s response in June claimed that as a ‘sovereign state’, there is no jurisdiction for the court to challenge Alaska’s laws based on the US Constitution.

A 1998 constitutional amendment defined marriage as specifically between one man and one woman.

In April, Alaska’s Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples deserve equal access to a tax benefit as straight couples.

There are no remaining states with a same-sex marriage ban which isn’t facing a legal challenge.

 

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