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Alaska Senate Minority Leader Hollis French Introduces Legislation to Repeal State's Gay Marriage Ban

Alaska's Senate Minority Leader Hollis French (D-Anchorage) has introduced legislation that would strike down the state's ban on same-sex marriage, the AP reports:

FrenchIn a statement, French said passage of his constitutional amendment would let Alaska voters "remove this blot on our state constitution."

The proposal was introduced Monday.

To pass, the proposal would need a two-thirds vote in each the Alaska Senate and the House before it could qualify for the ballot...French told reporters he has had some casual conversations with other legislators about his proposal but "felt more morally compelled to file it than out of any sort of a vote-counting exercise." He later called it a civil rights issue.

It's unclear what kind of chances French's proposal has of advancing. Republicans currently control both chambers of the state’s legislature.

A recent PPP poll showed that a majority in Alaska now support same-sex marriage, a 9 point shift over the last year.

The Alaska Senate Democrats posted Hollis's full statement:

“I believe that we as a nation have been engaged in, and are in the middle of, a long march towards marriage equality. The reason is that we all have, in the bottom of our souls, a deep belief in the four cardinal American virtues: freedom, justice, liberty, and equality,” stated Senator French.

If passed by the legislature, Senator French’s resolution would put the constitutional question before the Alaskan voters this fall.

“There are rapid changes happening in the legal landscape on this issue. Last year the US Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Windsor that the Defense of Marriage Act’s ban on same-sex marriages was invalid as to lawfully married same-sex couples. Since then a series of court decisions in Utah, Oklahoma, and Virginia have used the legal reasoning in Winsdor to invalidate state bans on same-sex marriage. The day is not far off when the US Supreme Court rules that state prohibitions on same-sex marriage are inconsistent with freedom, justice, liberty, and equality. Passage of this resolution will allow Alaskan voters to remove this blot on our state constitution through our own action,” said Senator French.

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Comments

  1. Let Us Vote!!! Isn't that what the Republicans always whine about. Now watch, they'll shoot this bill down and not let the people vote.

    Posted by: Richard Harney | Feb 25, 2014 2:38:13 PM


  2. Alaska is still Alaska, so I don't give this much of a chance of passing, but I guess we'll see.

    Posted by: wheelie81 | Feb 25, 2014 2:45:51 PM


  3. "a series of court decisions in Utah, Oklahoma, and Virginia have used the legal reasoning in Winsdor"

    Kentucky also relied on Windsor.

    Posted by: JJ | Feb 25, 2014 2:50:50 PM


  4. "The day is not far off when the US Supreme Court rules that state prohibitions on same-sex marriage are inconsistent with freedom, justice, liberty, and equality."

    Interesting that he didn't preface this statement with "I have personally interviewed all nine US Supreme Court justices, and they have assured me that...". I wonder why that is.

    Posted by: TKinSC | Feb 25, 2014 3:04:37 PM


  5. Why that is? @TKINSC Well, for one thing SC Justices don't assure anyone of anything in interviews. Apparently you don't understand how the Supreme Court works. However, even most homophobes see the writing on the wall--the dominoes are falling, and with them unconstitutional bans on marriage equality.

    Posted by: Ernie | Feb 25, 2014 3:53:21 PM


  6. "The day is not far off when the US Supreme Court rules that state prohibitions on same-sex marriage are inconsistent with freedom, justice, liberty, and equality."

    This would be because it's already been proven unconstitutional to select a group of citizens and hold them to a different standard.

    Posted by: Hey Darlin' | Feb 25, 2014 4:09:51 PM


  7. The point isn't to pass the bill. The point is to show the world that Alaskans aren't all backward looking and to tell the courts that there is a minority in the government of Alaska for equality. It is also to send a message to LGBT Alaskans that we are not alone. And it will do well as a demonstration of the continued political powerlessness of LGBT Alaskans as the Supreme Court of Alaska wrestles with a case on this very subject as we speak.

    Posted by: AKConstant | Feb 25, 2014 4:20:12 PM


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