Alaska Files Brief Arguing That ‘as a Sovereign State’ It Has Right to ‘Define and Regulate Marriage’

In an official brief in the May 12 lawsuit Hamby v Parnell filed in the U.S. District Court in Anchorage, Alaska has stated that the five plaintiff couples have had none of their constitutional rights violated and therefore no legal justification for their goal.

AlaskaAlaska’s Department of Law, arguing on behalf of Gov. Sean Parnell, claim that the lawsuit raises a political question rather than a legal one and that under the amendment “Alaska has the right as a sovereign state to define and regulate marriage.”

In 1998, Alaskan voters passed a constitutional amendment to define marriage as existing only between one man and one woman. Plaintiffs in the May 12 challenge argued that the amendment clashes with a guarantee of due process and equal protection provided by the U.S. Constitution.

The lawsuit aims to have out-of-state same-sex marriages recognized in Alaska and to provide for same-sex marriage in the state.

Plaintiff Matthew Hamby argue that he and and his husband took a stand because “it's important to us that our family is recognized by the State of Alaska and that we have the same rights and privileges as others."

Comments

  1. craig says

    Right. And a right to discriminate on religious beliefs? How about race? Nice try. You’re not a country, you’re a part of the US, and governed by our constitution and the state of Alaska. US constitution trumps your state laws. If ya didn’t like it, you shouldn’t have joined back in 1958.

  2. Mike says

    Using the same argument, does this mean Alaska can’t criminalize specific religions? Can they ban it’s citizens from owning guns. What other amendments to the US Constitution can a “sovereign” state violate?

  3. JonnyNYNY2FLFL says

    Back in colonial days, states were established with different cultural origins & separated by great distances. Once a union was formed & technological advances brought us closer together, the sovereignty of states diminished.

    Like most people these days, I’ve lived in several states and don’t feel any particular loyalty to any of them. I simple regard myself as an American citizen.

    The “states’ rights” angle many ideologues use is simply a loophole to advance their own (often bigoted) agenda. Time to leave states build roads & such and allow the Federal Government to assure equal & uniform protections nationwide.

  4. Rrhain says

    So the official position of the Department of Law, then, is that Loving v. Virginia was wrongly decided. Since a state “has the right as a sovereign state to define and regulate marriage,” then that must mean Alaska would have the right to restrict marriage based upon the race of the participants.

    If it’s a bogus argument when applied to race, why does it suddenly gain legitimacy when applied to sexual orientation?

  5. Ryan says

    If Alaska wants to be a sovereign state, then good luck with that — cut off their funding and assistance immediately, we’ll see how long that lists.

    Until then, they’re part of this here UNITED States… and they can shut the hell up.

  6. theotherlee says

    So the official position of the Department of Law, then, is that Loving v. Virginia was wrongly decided. Since a state “has the right as a sovereign state to define and regulate marriage,” then that must mean Alaska would have the right to restrict marriage based upon the race of the participants.

    If it’s a bogus argument when applied to race, why does it suddenly gain legitimacy when applied to sexual orientation?

    Posted by: Rrhain | Jun 23, 2014 3:14:36 PM

    ———————————————————

    The simplest, most concise reply to your question is…

    It doesn’t.

  7. David says

    This is completely bogus and just another very transparent attempt by Republicans to delay the inevitable. The 14th Amendment clearly is being violated by bans on marriage equality, as the Supreme Court has rightly decided. Nothing else to see here.

  8. woodroad34 says

    See? Sarah Plain IS a disease! I knew it all along–it causes stupidity and a total lack of understanding regarding Civics and governmental structure–plus it causes the application of too much makeup. Where’s the CDC on this?

  9. akChris says

    Alaska is a sovereign state. In the US we have a dual sovereign system in each state. It’s just that the US Constitution holds primacy over the State constitution. The 10th Amendment was moderated by the subsequent 14th. Their arguments are not valid.

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