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."