Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Monday, October 31, 2005


In a unanimous decision in Alaska CLU vs. State of Alaska, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled on Oct 28, 2005, that it is unconstitutional for the state to deny lesbian and gay state employees and retirees equal benefits for their domestic partners.

The suit was filed shortly after Alaska's voters passed a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in 2000. The plaintiffs did not seek to overturn the ban on marriage; instead, they argued successfully that same-sex couples could not be denied equal benefits merely because they could not marry. The denial of benefits, the court said, "cannot withstand minimum scrutiny."

The state had argued that denying gay employees domestic partner benefits furthered the state’s interest in promoting marriage, but the court firmly rejected that argument, stating: "Denying benefits to the same-sex domestic partners who are absolutely ineligible to become spouses has no demonstrated relationship to the interest of promoting marriage."

The court also noted that, "Many same-sex couples are no doubt just as 'truly close[ly] relat[ed]' and 'closely connected' as any married couple, in the sense of providing the same level of love, commitment, and mutual economic and emotional support, as between married couples, and would choose to get married if they were not prohibited by law from doing so." Yes, even in conservative Alaska, the courts are coming around to view same-sex relationships as a normal part of the American landscape.

Quoting Lawrence v. Texas, the Alaska Supreme court wrote, "It is the duty of courts 'to define the liberty of all, not to mandate [their] own moral code.'" You will be hard-pressed to find a clearer rejection of "judicial activism" anywhere. Makes you wonder... what would Alito do?


Anonymous said...

What Alaska Supreme Court just said is that the ban on gay marriage would be unconstitutional under the Alaska Constitution as a violation of its equal protection guarantee, had it not been written into the constitution itself. Just what Massachusetts said about its own laws. Interesting that this was not decided based on the Federal constitution (or then the Roberts court could overrule it). 

// posted by LTG

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Good point about the gay marriage being otherwise unconstitutional.

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