On Sunday, Oct. 12, United States District Judge Timothy Burgess overturned Alaska’s ban on same-sex marriage. The amendment banning same-sex marriage was passed by Alaskan lawmakers in 1998 and defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The ruling comes roughly 16 months after the Supreme Court struck down California’s Proposition 8 and ruled same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits.
A CNN report quoted Burgess’s 25-page ruling stating, “The plaintiffs in this case do not ask the court to recognize an entirely new fundamental right to same-sex marriage; rather, plaintiffs wish to participate in the existing liberty granted to other couples to make a deeply personal choice about a private family matter.”
“As Alaska’s governor, I have a duty to defend and uphold the law and the Alaska Constitution,” said Gov. Sean Parnell (R.) in a press release announcing and appeal to the Sunday ruling.
A May 2014 Gallup Poll shows same-sex marriage approval at 55 percent. In the brief demographic breakdown, 78 percent of young adults (age 18-29) believe same-sex marriage should be legal. When broken down by political party, 74 percent of Democrats and 30 percent of Republicans believe same-sex marriage should be legal.
Currently there are 27 other states that same-sex marriage is legal: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin along with the District of Columbia.