The state of Alaska has filed a brief defending its same-sex marriage ban, arguing that it has the right to define and regulate marriage.
A lawsuit was filed by five same-sex couples in the state last month which alleges that the state’s 1998 ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional, violating their rights to due process and equal protection.
The state’s response argues that under the US Constitution’s 10th Amendment, “as a sovereign state,” the court has no grounds to challenge Alaska’s marriage laws. As a result, the couples in question have had none of their constitutional rights violated, the state claims.
“Alaska has the right as a sovereign state to define and regulate marriage.
Alaska voters had a fundamental right to decide the important public policy issue of whether to alter the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.”
Plaintiff Matthew Hamby said that he decided to file the lawsuit 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."