IFAS | Freedom Writer | March/April 1998 | judge.html

Alaska judge rules for gays

Anchorage, Alaska Alaska Superior Court Judge Peter Michalski ruled on February 27 that gay men and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry, and that unless the state can provide has a compelling reason to violate that right, the state ban on same-sex marriages must be struck down.

Michalski said the law doesn't allow him to simply rely on the traditional view that marriage is a union of a man and a woman. Yet, unlike Hawaii, Alaska's "Definition and Defense of Marriage Act" not only limits marriage to one man and one woman, but also refuses to recognize same-sex marriages from other states.

While the case heads for the Alaska Supreme Court, the ban remains in place. Some state legislators have promised to seek an amendment to the state's constitution prohibiting same-sex unions, if the ruling is not overturned.

© 1998 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.