Judge rules Alaska marriage ban unconstitutional

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Matt Hamby, left, and Chris Shelden, one of the five plaintiff couples in the lawsuit that has successfully challenged Alaska’s ban on same-sex marriage

U.S. District Judge Timothy Burgess has overturned Alaska’s ban on legal recognition of same-sex marriage. Burgess’ order, issued today (Sunday, Oct. 12) in the case Hamby v. Parnell, would allow same-sex couples to begin marrying for the first time in Alaska.

Burgess’ ruling comes less than a week after the Ninth Circuit Court upheld lower court rulings striking down same-sex marriage bans in Nevada and Idaho. Nevada state officials have chosen not to appeal the circuit court ruling, allowing couples to begin marrying there immediately. But U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy issued a stay of the ruling, affecting Idaho only, after Idaho state officials asked for the stay.

The Ninth Circuit Court’s jurisdiction encompasses Alaska, as well.

Burgess said that Alaska law banning same-sex marriages there and refusing to recognize same-sex marriages from jurisdictions that do recognize them is “unconstitutional as a deprivation of basic due process and equal protection principles under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,” according to a report in the Alaska Dispatch News.

Read Burgess’ ruling in its entirety here.

—  Tammye Nash

The winner of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ is…



Jinkx Monsoon!

Many observers seemed to think this was a two-way race between Jinkx (pictured left), who specialized in a retro-camp by impersonating such characters as Big Edie Beale from Grey Gardens, and Alaska (center), the partner of Season 4 winner Sharon Needles, who was never in the bottom two and had a quick wit.

This season was also seen as a battle of the pageant girls versus the comedy queens, with Roxxxy Andrews (right) being especially vocal about how camp and humor were not “true” drag and respectful of her art. Roxxxy repeatedly came across as bitter and mean, rather than merely aggressive and sassy. She apologized for that during the reunion/reveal last night.

Jinks follow in the steps of All Stars winner Chad Michaels (who performed at Dallas’ Purple Party last month) and Sharon Needles (who performed in Dallas last year during National Pride), as well as Raja, Tyra Sanchez and Bebe Zahara Benet.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

A Texas-sized legislative closet

As another legislative session gets under way in Austin, GayPolitics.com reports today that Texas is now one of only 18 states with no openly LGBT state lawmakers. California and Maryland are tied for the most openly LGBT lawmakers, with seven each. Four states have no openly LGBT elected officials at any level of government — Alaska, Kansas, Mississippi and South Dakota.

Texas has had only one openly LGBT state lawmaker in its history — Democratic Rep. Glen Maxey of Austin, who served from 1991 until 2003.

Of course, with 150 people in the House and 31 in the Senate, it’s all but certain that a few Texas lawmakers are LGBT.

The reason we have no seat at the table is that the chairs are all stacked in the closet.

Anyone wanna help us get them out?

—  John Wright

Sarah Palin’s Alaska Not Renewed

There will be no season two for Sarah Palin’s Alaska. According to Entertainment Weekly, ratings are not necessarily the reason. Instead, it may be that the network would be forced to offer equal time to other 2012 presidential candidates should Palin follow through on her threat to run. Which seems all the more likely with this decision.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Barbara Bush Hopes Palin Stays in Alaska

BushesLarryKingx390 (Screengrab) | Advocate.comFormer First Lady Barbara Bush said that she hopes Sarah Palin, who is considering a presidential run in 2012, will stay in Alaska.
Advocate.com: Daily News

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Barbara Bush Wants Sarah Palin To Stay In Alaska

Larry King interviewed George H. W. Bush and his wife Barbara for an interview to be aired on CNN this coming Monday but the cable news network has released a clip with some highlights including one where King asks Mrs. Bush on her thoughts on Sarah Palin.

The former first lady takes a swipe at the quitting Governor: "I sat next to her once. I thought she was beautiful and I think she's very happy in Alaska and I hope she'll stay there."

Here's to that. The clip is AFTER THE JUMP.

Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Sarah Palin’s 16-year-old daughter cyberbullies Facebook user by calling him a ‘faggot’

Sarah Palin’s 16-year-old daughter, Willow, went all anti-gay on Facebook the other night after someone criticized her mom’s new TV show, “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.” Read all about it at The Huffington Post and check out the full Facebook thread at TMZ.

—  John Wright

HRC Field Team Hits the Ground in Alaska for DADT Repeal

Long known as the last frontier due to its vast expanse of wilderness, Alaska may now become the new frontier in our efforts to repeal the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law.

Senator Lisa Murkowski has the opportunity to prove once again that she represents all Alaskans. In 2009, she voted for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which included the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.  Now, she can again vote for that same bill which funds our military and will also repeal DADT.  That’s why I’m here on the ground in Alaska

I landed yesterday afternoon after nearly 12 hours in transit and immediately began the work that needs to be done.  Meetings with the ACLU of Alaska, which funds the only organizer in the state dedicated to LGBT equality, and the Board President of Alaskans Together, the all-volunteer statewide LGBT advocacy group, set the stage for what should be a fruitful organizing effort.  I’ll continue meeting with representatives of the LGBT community and engaging them with our work, but this fight is about more than just DADT repeal and all Alaskans have reason to care about the issue at hand.

The NDAA also provides many appropriations near and dear to Alaskans’ hearts.  The bill includes a .2 billion allocation for Missile Defense programs that is important to many Alaskans – along with troop pay raises, funding for IED countermeasures and mine resistant/better armored vehicles. Alaskans know funding these programs saves lives.

With support for DADT repeal growing nationally, locally and within the military itself, and with the state’s penchant for Libertarian ideals, it’s time for Alaskans to make their voice heard and speak out for treating all of our service members with equal dignity and respect and provide them with the tools they need to get the job done.

To get involved in our efforts in Alaska, please email me at Tony.Wagner@hrc.org and stop by HRC’s online Action Center to make your voice heard.

Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

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Rachel learns Alaska Teabagger Joe Miller is a classic right-wing homophobe

Yeah, forget all the talk that teabagger candidates care solely about fiscal issues. Joe Miller, the GOP/Teabagger in Alaska, conveyed his strong anti-gay views to Rachel Maddow yesterday.

Also, as posted on AMERICAblog, we also learned that Miller violated ethics policy at his old job, lied about it, then had to admit he lied.


—  admin