Alaska's 16-Year-Old Gay Marriage Ban Just Got Buried

The state of Alaska’s ban on same-sex marriage hit a major snag on Sunday. A U.S. Federal judge ruled that it’s unconstitutional.

Alaska’s ban has been in place for 16 years. Judge Timothy Burgess of the U.S. District Court of Alaska made the ruling. He heard oral arguments on Friday.

“The Court finds that Alaska’s ban on same-sex marriage and refusal to recognise same-sex marriages lawfully entered in other states is unconstitutional as a deprivation of basic due process and equal protection principles under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,” Burgess wrote.

Adding to his ruling, the judge also barred Alaska from refusing to acknowledge legal same-sex marriages that happened in other states.

Five couples, four of whom already had legally married in other states and a fifth wishing to marry in Alaska, filed their suit against the state in May challenging the ban.

In 1998, Alaska voters enacted a constitutional amendment that excludes same-sex couples from marriage.

The state contended that the voters should have the final word, not the courts.

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