For Immediate Release: August 29, 2014
Anchorage, Alaska – The American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the NAACP, Anchorage Branch filed a friend of the court brief today in Hamby v. Parnell, the federal lawsuit that seeks to end Alaska’s ban on equal marriage. A copy of their brief is at www.acluak.org.
“Even though we cherish equality and freedom in the Last Frontier, Alaska was the first state to adopt a constitutional ban on equal marriage,” said Joshua A. Decker, executive director of the ACLU of Alaska. “With our friend of the court brief today, we explained why this discrimination is unconstitutional as well as un-American and un-Alaskan.”
The Hamby plaintiffs are five couples who are challenging Alaska’s equal marriage ban in federal court. Their attorneys, Allison Mendel, Caitlin Shortell, and Heather Gardner, are filing a motion for summary judgment today.
“All loving and committed couples deserve the recognition and the peace of mind that comes with the protections only marriage can provide,” said Amanda C. Goad, staff attorney with the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. “More than 40% of Americans now live in states with marriage equality; our brief explains why all families should have access to this fundamental right.”
Since last year’s ACLU victory in United States v. Windsor, where the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, more than 35 courts have ruled in favor of marriage equality for same-sex couples.
“The NAACP is committed to the equality of everyone and ending discrimination throughout Alaska and the United States. Discrimination based on who you love is just as wrong as discrimination based on the color of your skin,” said Kevin D. McGee, first vice president and political action chair of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Anchorage Branch.
Judge Timothy M. Burgess will hear oral argument on the plaintiffs’ motion in courtroom 1 of the Anchorage federal court at 1 p.m. on Friday, October 10, 2014.
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