By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com August 03 2010 5:25 PM ET
Three same-sex couples have sued the state of Alaska and the
municipality of Anchorage for denying them equal access to property tax exemptions
afforded to senior citizens and disabled veterans.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska, which filed the suit, said that same-sex couples who are seniors or disabled vets currently receive a fraction of property tax exemptions totaling $150,000 available to married couples in the same situation.
Though the state has a constitutional ban on gay marriage, a 2005 Alaska supreme court decision ruled that denying access to health care for same-sex partners of state employees violated the state constitution's equal protection clause.
"Alaska law is clear that denying committed same-sex couples the same rights as married opposite-sex couples is unconstitutional," ACLU of Alaska attorney Tom Stenson said in a statement. "For senior couples and disabled vets, every bit of savings counts. These couples should not have to pay more taxes than other families."
Read more about the lawsuit here.