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Alaska Asks Federal Judge for Stay on Same-Sex Marriage

Alaska Asks Federal Judge for Stay on Same-Sex Marriage


The request followed a statement by Alaska's governor, who vowed to defend the marriage ban.

Alaska is attempting to throw a wrench in the progress of marriage equality.

The "Seward's Folly" state has asked U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess to stay his Sunday decision, which struck down Alaska's ban on same-sex marriage, reports the Associated Press. Burgess had ignored a similar request made by the state during oral arguments last Friday.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which includes Alaska, declared marriage bans in Nevada and Idaho unconstitutional last week, and the Last Frontier also filed a brief stating its intent to appeal this ruling.

Filed mere hours after same-sex couples began applying for marriage licenses on Monday, the brief follows Gov. Sean Parnell's vow to uphold the Alaska constitution, which was one of the first state constitutions amended by voters to outlaw same-sex marriages, back in 1998.

"As Alaska's governor, I have a duty to defend and uphold the law and the Alaska Constitution," Parnell said in a press release Monday. "Although the district court today may have been bound by the recent Ninth Circuit panel opinion, the status of that opinion and the law in general in this area is in flux. I will defend our constitution."

Although a three-day wait is usually required between the filing of a license and a marriage in Alaska, a judge in Barrow, the northernmost city in the U.S., waived this waiting period, allowing same-sex couples to tie the knot as early as Monday. Couples in other areas of the state would not be eligible to marry until Thursday.

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