LGBT rights in Alaska
|LGBT rights in Alaska|
|Same-sex sexual activity legal?||Legal since 1980|
|Gender identity/expression||Altering sex on birth certificate requires SRS|
|Discrimination protections||Sexual orientation protections in state employment|
|State employees only|
|Alaska Ballot Measure 2 limits marriage to man/woman|
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in the U.S. state of Alaska face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same-sex couples and families headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for all the protections available to opposite-sex married couples.
Law regarding same-sex sexual activity
Alaska repealed its law that criminalized same-sex sexual activity in 1980.
Recognition of same-sex relationships
Alaska does not permit the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The state forbids, both by statute and in its constitution, the recognition of same-sex marriages and other form of same-sex partnership solemnized in other jurisdictions.
State employee benefits
On October 28, 2005, the Supreme Court of Alaska ruled, in Alaska Civil Liberties Union v. State, that state and local government programs violated the Alaska Constitution’s equal protection provision by extending benefits to public employees’ spouses but denying benefits to employees’ domestic partners. The court held the programs unconstitutional because they denied benefits to people who are precluded, under Alaska’s marriage laws, from becoming eligible to receive them.
On November 17, 2006 the Alaska State House passed in a 24-10 vote in favor of HB4002, a bill ordering a non-binding referendum for a constitutional amendment to deny state employee benefits to same-sex couples. On November 20, 2006, the Alaska State Senate passed in a 12-3 vote in favor of HB4002. On December 20, 2006, Governor Sarah Palin signed HB4002 On April 3, 2007, Alaskan voters approved, with 52.8% in favor and 48.8% against, an advisory question to the state legislature, in a future year, to put a binding constitutional amendment question on the state's ballot pertaining to government benefits for same-sex partners. Although the referendum passed a bill to place such an amendment on the ballot in November 2008 stalled in the state legislature.
On November 17, 2006 the Alaska State House passed in a 22-10 vote in favor of HB4001, a bill that would have denied state employee benefits to same-sex couples. On November 20, 2006, the Alaska State Senate passed in a 11-3 vote in favor of HB4002. On December 20, 2006, Governor Sarah Palin vetoed HB4001.
Since January 1, 2007, state employees of Alaska have been granted some limited benefits to same-sex partners.
Adoption and parenting
Alaska permits adoption by an unmarried adult without regard to sexual orientation. Lower state courts have allowed some second parent adoptions by gay and lesbian couples, though state court has ruled in a case where such an adoption is disputed.
An executive order prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in state employment since 2002. There is no provision for gender identity in any law.
A July 2013 Public Policy Polling survey found that 45% of Alaska voters supported same-sex marriage, while 48% were opposed to the idea. 6% were not sure.
A January/February 2014 Public Policy Polling survey found that 47% of Alaska voters supported same-sex marriage, while 46% were opposed to the idea. 7% were not sure.
Hate crime laws
State law does not address hate crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
- "Alaska Sodomy Law". Hrc.org. 2007-03-12. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- Same-sex marriages under fire in House
- Clarkson, Kevin, Coolidge, David, & Duncan, William (1999). "The Alaska Marriage Amendment: The People's Choice On The Last Frontier". Alaska Law Review (Duke University School of Law) 16 (2): 213–268. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
- Governments Offering Benefits
- State Courts
- McAllister, Bill (December 20, 2006). "Gay partners of state employees win benefits". KTUU News (KTUU-TV). Retrieved December 27, 2007.
- Sutton, Anne (May 8, 2007). "Same-sex benefits bill stalls". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved September 2, 2008.
- "New Employees". Aseahealth.org. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- Human Rights Campaign: Alaska Adoption Law, accessed May 15, 2011
- Human Rights Campaign: Alaska Non-Discrimination Law, accessed May 15, 2011
- "Clinton Is Competitive In Alaska". Public Policy Polling. Retrieved 2/8/2013.
- "Murkowski approval down but gay marriage favor up" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- "Palin trails Clinton in Alaska; State Supports Gay Marriage For First Time" (PDF). February 5, 2014. Retrieved February 5, 2014.
- Human Rights Campaign: Alaska Hate Crimes Law, accessed May 15, 2011