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Alaska Supreme Court ends ban on same-sex partner benefits

[JURIST] The Alaska Supreme Court issued an opinion [PDF text] Friday ending the state practice of denying benefits to same-sex partners of public employees. While the high court determined that the policy violated the equal protection clause of the Alaska Constitution [text] because it treated unmarried heterosexual and homosexual couples differently, the benefits plans will remain in effect until the court determines a remedy. The American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska [advocacy website] deemed the ruling a victory, and predicted it could influence courts in other states. In contrast, Governor Frank H. Murkowski [official website] expressed outrage over the ruling and directed the office of Alaska Attorney General David W. Marquez [official profile] to work to overturn it. Alaska was one of the first states to impose a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] in 1996. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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