Five gay and lesbian couples on Monday
filed a federal lawsuit challenging Alaska's ban on gay marriage.
Plaintiffs in the case are an unmarried
couple and four couples who married in a state where such unions are
Plaintiff couples argue that Alaska's
1998 voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting marriage to
heterosexual couples violates the equal protection and due process
clauses of the U.S. Constitution.
Married plaintiffs are Matthew Hamby
and Christopher Shelden; Christina LaBorde and Susan Tow; Sean Egan
and David Robinson; and Tracey Wiese and Katrina Cortez. Courtney
Lamb and Stephanie Pearson are unmarried but wish to marry in Alaska.
Hamby, who married his husband in 2008
in Canada, said the lawsuit was important “because marriage should
be available to all loving couples. It's important to us that our
family is recognized by the State of Alaska and that we have the same
rights and privileges as others.”
Earlier this year, Alaska Attorney
General Michael Geraghty told
the AP that he would defend the state's ban in court.
According to the Human Rights Campaign
(HRC), only two states, Montana and North Dakota, remain without an
active lawsuit challenging marriage equality bans. A challenge in
South Dakota, which also doesn't have an active case, is being