A federal judge on Tuesday refused to
block a ruling striking down Alaska's ban on gay marriage as the
state pursues an appeal.
U.S. District Court Judge Timothy
Burgess struck down the ban, which was approved by voters in 1998, on
Sunday, saying it violates the 14th Amendment of the U.S.
Republican Governor Sean Parnell
immediately put out a statement saying he had a duty to appeal the
Parnell's lawyers asked Burgess to set
aside his ruling pending an appeal. Burgess denied the request late
Alaska is under the jurisdiction of the
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which knocked down similar bans in
Idaho and Nevada last week.
The legal fight now moves to the Ninth
Circuit, where Alaska is asking for a stay in the ruling and an en
banc appeal. An en banc appeal involves the court's
complete slate of judges, skipping the customary 3-judge panel.
The state started issuing marriage
licenses to gay couples on Monday. In at least two cases, a judge
has waived the state's 3-day waiting period and married the couples.