A woman has filed a lawsuit claiming
that Alaska has denied her a 2019 Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD)
because she's in a same-sex marriage.
Denali Nicole Smith filed her lawsuit
in Anchorage on Wednesday, KTVA
TV 11 reported.
Smith's lawsuit names defendants
Governor Mike Dunleavy, Attorney General Kevin Clarkson, outgoing
Revenue Commissioner Bruce Tangerman, and Permanent Fund Dividend
Director Anne Weske.
The PFD is an annual dividend paid to
Alaska residents and is funded by oil revenues.
Last year, Smith married Miranda
Murphy, an Alaska resident who is a member of the United States Armed
Forces and is stationed in Jacksonville, Florida. Smith followed her
wife to Florida.
While accompanying spouses of military
members are exempt from a residency requirement, Smith was denied a
“[T]he State of Alaska denied
Plaintiff's eligibility for the 2019 Permanent Fund Dividend because
she is a woman married to a woman who is a member of the Armed Forces
of the United States who would, if married to a male member of the
Armed Forces of the United States, be categorically eligible for the
2019 PFD,” the lawsuit states.
“PFD Division representatives also
verbally explained to Denali that if she were married to a man, she
would not be denied her PFD.”
“[T]he state of Alaska has denied
other same sex accompanying spouses of military members stationed out
of state their PFDs based on the unconstitutional, enjoined Alaska
Statutes,” the lawsuit added, referring to struck down laws that
prohibited the state from recognizing the marriages of gay and
This year's PFD is worth $1,606.
The state said that it is reviewing the