Ministers, Officiants & Notaries Public
Five couples filed a lawsuit today, May 13, 20104, in Alaska demanding the freedom to marry. Of the five, four couples are suing to have the state recognize their marriages performed outside the Land of the Midnight Sun, and one is suing for the right to marry.
The Associated Press reports the lawsuit alleges that Alaska’s ban on same-sex marriage violates their rights to due process and equal protection under the U.S. Constitution.
It was in 1998 that Alaskans voted to write discrimination into their state constitution and ban marriage equality. The most recent PPP poll showed 47 percent of voters support marriage equality, 46 percent opposed.
Both of Alaska’s Senators, Democrat Mark Begich and Republican Lisa Murkowski, support same-sex marriage.
Only two states in the US remain: North Dakota and Montana; that either do not support the freedom to marry or are not currently in litigation to move toward that end.
In an official brief in the May 12 lawsuit Hamby v Parnell filed in the U.S. District Court in Anchorage, Alaska has stated that the five plaintiff couples have had none of their constitutional rights violated and therefore no legal justification for their goal.
Alaska’s Department of Law, arguing on behalf of Gov. Sean Parnell, claim that the lawsuit raises a political question rather than a legal one and that under the amendment “Alaska has the right as a sovereign state to define and regulate marriage.”
In 1998, Alaskan voters passed a constitutional amendment to define marriage as existing only between one man and one woman. Plaintiffs in the May 12 challenge argued that the amendment clashes with a guarantee of due process and equal protection provided by the U.S. Constitution.
The lawsuit aims to have out-of-state same-sex marriages recognized in Alaska and to provide for same-sex marriage in the state.
Plaintiff Matthew Hamby argue that he and and his husband took a stand because “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.”
(907) 232-8237 (Palmer, AK) Contact Rev. Dr. Marita Lawler, a ordanined Christian minister, in the beautiful Matanuska-Susitna Valley of Alaska for a wedding day you are sure to remember with fondness and joy.
(907) 841-0630 (Willow, AK) We are Alaskan Wedding Ministers. We believe your wedding day should be the way you want it and we work with you toward that goal. If you have a unique idea for your wedding, we are ready to help you see it through.
(513) 884-2618 (Cincinnati, OH) "I consider it an honor and a privilege to be invited to participate in one of the most important days of your lives!" Located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Serving Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky & 28 other states.
(207) 449-2497 (Bath, ME) Your Mid-Coast Maine Ceremony Your Way! All couples deserve a wedding ceremony that reflects their taste and their hope for committed and loving relationship. Let me help plan your ceremony.
ALASKA STATE LAWS
2009 Alaska Statutes
Title 25 MARITAL AND DOMESTIC RELATIONS
Chapter 25.05. ALASKA MARRIAGE CODE
Article 02 LICENSING OFFICERS
Sec. 25.05.081. Marriage commissioners.
The presiding judge in each judicial district may, if the public interest requires, appoint one or more suitable persons as marriage commissioners. The presiding judge shall describe the marriage commissioner’s area of jurisdiction in the order of appointment. A marriage commissioner may, within that jurisdiction, solemnize marriages in the same manner as a district judge or magistrate and may exercise any power, other than the power to issue marriage licenses, necessarily incident to the duties of a marriage commissioner. The clerk of court shall issue to the marriage commissioner a certified copy of the order of appointment and send a copy of it to the bureau.
Article 05 SOLEMNIZATION
Sec. 25.05.261. Who may solemnize.
(a) Marriages may be solemnized
(1) by a minister, priest, or rabbi of any church or congregation in the state, or by a commissioned officer of the Salvation Army, or by the principal officer or elder of recognized churches or congregations that traditionally do not have regular ministers, priests, or rabbis, anywhere within the state;
(2) by a marriage commissioner or judicial officer of the state anywhere within the jurisdiction of the commissioner or officer; or
(3) before or in any religious organization or congregation according to the established ritual or form commonly practiced in the organization or congregation.
(b) This section may not be construed to waive the requirements for obtaining a marriage license.
Sec. 25.05.271. Duty of officiating person before ceremony.
The officiating person shall determine that the parties presenting themselves to be married are the parties named in the license. If the officiating person knows of a legal impediment to the marriage, the officiating person may not perform the ceremony.
Sec. 25.05.281. Marriage solemnized by unauthorized person.
After a license has been obtained, a marriage solemnized before a person professing to be a minister, priest, or rabbi of a church or congregation in the state or a judicial officer or marriage commissioner is valid regardless of a lack of power or authority in the person, if the marriage is consummated with a belief on the part of the persons so married, or either of them, that they have been lawfully joined in marriage.
Sec. 25.05.291. Civil and religious ceremonies.
When a religious ceremony between two parties follows a civil ceremony between them, one license is sufficient for both ceremonies.
Sec. 25.05.301. Form of solemnization.
In the solemnization of marriage no particular form is required except that the parties shall assent or declare in the presence of each other and the person solemnizing the marriage and in the presence of at least two competent witnesses that they take each other to be husband and wife. A competent witness for this purpose is a person of sound mind capable of understanding the seriousness of the ceremony. At the time of the ceremony, the person solemnizing the marriage shall complete the certification on the original marriage certificate. The person solemnizing the marriage and the two attending witnesses shall sign the original marriage certificate and the necessary copies.
Sec. 25.05.311. Marriage without solemnization.
A marriage contracted after January 1, 1964, is void unless the marriage has been solemnized as provided in this chapter. If the parties to a marriage void for failure to solemnize the marriage validate the marriage by complying with the requirements of this chapter, the issue of the void marriage are legitimate.
Sec. 25.05.321. Certificates.
The person solemnizing the marriage shall, on the forms provided by the bureau, complete two short-form certificates, and, after that person and the two witnesses have signed them, give one to each of the parties to the marriage. A church or congregation may design and furnish its own form for this purpose, containing as a minimum the items contained in the form furnished by the bureau. The original marriage certificate shall be filed as required by AS 18.50 (Vital Statistics Act) and regulations adopted under it. The person solemnizing the marriage shall complete the certificate as required and submit it to the local registrar within seven days of the date the marriage is solemnized.
Article 06 PENALTIES
Sec. 25.05.361. Unlawful solemnization of marriage.
A person who solemnizes a marriage without first receiving a proper marriage license from the parties as provided in this chapter or without the parties declaring to take each other as husband and wife, or without requiring the presence of two competent witnesses; or who solemnizes a marriage involving a person under the legal age of marriage without the consent of (1) the licensing official when authorized, or (2) the parents or guardian of the underaged person, being stated in the license; or who solemnizes a marriage knowing of any legal impediment thereto, or who solemnizes a marriage after the expiration of the license, or who falsely certifies to the date of a marriage solemnized by that person is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction is punishable by imprisonment for not more than six months, or by a fine of not more than $500, or by both.
Sec. 25.05.371. Solemnization of marriage by unauthorized person.
A person not authorized by this chapter who wilfully or knowingly undertakes to solemnize a marriage in this state is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction is punishable by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or by both.