Because of the ban on same-sex marriage in Alaska, the surviving partner in same-sex couples were not entitled to survivor benefits. The state’s Supreme Court just ruled unanimously that this is unconstitutional:
The Alaska Supreme Court today ruled unanimously that the same-sex partner of a person killed on the job should have access to the protection of Alaska’s workers’ compensation law.
“This is a wonderful ruling for same-sex couples in Alaska who have built lives and raised families together but were at risk because they were barred access to a critical safety net created specifically to catch families at moments of crisis,” said Peter Renn, Lambda Legal Staff Attorney. “Like the avalanche of decisions we’re seeing from every corner of this country, the court recognized that loving, committed same-sex couples should have equal access to the law’s protection.”
Today’s ruling came in Harris v. Millennium Hotel, a lawsuit filed by Lambda Legal seeking survivor benefits for Deborah Harris, the same-sex partner of Kerry Fadely, who worked at Anchorage’s Millennium Hotel and was shot and killed in 2011 by a disgruntled former employee.
Here’s to hoping this can be used as precedent to get rid of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
h/t Joe My God