Laws

United States of America

ALASKA

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Access to Children
Adoption of Children
Age of Consent
Anti-Vilification
Artifical Insemination
Assisted Reproduction
Asylum / Refugees
Civil Unions
  Custody of Children
Discrimination
Estates
Fostering Children
Gender Identity
Harassment
Hate Crimes
  HIV/Aids
Homosexuality
Inheritance
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
Marriage
Military
Parenting
  Partners
Property
Sodomy
Taxation
Transgender, Transsexual
Violence
Wrongful Death

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Age of Consent Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

Alaska Statutes, Title 11. Criminal Law, Chapter 41 Offences against the person –

Section 434. Sexual Abuse of a minor in the first degree [L1.2]

"(a) An offender commits the crime of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree if

(1) being 16 years of age or older, the offender engages in sexual penetration with a person who is under 13 years of age or aids, induces, causes, or encourages a person who is under 13 years of age to engage in sexual penetration with another person;

(2) being 18 years of age or older, the offender engages in sexual penetration with a person who is under 18 years of age, and the offender is the victim's natural parent, stepparent, adopted parent, or legal guardian; or

(3) being 18 years of age or older, the offender engages in sexual penetration with a person who is under 16 years of age, and

(A) the victim at the time of the offense is residing in the same household as the offender and the offender has authority over the victim; or
(B) the offender occupies a position of authority in relation to the victim.

(b) Sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree is an unclassified felony and is punishable as provided in AS 12.55".

Section 436. Sexual Abuse of a Minor in the Second Degree [L1.1]

"(a) An offender commits the crime of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree if

(1) being 17 years of age or older, the offender engages in sexual penetration with a person who is 13, 14, or 15 years of age and at least four years younger than the offender, or aids, induces, causes or encourages a person who is 13, 14, or 15 years of age and at least four years younger than the offender to engage in sexual penetration with another person;

(2) being 16 years of age or older, the offender engages in sexual contact with a person who is under 13 years of age or aids, induces, causes, or encourages a person under 13 years of age to engage in sexual contact with another person;

(3) being 18 years of age or older, the offender engages in sexual contact with a person who is under 18 years of age, and the offender is the victim's natural parent, stepparent, adopted parent, or legal guardian;

(4) being 16 years of age or older, the offender aids, induces, causes, or encourages a person who is under 16 years of age to engage in conduct described in AS 11.41.455 (a)(2) - (6);

(5) being 18 years of age or older, the offender engages in sexual contact with a person who is under 16 years of age, and

(A) the victim at the time of the offense is residing in the same household as the offender and the offender has authority over the victim; or

(B) the offender occupies a position of authority in relation to the victim.

(6) being 18 years of age or older, the offender engages in sexual penetration with a person who is 16 or 17 years of age and at least three years younger than the offender, and the offender occupies a position of authority in relation to the victim; or

(7) being under 16 years of age, the offender engages in sexual penetration with a person who is under 13 years of age and at least three years younger than the offender.

(b) Sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree is a class B felony.

See also:

Section 438. Sexual Abuse of a Minor in the Third Degree

Section 440. Sexual Abuse of a Minor in the Fourth Degree

L1.2 AS 11.41.434: Sexual Abuse of a Minor in the First Degree (accessed 06 JUN 09)
L1.1 AS 11.41.436: Sexual Abuse of a Minor in the Second Degree (accessed 06 JUN 09)
Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic, Registered Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

There is no State law or municipal ordinance extending benefits to domestic partners in Alaska.


On 16 September 2015, the Division of Retirement and Benefits issued for comment a public notice about proposed changes to regulations dealing with the enrollment of same-sex partners for coverage under the State of Alaska Group Health plan for active and retired members that will, if adopted, require couples to become married no later than 31 December 2015 in order to maintain coverage for their same-sex partner or child of a same-sex partner [D1.3], [R1.2].

On 19 September 2013, the Alaska State Personnel Board approved a change in the state's definition of “immediate family”, recognizing same-sex partners of state employees and allowing medical leave if their same-sex partner has a serious medical condition and the couple meet eligibility by proving their relationship in the last 12 consecutive months and other criteria including: a mortgage, lease or rental agreement; joint ownership of a vehicle; a joint bank account; or the partner is named the primary beneficiary in the employee's will. The lieutenant governor has 30 days (19 October) to sign off on the changes approved by the board [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 28 October 2005, in a unanimous decision, the Alaska supreme court ruled that it is unconstitutional for the state to continue to deny equal benefits to the domestic partners of lesbian and gay state employees and retirees [C2.4], [R2.3].

Previously:

On 22 May 2002, the Alaska Civil Liberties Union appealed a lawsuit to the state Supreme Court in an effort to get benefits extended to gay couples working for the state or Municipality of Anchorage [R2.2].

In November 2001, Superior Court Judge Stephanie Joannides ruled that the state and municipality does not have to extend benefits to gay or lesbian couples, finding that same-sex couples are in the same legal category as unmarried heterosexual couples, and neither are entitled to benefits. [R2.1].

D1.3 Notice: Notice of proposed changes on retirement plans in the regulations of the Department of Administration 16 SEP 15
R1.2 AlaskaDispatchNews: Alaska says state employees' same-sex partners must marry to keep health care 16 SEP 15
R1.1 KTUU.com: Partners of Same-Sex State Employees Recognized as 'Immediate Family' 19 SEP 13
C2.4 Alaska Case Law Service: Alaska Civil Liberties Union v. State (No s-10459) 122 P.3d 781, 96 28 OCT 05
R2.3 The Advocate: Alaska Court Orders Equality for Gay Couples 29 OCT 05
R2.2 Anchorage Daily News: ACLU Appeals Gay Benefits Case to Supreme Court 23 MAY 02
R2.1 Anchorage Daily News: City, State Win Same-Sex Benefits Case 18 NOV 01
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [GENDER IDENTITY]
1.

State

Alaska does not have a state-wide law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.

2.

Cities & Towns

On 22 August 2016, the City and Borough Assembly of Juneau passed Ordinance 2016-23(d) making discrimination in employment, housing or realty, public accommodations and public activites or programs based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and other attributes unlawful. The ordinance is effective 30 days after its adoption [R2.8].

On 29 September 2015, the Anchorage Assembly passed 9-2 the new civil rights ordinance AO 2015-96(S-1) making it unlawful in the city to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity in housing, employment and public accommodations and includes exemptions for religious groups and those with ministerial duties. Assembly Chair Dick Traini expects to sign the measure into law 02 October, effective immediately ]L2.7], [R2.6].

On 03 April 2012, with 102 of 121 precincts counted, 58% of voters in Anchorage appear to have rejected a ballot measure that sought to add “sexual orientation” and “transgender identity” to the city’s human rights law [R2.5].

The ballot measure asked voters: “Shall the current Municipal Code sections providing legal protections against discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, age, physical disability, and mental disability be amended to include protections on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender identity?”

Previously:

On 03 April 2012, Anchorage residents will vote on a proposed ordinance to add "sexual orientation or transgender identity" to the city's anti-discrimination code (Equal Rights Ordinance) [R2.4].

On 08 December 2011, volunteers submitted 13,515 signatures of Anchorage registered voters – 5,871 valid signatures required – in support of a city election ballot initiative to extend legal protections against discrimination to gay and transgender people in Anchorage [R2.3].

On 11 August 2009, the Anchorage assembly passed an ordinance that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity [R2.2] however, Mayor Dan Sullivan vetoed the non-discrimination ordinance [R2.1].

3.

Courts & Tribunals

In January 1999, Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain of Portland, writing for the 2-1 majority of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a landlord may refuse to rent to an unmarried couple if doing so would violate his or her religious scruples. The decision would be applicable in nine western states that fall under the 9th Circuit's jurisdiction unless overturned by the full appeals court [R3.1].

R2.8 JuneauEmpire: Assembly passes equal rights ordinance 22 AUG 16
L2.7 Ordinance: AO amending Title 5 of Anchorage Municipal Code Regarding Equal Rights No. AO 2015-96(S1) PDF 88.35kb 11 SEP 15
R2.6 AlaskaDispatchNews: Anchorage Assembly passes LGBT rights law 29 SEP 15
R2.5 Keen News Service: Anchorage rejects anti-bias measure 04 APR 12
R2.4 Anchorage Daily News: If Proposition 5 passes, complaints will go to committee 25 MAR 12
R2.3 Anchorage Daily News: Gay rights initiative likely headed to ballot 09 DEC 11
R2.2 The Advocate: Anchorage Passes Antidiscrimination Ordinance 12 AUG 09
R2.1 The Advocate: Override of Anchorage Veto Unlikely 27 AUG 09
The Advocate: Anchorage Mayor Vetoes LGBT Ordinance 18 AUG 09
R3.1 Los Angeles Times: Unwed couple lose tenant fight 15 JAN 99

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Estates, Inheritance, Property, Succession, Wills Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 25 July 2014, the Supreme Court of Alaska held 5-0 that the denial of survivor benefits to Deborah Harris, a woman whose same-sex partner Kerry Fadely was shot to death on the job in 2011, was a violation of her equal protection rights under the law, sending the case back to a workers' compensation commission for further consideration [C1.4], [R1.3].

On 14 October 2013, Lambda Legal filed a brief appealing a decision of The Alaska Workers' Compensation Appeals Commission denying survivor benefits to Deborah Harris, partner of the deceased, Kerry Fadely, who was shot and killed in 2011 by a disgruntled former employee [C1.2], [R1.1].

C1.4 Opinion: Deborah Harris v. Millenium Hotel & New Hampshire Insurance Co. No. S-15230 PDF 116.18kb, 25 JUL 14
R1.3 SFGate: Court rejects benefit denial in same-sex case 25 JUL 14
C1.2 Opening Brief: Deborah Harris v. Millenium Hotel, New Hampshire Insurance Co No. S15230, 14 OCT 13 (appealing decision of The Alaska Workers' Compensation Appeals Commission No. 13005, JUN 13)
R1.1 LambdaLegal: Lambda Legal Urges Alaska Supreme Court to Allow Same-Sex Couples Access to Survivor Benefits 14 OCT 13
Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual

[?]
Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [DISCRIMINATION]
1.

State

On 08 April 2018, it was reported that fifty-three percent of voters in Anchorage, Alaska voted ''no'' on Prop 1, a citizen initiative that would have required transgender people to use public restrooms corresponding to the gender on their birth certificates. The preliminary vote results are set to be certified on 17 April [R1.2].

On 12 July 2012, Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell signed a new Alaska Department of Motor Vehicles regulation that, effective 11 August, makes it easier for transgender citizens to change their sex identifier on state ID cards [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 12 March, Judge Michael Spaan in the Superior Court ordered the state's Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to adopt a regulation establishing a procedure for changing the sex designation on a driver's license [R2.1].

R1.2 TheIndependent: Alaskans reject transgender 'bathroom bill' 08 APR 18
R1.1 Online Public Notice: Notice Of Adopted Changes To Regulations Of The Department Of Administration, Division Of Motor Vehicles 26 JUL 12
ACLU: Transgender Alaskans can change sex on licenses easier under new DMV rule 26 JUL 12
R2.1 GayCityNews: Alaska DMV Must Allow Sex Designation Change 25 APR 12
Hate Crimes Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

Hate crimes law in Alaska does not include sexual orientation.

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 19 May 2000, despite inflicting 27 stab wounds, a Superior Court jury acquitted Kenneth J. Washington, a 22-year-old man who claimed he was defending himself against a sexual assailant when last year he stabbed to death Alexander Paul Nicholai, a 45-year-old man [R2.1].

R2.1 Anchorage Daily News: Jury Backs Killer 20 MAY 00
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

In 1980, Alaska repealed the law prohibiting consensual sex between same-sex couples.

R1.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF at page 48, 700.06kb, MAY 09
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

In November 1998, as a consequence of the Court ruling in Brause -v- Alaska, voters ratified a State constitutional amendment [R1.7] providing –

"§ 25 Marriage

To be valid or recognized in this State, a marriage may exist only between one man and one woman" [L1.6].

However, see also 2. Courts & Tribunals below.


On 17 January 2017, the Animals: Protection/Release/Custody Act (HB147) came into effect. Amongst other things, the Act relates to the ownership and custody of animals upon divorce or dissolution of marriage and requires judges to consider animal welfare in cases where divorcing couples have a pet [L1.5], [R1.4].

On 23 February 2015, the governing board of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska announced a unanimous 7-0 decision to define legal marriage without a gender requirement. The new directive also covers tribal divorces [R1.3]

In October 1998, voters were asked to change their state constitutions to prevent gays and lesbians from marrying in the 03 November ballot [R1.2].

In June 1996, Democratic Governor Tony Knowles criticised but refused to veto a bill which bans gay marriages [R1.1].

In March 1996, Senate Bill 30 passed the Senate and House, restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples and providing also that a same-sex marriage lawfully entered into elsewhere is "void in this state, and contractual rights granted by virtue of the marriage, including its termination, are unenforceable in this state".

On 28 February 1996, the Anti-Marriage House Bill 227 passed the house and restricting marriage to " … a man and a woman".

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 18 November 2014, in a text only order the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied an initial en banc (full court) review in Hamby v. Parnell, the challenge to Alaska's same-sex marriage ban [R2.10].

On 17 October 2014, in the US Supreme Court “the application for stay (of the District Court 12 October order) presented to Justice Kennedy and by him referred to the Court is denied”. On 15 October 2014 the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal granted a temporary stay that expired at noon on 17 October 2014, meaning that same-sex marriages may proceed in Alaska [C2.9], [C2.8], [R2.7].

On 12 October 2014, US District Court Judge Timothy M Burgess ruled that Alaska's ban on same-sex marriage and refusal to recognize same sex marriages lawfully entered in other states is unconstitutional as a deprivation of basic due process and equal protection principles under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The mooted appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to be refused [C2.6], [R2.5].

On 12 May 2014, a marriage equality suit was filed in the US District Court on behalf of five couples [C2.4], [R2.4].

On 17 April 2001, the Supreme Court of Alaska ruled 4-1 that the subsequent passage of the 1998 constitutional amendment invalidated Jay Brause and Gene Dugan's claim for a marriage license. The case was dismissed [C2.3].

On 27 February 1998, Superior Court Judge Peter Michalski found that choosing a partner is a fundamental right and the state Constitution protects both the "traditional choice and the non-traditional choice" and ordered the state to show why it should be able to regulate who people marry [C2.2]. [R2.1]..

R1.7 Associated Press: Same-Sex Marriages Banned by Voters 04 NOV 98
L1.6 The Constitution of the State of Alaska: § 25 Marriage (Accessed 21 SEP 11)
L1.5 TheAlaskaStateLegislature: Animals: Protection, Release, Custody HB 147 v HB0147Z PDF 53.73kb 11 MAY 16 (Accessed 21 JAN 17)
R1.4 HuffingtonPost: In Alaska, Divorce Courts Must Now Consider Pet Wellbeing 27 JAN 17
R1.3 EdgeMediaNetwork: Southeast Alaska Tribal Organization OKs Gay Marriage 26 FEB 15
R1.2 San Francisco Chronicle: Ballot Test for Gay Marriage in Alaska, Hawaii 26 OCT 98
R1.1 New Zealand Express: Alaska Freezes Gays 20 JUN 96
R2.10 EqualityOnTrial: Ninth Circuit won’t hear Alaska marriage appeal with 11-judge panel 20 NOV 14
C2.9 Supreme Court Order in Pending Case: Parnell, Governor of Alaska, et al., v. Matthew Hanby, et al. No: 14A13 PDF 23.36kb, 17 OCT 14
C2.8 9th Circuit Order: Matthew Hamby, et al., v. Sean C Parnell No. 14-35856 PDF 56.02kb, 15 OCT 14
R2.7 EqualityOnTrial: Supreme Court declines to halt Alaska same-sex marriages 17 OCT 14
C2.6 Order: Matthew Hamby, et al., v. Sean C Parnell, et al. No 3:14-cv-00089-TMB PDF 177.05kb, 12 OCT 14
R2.5 EqualityOnTrial: 12 OCT 14
C2.4 Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief: Matthew Hamby & Christopher Sheldon & Ors. v. Sean C Parnell, Michael Geraghty & Ors. No. 3: 14-cv- 12 MAY 14
R2.4 TheAdvocate: Marriage Equality Suit Filed in Alaska 12 MAY 14
C2.3 Opinion: Jay Brause & Gene Dugan v. State of Alaska No. 21 P.3d 357 (No. S-9376) 17 APR 01
C2.2 Memorandum and Order: Jay Brause & Gene Dugan v. Bureau of Vital Statistics No. 3AN-95-6562 CI, 27 FEB 98
R2.1 Washington State Bar News: Same-Sex Marriage: The State of the Law SEP 98
Brother Sister: Alaskan Same-Sex Marriage Possible 05 MAR 98
Parenting, Adoption, Fostering Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

On 06 July 2015, the Bureau of Vital Statistics enacted a change to allow both same-sex parents to be named on birth certificates and contacted Anchorage parents Kim and Dana Ward-Massey and other families on 07 July [R1.1].

There is no statutory ban preventing single gay men and lesbians adopting children in Alaska. There is no clear prohibition on joint adoption and second-parent adoption is allowed in some areas.

R1.1 AlaskaDespatchNews: After months of back and forth, state allows same-sex couples to be listed on birth certificates 19 JUL 15
Taxation Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 25 April 2014, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that the State had violated Alaska's equal protection clause unconstitutionally discriminating against same-sex couples by denying them equal access to a property tax exemption for senior citizens and disabled veterans [C1.6], [R1.5].

On 14 November 2012, the Alaska Supreme Court heard arguments in The State of Alaska & The Municipality of Anchorage v. Julie Schmidt, Gayle Schuh, Julie Vollick No. S-14521, an appeal from the state over an Alaska taxation policy that treats same-sex couples differently from straight couples [C1.4], [R1.3].

On 16 September 2011, Judge Frank A Pfiffner ruled that same-sex couples in Alaska qualify for the same exemptions on local property taxes as those that apply to married couples, concluding that Tax Exemption's marital classification violates the Alaska Constitution's equal protection clause [C1.2], [R1.1].

C1.6 Opinion: State of Alaska & Anor. v. Julie A Schmidt & Ors. No. S-14521 PDF 236.37kb, 25 APR 14
R1.5 ACLU: Alaska Supreme Court Rules That State Tax Law Treats Same-Sex Families Unfairly 25 APR 14
C1.4 The State of Alaska & The Municipality of Anchorage v. Julie Schmidt, Gayle Schuh, Julie Vollick S-14521
R1.3 Seattle Post Intelligencer: Court hears appeal in same-sex couples tax case 14 NOV 12
C1.2 Decision & Order: Julie A Schmidt & Others v. The State of Alaska & Anor No. 3AN-10-9519 CI PDF 1.23MB, 16 SEP 11
R1.1 Anchorage Daily News: Same-sex couples in Alaska get tax exemption, judge rules 20 SEP 11

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