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Suzanna Caldwell

In some ways, the Bear Tooth Theatrepub was the most likely of venues for a debate on legalizing marijuana.

The popular concert venue is no stranger to marijuana use. Depending on the performer, fans can be seen lighting up and the distinctive, pungent smoke floats through the air.

But on Thursday night, the room was filled with debate from teams arguing for and against Ballot Measure 2, which would legalize recreational marijuana sales and use in Alaska.

“I was asked to remind that this is a nonsmoking venue,” said moderator Steve Johnson before the debate. “This seems particularly relevant.”...

Suzanna Caldwell

The state of Alaska continued challenging a ruling overturning Alaska's same-sex marriage ban Wednesday.

The state officially filed a petition with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asking for “en banc” review on the lower court's decision.

The state argued in its filing that the decision from U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess was incorrect when he found Alaska’s same-sex marriage ban to be a violation of due process and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution...

Suzanna Caldwell

Starting next week, Alaska will have 11 new reality TV stars when “Slednecks” begins airing on MTV.

And Alaskans, by and large, are not pleased.

“This show is going to be the worst thing to happen to Alaska since Sarah Palin,” wrote one commenter on the “Slednecks” Facebook page.

“As if the Palins haven't already screwed up the Lower 48 perception of us; everyone thinks we're a bunch of dumb, drunken, perpetually pregnant hillbillies looking for a brawl,” another wrote. ...

Suzanna Caldwell
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Snow, slush, a state holiday and complex legal maneuvering from the court system weren’t enough to stop Courtney Lamb and Stephanie Pearson from getting married...

Suzanna Caldwell

Snow, slush, a state holiday and complex legal maneuvering from the court system weren’t enough to stop Courtney Lamb and Stephanie Pearson from getting married.

The two wed Monday in an impromptu ceremony outside the Midtown Anchorage Frontier Building, a mere half-hour after picking up their marriage license from the Bureau of Vital Statistics...

Suzanna Caldwell

The U.S. Supreme Court denied Alaska’s request for an emergency stay Friday morning, allowing same-sex marriages to resume in the state.

The one-line response came at 11:01 a.m., just one minute after a stay from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dissolved as scheduled.

The order allows marriages to proceed. However, with state offices closed in observance of Alaska Day, it was impossible for couples to apply for a marriage license or pick up licenses that had been issued earlier in the week. Marriages are set to resume Monday.

The state vowed to continue its appeals...

Suzanna Caldwell

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess found Alaska's constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman unconstitutional Sunday, Oct. 12, almost 16 years after voters approved it in 1998. Below is a short timeline outlining major events in Alaska’s road toward same-sex marriage.

1995: Anchorage residents Jay Brause and Gene Dugan apply for a marriage license in Alaska. The petition is denied under the reasoning that the two are both men. The two move to have Alaska’s marriage statute -- which at the time does not indicate which sexes can marry -- deemed unconstitutional...

Suzanna Caldwell

The state of Alaska asked for an emergency stay from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy Thursday in the hope of appealing a decision overturning Alaska’s same-sex marriage ban.

The state appealed to Kennedy, who oversees emergency appeals in western states including Alaska, a day after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay temporarily halting same-sex marriages in the state...

Suzanna Caldwell

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay halting same-sex marriage in Alaska Wednesday, a day after a lower court denied a similar request.

The two-page order granted a temporary stay in Sunday's Hamby v. Parnell ruling until 11 a.m. Alaska time Friday, giving the state an opportunity to seek a stay from the U.S. Supreme Court.

The state said it would seek the higher court stay and enforce the stay at the 9th Circuit. Department of Law Spokeswoman Cori Mills said in an email “the state cannot issue any marriage licenses until the stay is lifted.”

“The state will be filing a request for a stay with the U.S. Supreme Court, as suggested by the Ninth Circuit in its order granting a temporary stay,” she wrote...

Suzanna Caldwell
NOTE: This article has been updated. Click here for the most recent version.

UPDATE: 4:10 p.m. Wednesday:

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay Wednesday that could potentially halt same-sex marriages in Alaska.

The two-page order granted a temporary stay in Sunday's Hamby v. Parnell ruling until 11 a.m. Alaska time Friday, giving the appellants an opportunity to seek a stay from the U.S. Supreme Court if they choose.

The court denied a stay through the appeal to overturn the decision, which has been pending since Monday...

Suzanna Caldwell

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