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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 in an impromptu ceremony outside of the Midtown Anchorage Frontier Building Monday, 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

Alaska’s same-sex couples looking to marry got a bit of a surprise Monday when news came late in the day that a handful of couples had expedited their weddings, skipping what's normally a three-day waiting period after a marriage license application is filed.

At least three same-sex Alaska couples were married Monday afternoon, the first full day that same-sex marriage was legal in Alaska, after local judges expedited their applications. Many Alaska couples applying for licenses believed they would not be able to marry until Thursday morning at the earliest.

Typically, Alaska marriage licensing procedures require couples to pay a $60 processing fee and then pick up their license three days later...

Suzanna Caldwell

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess on Tuesday denied the state of Alaska’s request for a stay in his decision overturning Alaska’s same-sex marriage ban.

Burgess’ denial means same-sex marriages in Alaska can continue, for the time being. The Alaska Department of Law moved quickly to challenge that decision, asking the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hours later to issue an emergency stay in the case. An appeal in the case, which could potentially overturn the decision, will also be filed with the 9th Circuit. The state filed its notice to appeal the decision Monday...

Suzanna Caldwell

A whirlwind week of court rulings and appeals in same-sex marriage cases across the country continued Monday in Alaska.

The state began accepting marriage license applications in the morning -- and two Barrow couples were apparently wed in the afternoon -- a day after U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess overturned Alaska’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Four couples were lined up outside when the Anchorage Bureau of Vital Statistics office opened at 8 a.m. Monday...

Suzanna Caldwell
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Couples lined up early Monday at the Anchorage office of the Bureau of Vital Statistics to obtain marriage licenses, a day after a U.S. District Court judge overturned Alaska’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage...

Suzanna Caldwell

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