What is it with these wingnuts up there? This is partial good news, but when you examine matters more closely, it’s hard to be optimistic with a legislature this harsh on gays.

Alaska already has a constitutional amendment barring gays and lesbians from marrying, but elected officials continue the homo-hate, attempting to bar partners of state workers in same-sex relationships from participating in the health plan. (365gay):

The House voted 22 – 14 against passing the measure. It’s chief sponsor John Coghill (R) immediately asked for reconsideration. To reopen it for another vote, Coghill would need 27 votes in the House and 14 votes in the Senate.

A Senate version of the amendment was introduced in April.  It needs the approval of three committees before going to a vote of the full Senate, but that is considered unlikely to happen before the legislature adjourns next week.

Alaska voters in April passed a nonbinding referendum calling on the legislature to begin work on the amendment.

Outgoing Governor Frank Murkowski had called a special session to work out a plan to comply with the 2005 State Supreme Court order, which ruled that because of the marriage amendment, the denial of partner benefits deprived same-sex couples equal rights under the Alaska Constitution.

The level of discriminatory thinking in the legislature, however, was incredible — in response, both the state House and Senate passed an amendment to prohibit the Alaska Commissioner of Administration from implementing the court ruling extending benefits to same-sex partners, and voted to put the banning of any partner benefits on the ballot next year — in other words, let the people decide a civil rights matter.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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