John M. Becker

Alaska Supremes: State Tax Code is Anti-Gay

Filed By John M. Becker | April 25, 2014 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Alaska, gay marriage, marriage discrimination, marriage equality, same-sex marriage, tax exempt, taxes, unequal treatment

alaska-flag.jpegToday, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that the state's denial of property tax exemptions to same-sex couples is discriminatory and unconstitutional.

The ACLU reports:

The rules were challenged by the ACLU of Alaska, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on behalf of three couples who were denied full access to a $150,000 property tax exemption that Alaska makes available to opposite-sex married couples. Because same-sex couples cannot legally marry in Alaska, the state treated them as roommates rather than as families and let them get the exemption for only half of the value of their homes. Roger Leishman, partner at Davis Wright Tremaine, successfully argued the case at trial and on appeal before the Alaska Supreme Court.

"Families in Alaska deserve better than a second-class system of laws for same-sex couples who are just as committed to each other as heterosexual couples," said Joshua Decker, executive director of the ACLU of Alaska. "Our senior citizens and veterans.

The lead plaintiffs are a lesbian couple, ages 71 and 66, who are both retired teachers. Meet the rest of the plaintiffs and learn more about the case here.

This bodes well for further progress towards equality in The Last Frontier. After all, if the state can't discriminate in tax law, how can it discriminate in other areas, like marriage law?

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