Alaska Supreme Court Says Gay Couples Should Receive Death Benefits

Deobrah Harris (R) who sued for benefits. Image via Lambda

Deobrah Harris (R) who sued for benefits. Image via Lambda

Gay and lesbian couples must receive death benefits if their partner dies, despite the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled on Friday. According to the Reuters: “In ruling that a 1998 amendment to the state constitution forbidding same-sex marriage did not extend to barring death benefits for same-sex couples, the court overturned a decision by the Alaska Workers Compensation Board.” The case that decided the ruling involved an Anchorage woman who was denied benefits after her partner was shot by her employee at a hotel. The court said though that in denying the benefits the state “violates the surviving partner’s right to equal protection under the law.”

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