Juneau Rep. Beth Kerttula on Tuesday made quick work of a question that seemed to flummox House Majority Republicans.
“Is the caucus supportive of the idea of having legal same-sex unions in Alaska?” asked Mark Miller of the Juneau Empire.
“This is really a civil rights question,” Kerttula said. “And people deserve to live with whomever they want, and yes, I think that people deserve that right.”
The issue came up in the House Democrats’ press availability. Kerttula is Minority Leader in the House. While the caucus has not discussed introducing such legislation, she said she would “personally would be happy to do that. I strongly, strongly believe in this right.”
Miller asked House Majority leaders on Friday the same question; on Monday they had to apologize for the laughter.
The Republicans had called the press availability to talk about their guiding principles, and same sex unions are not one of them. House Majority Leader Lance Pruitt stumbled through the answer, finally noting the issue had never come up.
As KTOO previously reported, Pruitt and House Speaker Mike Chenault sent out a news release on Monday, apologizing for the laughter, noting it was in response to who had to answer the question, and not the issue. They did not say if the caucus would address the issue at a later date.
- The primary source of school funding would not be reduced. Permanent fund dividends would be cut in half, to $1,100.
- 360 North’s new documentary “Inside Out: Leaving Prison Behind,” premieres 8 p.m. this Friday, June 23 on 360 North.
- The state is advertising the ferry Taku again. It listed the ship earlier at $1.5 million, then at $700,000. This time, there's no advertised minimum.
- The National Endowment for the Arts has named a Chilkat weaver from Juneau as one of its nine National Heritage Fellows. Anna Brown Ehlers, 62, has been recognized for her mastery of this challenging art form that's specific to Southeast Alaska and parts of British Columbia.