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 state Division of Insurance plans to ask the feds to offset its costs for the Alaska Reinsurance Program.
- After a mild start to December, it’s gotten bitter cold in Haines and Skagway, with temperatures dropping into the teens and single digits. With temperatures far below freezing, snowfall from the weekend is not likely to go anywhere soon.
- As temperatures rise, Arctic ice is retreating, making trips through the Northwest passage – from Alaska to Maine – a new summer reality. But until now, mariners navigating Arctic ice have had limited formal training. A professor at Maine Maritime Academy is working to change that.
- One shot was fired in an officer-involved shooting Saturday, according to the Juneau Police Department. Police say Sgt. Chris Gifford fired the shot that injured Jeremie Shaun Tinney, 38, of Juneau while officers were investigating a single-vehicle crash in the 16500 block of Ocean View Drive.