More than 100 people joined Juneau’s Equality for All party on Friday, to celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and allowing same-sex married couples equal treatment under federal law.
The celebration featured performances by the Juneau Pride Chorus, a dance group, and other music.
Kimberley Crawford was part of an ad hoc group of nine Juneau residents organizing the celebration.
“We believe it’s important to let everybody know what’s going on. If you’re not directly affected with the Supreme Court decision, you might not necessarily know exactly what’s going on and that’s why we all decided to get together and make this community event.”
Marguerite Crawford says the event was a success.
“It’s really important to get the awareness out to the general public that even though we have come so far with the partial DOMA overruling and Prop 8 that we still don’t have the rights in Alaska and so this is kind of the fun, get the whole community together and to be aware of our situation but have a good time.”
Keynote speaker Joshua Decker is interim executive director of American Civil Liberties Union in Alaska. He says a large part of the celebration is finding out how to advance the fight for marriage equality around the nation and the state.
“This is terrific that everyone here in Juneau is excited about movement towards justice and equality and the hope that Alaska will soon have equal marriage here.”
He will travel to Fairbanks next to continue the education on how recent Supreme Court decisions will impact same-sex couples in Alaska.
- Mayor Ken Koelsch, Debbie White and Mary Becker opposed it. Deputy Mayor Jerry Nankervis was on a scratchy phone connection and did not respond to the roll call to vote.
- The proposal for a 130-unit high-rise apartment building to be built over a downtown city parking lot has alarmed some community members. But city officials say there is no final plan and closure of the deal is still months away.
- “Things have to have an endpoint to it, or they have to have something that keeps directing you, telling you that you’re in the right area,” said troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters.
- The Department of the Interior announced today that 29 local Alaska governments would receive $29.7 million in Payment in Lieu of Taxes funds, or PILT.