With the lifting of Alaska’s same-sex marriage ban this fall, most people are celebrating the big win for equality, although, as with any divisive issue, opposition is still there.
“I just think that marriage is supposed to be between a man and a wife,” said David Rowland, a 21-year-old civil engineering student, citing his religious beliefs.
Same-sex marriage in Alaska became legal on Oct. 17 when a federal judge overturned the ban cited in cases from Alaska and Arizona. The decision reversed Alaska’s 1998 ballot proposition to define marriage as between a man and a woman.
The movement to legalize same-sex marriage has been gaining momentum all year, with 15 states moving to support equality in 2014 alone. The October ruling put the number of states allowing same-sex marriage at 32.
“I am happy the ban was lifted, I believe that we should be free to choose who we marry,” said Leslie Davis, a 45-year-old state employee.
“I was shocked but very, very happy,” said Jerzy Ellana, a 19-year-old freshman and student assistant at the UAF Women’s Center. She “was expecting there to be a little more turmoil about it” and was surprised that it happened so quickly.
“I don’t have any issues with gay people getting married, because, well they’re people too,” said Ian Brazier, a 19-year-old petroleum engineering major. “I don’t see anything wrong with it.”
Said 20-year-old art major Devante Owens, “It’s awesome that there is more equality, but it’s just a small step in the right direction.”
As Davis sees it, the change is overdue. “If we are all created equal, then it’s about dang time we are all treated that way.”