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Forbes: A seemingly insignificant property tax case in Anchorage, Alaska may have a profound effect on one of the techniques used to combat marriage equality. Alaska has a marriage amendment in its Constitution which provides that a marriage can only be between a man and a woman. The Alaska Constitution also has strong equal protection guarantees. The tension between these concepts is played out in the case of Julie Schmidt et.al, v The State of Alaska and Municipality of Anchorage.
Superior Court Judge Frank Pfiffner said in his decision that the state’s marital classification violates the Alaska Constitution’s equal protection clause. The ruling was signed Friday and released Monday by ACLU of Alaska.
ACLU: The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Alaska filed a motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit challenging the state’s tax-assessment rules, which discriminate against same-sex couples by denying them equal access to a property tax exemption for senior citizens and disabled veterans.