• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 26s

Gay parents react to new same-sex marriage benefits

By Alexis Fernandez 9:05 PM February 10, 2014

“We've put in all the blood, sweat and tears that every other couple has and goes through."

ANCHORAGE – Today, the Obama Administration issued a landmark announcement that will impact countless gay communities across the country.

The U.S. Department of Justice said beginning Monday, it will instruct employees to apply the same protections and privileges to spouses in same-sex marriages as they do to heterosexual marriages, no matter what state they live in.

Victoria Green, an Anchorage resident and gay parent, said this is a milestone for the gay community in Alaska.

Green has four adopted children with her partner of 10 years, Teri Huebler.

“We’ve put in all the blood, sweat and tears that every other couple has and goes through,” Green said.

They’ve thought about marriage, she said, but that would mean moving to a state where it’s recognized — outside of Alaska.

“It’s hard to kind of have that, and then have people say you don’t get the same rights as we do,” she said.

But that’s about to change, thanks to a new policy from the Obama Administration.

Legally married same-sex couples will no longer be required to testify against each other in court.

They can jointly file for bankruptcy, and will have the same visitation privileges in federal prisons. Surviving spouses of law enforcement officers, firefighters and other first responders would also qualify for death and education benefits.

Prior to this, Green said her rights were limited.

“Alaska is still one of the states that doesn’t have any rights for same-sex couples, no protection, can still be fired from jobs, kicked out of housing, depending on where you live … so this is one thing that will change that,” Green said.

The change is an incentive for her to get married, Green said.

But not everyone is celebrating; The National Organization for Marriage said this is federal overreach.

“When the federal government comes in and says this is what’s going to be despite what the law of the land says, we now have lawlessness,” said Christopher Plante, a spokesperson with the organization, via phone.

There’s a reason the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was put into place, Plante said, and states should be allowed to decide the definition of marriage.

“If it can be any two people than it can be any three people, or six people or whatever, because when you change the law once, there’s no legal, logical or philosophical stop to not change it again,” he said.

For Green, it’s about equality.

“It’s an inherent right, to choose the person you intend to marry, that’s a right that everyone should have, our Constitution says we have the right,” Green said.

And creating a safety net for her family is something that should happen, she said.

“Nobody is asking anybody to change their beliefs, it’s just asking to validate our relationships,” Green said.

The Alaska Department of Law is evaluating what this policy means for the state, where same-sex marriage is not recognized.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Hawaii and Alaska pay more for Thanksgiving feasts

    by Associated Press on Nov 24, 8:57

    Residents of Hawaii pay the highest prices in the nation for their tasty birds and fixings on Thanksgiving, and Alaska feasts are almost as expensive. That’s according to an analysis by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Most food has to be flown or shipped into both states. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports (http://goo.gl/6HhPO2) that Hilo and […]

  • Sports

    UAA rebounds with a 4-0 win against Northern Michigan

    by KTVA Sports on Nov 24, 8:12

    It should be a happy Thanksgiving for the UAA hockey team after a victory over the Northern Michigan Wildcats over the weekend.

  • Sports

    UAA teams gain momentum ahead of Great Alaska Shootout

    by KTVA Sports on Nov 24, 8:04

    As the Great Alaska Shootout approaches, the UAA men’s and women’s basketball teams are headed in the right direction. The tournament, which kicks off Tuesday, will be held at the Alaska Airlines Center.

  • Weather

    Daybreak weather, Nov. 24

    by Brett Shepard on Nov 24, 7:50

    Mostly cloudy skies today with a few showers over the Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound. In the Southeast skies will be cloudy with rain at times. In the Interior skies will be cloudy. On the North Slope there will be mostly to partly cloudy skies with flurries and fog. Out West skies will be […]

  • News

    Geothermal energy at Pilgrim Hot Springs could help Nome’s costly power problem

    by Alexis Fernandez on Nov 24, 7:33

    Alaska’s oil boom days may be more numbered than we realize. Because of this, a popular hot springs near Nome is hoping to tap into an underground heat source to help solve its rising electricity costs. The site is located on the outskirts of Nome, about 60 miles away in a valley surrounded by mountains. “It’s […]

  • News

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel resigning

    by CBS News on Nov 24, 7:06

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is resigning, CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin has learned, and will leave his position after less than two years at the helm of the Defense Department. A senior defense official told Martin the resignation is a “mutual decision” between Hagel and President Obama that has been under discussion for […]

  • Sports

    UAA men’s cross country headed to NCAA tourney again

    by KTVA Sports on Nov 23, 18:37

    After a strong performance at the NCAA Division II West Region Championships in Billings, Montana, UAA Cross Country now finds itself in a familiar position — the NCAA Tournament.

  • News

    Thanksgiving Blessing expects to feed 11,000 in Southcentral

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 23, 18:03

    This Thanksgiving will be a reason to celebrate for many local families, thanks to the Food Bank of Alaska and neighborhood volunteers. This year’s Thanksgiving Blessing project — one of the area’s biggest food drives for the holidays – is expected to feed more than 11,000 families around Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley. Tons of donations […]