From Senator French's official legislative website:
“I believe that we as a nation have been engaged in, and are in the middle of, a long march towards marriage equality. The reason is that we all have, in the bottom of our souls, a deep belief in the four cardinal American virtues: freedom, justice, liberty, and equality.”
“There are rapid changes happening in the legal landscape on this issue. Last year the US Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Windsor that the Defense of Marriage Act’s ban on same-sex marriages was invalid as to lawfully married same-sex couples. Since then a series of court decisions in Utah, Oklahoma, and Virginia have used the legal reasoning in Winsdor to invalidate state bans on same-sex marriage. The day is not far off when the US Supreme Court rules that state prohibitions on same-sex marriage are inconsistent with freedom, justice, liberty, and equality. Passage of this resolution will allow Alaskan voters to remove this blot on our state constitution through our own action.”
According to Alaska Dispatch, Sen. French stooped so low as to refer to the constitutional definition of marriage, approved by voters in 1998, as "a blot, a stain upon our state constitution". Apparently French believes that democracy is a stain upon our state constitution when it doesn't go his way. French is also a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor this year. This is the real reason why we hate progressives; it's not so much their ideology that's repulsive, but their condescending, hateful rhetoric.
SJR30 has been cosponsored by two other Democratic senators in the Anchorage Caucus; Sen. Johnny Ellis and Sen. Berta Gardner. It proposes that the Alaska State Constitution be amended by repealing Article I, section 25, which defines marriage, and to place that amendment before the voters in the next general election. Read the full text HERE. After the first reading, SJR30 was referred to the State Affairs, Judiciary and Finance Committees. Since the Senate is controlled by Republicans, Republicans hold a majority on these three committees. Because Republicans control the entire legislature, it is difficult to conceive how Sen. French could expect to get the two-thirds vote in each house necessary to pass and qualify for the ballot.
Jim Minnery of Alaska Family Action speculates on Sen. French's true objectives:
My guess is that he's doing it to begin a public dialogue on the issue in order to set up a lawsuit against our marriage amendment. It's happened in other states and for that reason, we've recently encouraged Alaskans to contact Congressman Don Young and ask him to support the State Marriage Defense Act of 2014 (H.R. 3829) that affirms a state's right to define marriage and prevents the federal government from undermining its definition.
One thing we know for certain. Hollis French and his allies are not going away in their attempt to force all Alaskans to accept same-sex marriage.
As they continue to call us bigots, file lawsuits, introduce legislation and encourage activist judges to overthrow our marriage amendment, we will stand strong for your values and be your voice in the public square articulating why marriage matters, what the consequences are for redefining it and why the Government should lift it up and distinguish it as a critical foundation of our culture.
Alaska Attorney General Michael Geraghty, who was appointed by Gov. Sean Parnell in January 2012, has come down squarely on the side of traditional marriage. On February 18th, Geraghty said that he will continue to defend the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, even as federal courts around the country strike down similar bans. Geraghty explained that he will not make his decisions based on Federal district court decisions that still must be reviewed by appellate courts and perhaps the U.S. Supreme Court, which he expects will ultimately weigh in. Geraghty added that his personal feelings on the issue are immaterial, as he has sworn an oath to uphold the constitution and the law of the land. He has received serious props from the National Organization of Marriage (NOM) for his courageous defense of the rule of law; they wrote "Geraghty's commitment to his duty stands in stark contrast to Attorney General Herring of Virginia. Instead of fulfilling his oath-of-office, Herring not only refused to defend the Constitution of Virginia but actively litigated against the people of his state!"