Military same-sex spouse denied Alaska oil check sues

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A lawsuit contends the state of Alaska is using laws that have been nullified to deny paying a share from the state’s oil wealth fund to the same-sex partner of a military member stationed out of state.

According to the lawsuit, representatives of Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend Division told Denali Nicole Smith she would not have been denied a check this year had she been married to a man. State laws remain on the books, as does a provision in Alaska’s constitution, barring same-sex marriage. They were stricken down in 2015 when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationally.

The lawsuit, first reported by Anchorage television station KTVA, seeks repayment and ending the denial of equal rights for same-sex partners.

The attorney general’s office didn’t have immediate comment.

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