Legislature(2005 - 2006)

03/29/2006 02:36 PM JUD

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                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 29, 2006                                                                                         
                           2:36 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Lesil McGuire, Chair                                                                                             
Representative Tom Anderson                                                                                                     
Representative John Coghill                                                                                                     
Representative Pete Kott                                                                                                        
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative Max Gruenberg                                                                                                    
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Peggy Wilson                                                                                                     
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
HOUSE BILL NO. 308                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to false caller identification."                                                                               
     - MOVED CSHB 308(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 32                                                                                                   
Proposing an amendment to the section of the Constitution of the                                                                
State of Alaska relating to marriage.                                                                                           
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
HOUSE BILL NO. 325                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to post-conviction DNA testing; and amending                                                                   
Rule 35.1, Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure."                                                                                 
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
HOUSE BILL NO. 414                                                                                                              
"An Act relating  to allowing a parent or guardian  of a minor to                                                               
intercept the private communications of  the minor and to consent                                                               
to an order authorizing law  enforcement to intercept the private                                                               
communications of the minor."                                                                                                   
     - BILL HEARING POSTPONED TO 3/31/06                                                                                        
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HB 308                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CALLER ID HACKERS                                                                                                  
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) LYNN                                                                                              
05/08/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/08/05       (H)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
03/22/06       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
03/22/06       (H)       <Bill Hearing Postponed to 03/24/06>                                                                   
03/24/06       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
03/24/06       (H)       <Bill Hearing Postponed to 03/29/06>                                                                   
03/29/06       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
BILL: HJR 32                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CONST. AM: BENEFITS & MARRIAGE                                                                                     
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) COGHILL                                                                                           
02/10/06       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/10/06       (H)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
03/15/06       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
03/15/06       (H)       -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                                 
03/17/06       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
03/17/06       (H)       -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                                 
03/27/06       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
03/27/06       (H)       <Bill Hearing Postponed to 03/29/06>                                                                   
03/29/06       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
TIM MURPHY, Congressman                                                                                                         
U.S. House of Representatives                                                                                                   
Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided comments, shared a personal                                                                       
example, and responded to questions during discussion of HB 308.                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BOB LYNN                                                                                                         
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of HB 308.                                                                                         
DIRK MOFFATT, Staff                                                                                                             
to Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  During discussion of HB 308, provided a                                                                    
comment on behalf of the sponsor, Representative Lynn.                                                                          
ROBERT DOUGLAS                                                                                                                  
Steamboat Springs, Colorado                                                                                                     
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Provided comments  during  discussion  of                                                               
HB 308.                                                                                                                         
KEVIN G. CLARKSON, Esq., Attorney at Law                                                                                        
Brena, Bell & Clarkson, PC                                                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   On behalf of  Legislative Council, provided                                                               
comments  during   discussion  of   HJR  32,  and   responded  to                                                               
MAUREEN LONGWORTH, M.D.                                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:    During discussion  of  HJR  32,  provided                                                               
comments  on behalf  of both  herself and  the Alaska  Academy of                                                               
Family Physicians.                                                                                                              
DOUG VEIT                                                                                                                       
Craig, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Expressed concerns with HJR 32.                                                                            
KEVIN DOUGHERTY                                                                                                                 
Eagle River, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HJR 32.                                                                            
LAURA MOSLEY-MINNE                                                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   During  discussion  of  HJR 32,  expressed                                                               
concerns and  requested that  the committee not  allow HJR  32 to                                                               
move forward.                                                                                                                   
KIM PATTERSON                                                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:    During discussion  of  HJR  32,  provided                                                               
comments and  expressed his  hope that  the resolution  will pass                                                               
and go before the voters.                                                                                                       
DEBBIE JOSLIN                                                                                                                   
Eagle Forum Alaska                                                                                                              
Delta Junction, Alaska                                                                                                          
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Provided comments  during  discussion  of                                                               
HJR 32, and asked that the resolution be passed.                                                                                
KAREN TAFT WELLS                                                                                                                
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Expressed concerns during discussion of                                                                    
HJR 32.                                                                                                                         
BEN KRALL                                                                                                                       
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HJR 32.                                                                         
CINDY BOESSER                                                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HJR 32.                                                                         
BARBARA BELKNAP                                                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HJR 32.                                                                         
JAMES GRAY                                                                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HJR 32.                                                                         
GREG SCHMIDT                                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HJR 32.                                                                            
CHARLES L. O'CONNELL                                                                                                            
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HJR 32.                                                                         
RANDY MAGEN, Ph.D., President                                                                                                   
Alaska Chapter                                                                                                                  
National Association of Social Workers (NASW)                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HJR 32.                                                                         
LIN DAVIS                                                                                                                       
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided comments on HJR 32 and urged the                                                                  
committee to vote no on it.                                                                                                     
SIDNEY HEIDERSDORF                                                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HJR 32.                                                                            
DIXIE A. HOOD                                                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  During discussion of HJR 32, provided                                                                      
comments and urged the committee to stop the proposal to deny                                                                   
rights and benefits based on marital status.                                                                                    
AMY PAIGE                                                                                                                       
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Urged the  committee to refrain from passing                                                               
HJR 32.                                                                                                                         
MARY ELIZABETH RIDER                                                                                                            
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HJR 32.                                                                         
MARINA DAY                                                                                                                      
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Provided comments  during  discussion  of                                                               
HJR 32 and asked the committee not to pass it.                                                                                  
JEANNE LAURENCELLE                                                                                                              
Social Action Committee                                                                                                         
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fairbanks                                                                                  
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:    During discussion  of  HJR  32,  provided                                                               
comments and urged the committee to oppose the legislation.                                                                     
JIM MINNORY                                                                                                                     
Alaska Family Council                                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:    During discussion  of  HJR  32,  provided                                                               
comments  and  urged  the  committee  to vote  in  favor  of  the                                                               
resolution so as to allow it to go before the voters.                                                                           
STEVEN JACQUIER                                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   During  discussion  of  HJR 32,  expressed                                                               
concerns and asked the committee to defeat the resolution.                                                                      
FRANCIS MANYOKY                                                                                                                 
Eagle River, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HJR 32.                                                                         
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
CHAIR  LESIL   McGUIRE  called   the  House   Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee  meeting  to  order at  2:36:36  PM.    Representatives                                                             
McGuire,  Gara, Kott,  and Coghill  were present  at the  call to                                                               
order.   Representatives  Gruenberg and  Anderson arrived  as the                                                               
meeting was in progress.                                                                                                        
HB 308 - CALLER ID HACKERS                                                                                                    
2:38:26 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR McGUIRE  announced that the  first order of  business would                                                               
be  HOUSE  BILL  NO.  308,  "An  Act  relating  to  false  caller                                                               
identification."  [In committee  packets was a proposed committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)  for  HB 308,  Version  24-LS0779\F,  Bannister,                                                               
2:38:40 PM                                                                                                                    
TIM MURPHY,  Congressman, U.S. House of  Representatives, relayed                                                               
that in October,  2005, his office in  Pittsburgh received nearly                                                               
100  calls  from  constituents   who'd  received  recorded  phone                                                               
messages  that were  politically  critical of  him;  what was  of                                                               
particular  concern  was  that  the  caller  identification  (ID)                                                               
number that appeared on the  constituents' phones was that of his                                                               
congressional office.  He went on to say:                                                                                       
     Needless  to  say,  the  calls did  not  come  from  my                                                                    
     office,  and my  constituents  were confused,  annoyed,                                                                    
     and  asked  me  to  stop   making  the  calls.    Their                                                                    
     complaints,  in  fact, tied  up  my  phone line  in  my                                                                    
     district  office  for  a  good two  days.    The  calls                                                                    
     stated, in  their recording,  that they  were sponsored                                                                    
     by an unknown  group called, "We the  People" that have                                                                    
     lobbed  similar   calls  from   the  districts   of  my                                                                    
     colleagues   in  Congress.     Stealing,   masking,  or                                                                    
     otherwise  altering  one's   caller  identification  is                                                                    
     certainly  a  deceptive,  unaccountable  practice  that                                                                    
     exasperates citizens.   When  these calls  are directed                                                                    
     at  elected  officials,  these anonymous  attacks  also                                                                    
     undermine   the  political   process,  which   is  [an]                                                                    
     important part of the democracy.                                                                                           
     And  those who  commit  caller ID  fraud for  political                                                                    
     reasons  are   essentially  the  snipers   of  politics                                                                    
     because  they anonymously  fire  attacks at  candidates                                                                    
     and  public  officials  without accountability  or  the                                                                    
     possibility of a  truthful rebuttal.  As  it turns out,                                                                    
     the information they were providing  in these calls was                                                                    
     false.   What's important to  bear in mind is,  I think                                                                    
     they're motivated by  the idea that if  they convince 1                                                                    
     out  of 100  people  that they  call, these  fraudulent                                                                    
     callers   would  likely   consider  their   campaign  a                                                                    
     success,  and that's  why they  continue to  do that  -                                                                    
     they don't  really care  how many  constituents they've                                                                    
     bothered along the way.                                                                                                    
     But consider the effects of  the false use of caller ID                                                                    
     in  other areas.   Past  federal and  state efforts  to                                                                    
     block  unwanted  phone solicitations  with  do-not-call                                                                    
     lists [were]  ... supposed to provide  some privacy for                                                                    
     citizens, but  when someone hijacks your  phone number,                                                                    
     they can  bypass that  protection.   In the  U.S. House                                                                    
     [of  Representatives],   I'm  working,  now,   with  my                                                                    
     colleagues, to  enact legislation that stops  those who                                                                    
     engage in this misleading [indisc.].   Why?  Because of                                                                    
     some of the problems it causes.   The reason to enact a                                                                    
     law  to penalize  caller ID  fraud is  not just  ... to                                                                    
     protect  politicians,  but   ...  to  protect  American                                                                    
     families,  because  illegally  using  another  person's                                                                    
     phone    number   could    have   limitless    unlawful                                                                    
     applications,   including  being   used  for   physical                                                                    
     threats to other citizens,  businesses, schools, and so                                                                    
     And  of  course it  doesn't  take  much imagination  to                                                                    
     understand  how dangerous  this  ability  could be  for                                                                    
     unlawful people:   criminals seeking personal financial                                                                    
     information  from citizens  by falsely  using a  bank's                                                                    
     phone  number; a  pedophile stalking  children using  a                                                                    
     school's phone  number; ... a  sexual predator  using a                                                                    
     doctor's office  phone number; [or] a  terrorist making                                                                    
     threats from  a government phone  number.  So  I salute                                                                    
     your  efforts to  fight back  against  caller ID  fraud                                                                    
     perpetrators,  and I'm  going  to continue  my work  to                                                                    
     enact  caller ID  fraud protection  for all  Americans.                                                                    
     In the  meantime, I'm pleased  that my  good colleagues                                                                    
     in Alaska are  working hard at this  and really setting                                                                    
     up a  pace of leadership  for our nation that  the rest                                                                    
     of   the   states   should  follow,   and   urge   your                                                                    
     considerations  to  enact  this  bill  to  protect  all                                                                    
CONGRESSMAN MURPHY, in response to a question, relayed that he                                                                  
represents the 18th congressional district of Pennsylvania.                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked what kind of sanctions or penalties                                                                   
are being proposed via the aforementioned federal legislation.                                                                  
CONGRESSMAN MURPHY said they were still exploring options,                                                                      
options such as levying a fine for each instance of a call;                                                                     
researching  how  the  Federal  Communications  Commission  (FCC)                                                               
proposes to  deal with  this issue;  or adding a  fine on  top of                                                               
some other criminal penalty.   Using fraudulent caller ID numbers                                                               
is  not a  matter of  free  speech, and  the goal  is to  protect                                                               
people  from  those that  would  use  such numbers  for  criminal                                                               
2:44:01 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KOTT  moved  to   adopt  the  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)  for  HB 308,  Version  24-LS0779\F,  Bannister,                                                               
1/25/06, as the work draft.   There being no objection, Version F                                                               
was before the committee.                                                                                                       
2:44:30 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BOB LYNN, Alaska  State Legislature, sponsor, said                                                               
that one  should be careful when  looking at the name  and number                                                               
provided by  a telephone caller  ID mechanism because  they could                                                               
be phony; the fraudulent use of  names and numbers in this manner                                                               
could be part of a joke, but it  could also be part of a criminal                                                               
activity.  A  child molester could be calling  one's children, or                                                               
a person could be claiming to  be the police or a school official                                                               
or one's doctor's  office.  Someone could use this  form of fraud                                                               
to  destroy  another's good  reputation.    The power  to  create                                                               
serious mischief  with caller ID "spoofing"  technology is almost                                                               
unlimited, from  simple pranks, to  spying, to  telemarketing, to                                                               
fraud, and to enticing victims to dangerous locations.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN opined that although  the FCC and the Federal                                                               
Bureau  of  Investigation  (FBI)  are  most  often  the  entities                                                               
dealing  with  caller  ID  spoofing, Alaska  can  take  steps  by                                                               
publicizing the  threat and  making it a  class B  misdemeanor to                                                               
insert  false information  into a  caller ID  system.   The bill,                                                               
however,  does contain  an exemption  for  municipal, state,  and                                                               
federal law  enforcement agencies.   He  concluded by  asking for                                                               
support for the legislation.                                                                                                    
2:48:06 PM                                                                                                                    
DIRK  MOFFATT, Staff  to Representative  Bob  Lynn, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  sponsor, added  on  behalf  of Representative  Lynn                                                               
that a  "spoof card"  - a  sample of which  has been  provided in                                                               
members' packets - can be purchased  for between $10 and $40, and                                                               
that such  cards allow the  caller to  change the number  that is                                                               
displayed on someone  else's caller ID system or  even change the                                                               
sound of the  caller's own voice; if one can  use a calling card,                                                               
one can "caller spoof."                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE KOTT  asked what the penalty  is for impersonating                                                               
a police officer.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN said he didn't know.                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  KOTT   questioned  whether  it  is   a  crime  to                                                               
impersonate   others,   particularly   those  in   positions   of                                                               
authority.     He   offered  his   belief   that  under   certain                                                               
circumstances, a  class B misdemeanor  is too low a  penalty, and                                                               
asked the sponsor  whether he'd given thoughts  to increasing the                                                               
level of penalty  should one be caught  attempting to impersonate                                                               
a  police  officer via  fraudulent  caller  ID technology.    For                                                               
example,  a person  could  call up  a homeowner,  claim  to be  a                                                               
police officer, instruct  the homeowner to vacate the  home for a                                                               
specified period  of time, and  then burgle the home  during that                                                               
timeframe.   Could a higher penalty  be imposed if such  a person                                                               
were caught before  the successful completion of  the burglary if                                                               
fraudulent caller ID technology was used?                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN said  he is assuming that there  is a penalty                                                               
for  impersonating  a police  officer,  or,  if there  isn't  one                                                               
currently, there certainly  should be.  He  characterized the use                                                               
of spoofing  technology to impersonate  a police officer  as more                                                               
egregious  behavior   than  if  such  technology   were  used  to                                                               
impersonate  some other  type of  person,  and thus  he would  be                                                               
friendly towards any  amendment that would raise  the penalty for                                                               
impersonating a police  officer via the use  of fraudulent caller                                                               
ID technology.                                                                                                                  
CHAIR  McGUIRE  noted  that  there  are  statutes  pertaining  to                                                               
criminal  impersonation   in  the   first  degree   and  criminal                                                               
impersonation  in  the  second  degree  -  AS  11.46.565  and  AS                                                               
     Sec. 11.46.565.   Criminal  impersonation in  the first                                                                    
          (a) A person commits the crime of criminal                                                                            
     impersonation in the first degree if the person                                                                            
          (1) possesses an access device or identification                                                                      
     document of another person;                                                                                                
          (2) without authorization of the other person,                                                                        
     uses the  access device  or identification  document of                                                                    
     another  person   to  obtain  a   false  identification                                                                    
     document, open  an account at a  financial institution,                                                                    
     obtain  an   access  device,  or  obtain   property  or                                                                    
     services; and                                                                                                              
          (3) recklessly damages the financial reputation                                                                       
     of the other person.                                                                                                       
          (b) Criminal impersonation in the first degree is                                                                     
     a class B felony.                                                                                                          
     Sec. 11.46.570.   Criminal impersonation in  the second                                                                    
          (a) A person commits the crime of criminal                                                                            
     impersonation in the second degree if the person                                                                           
          (1) assumes a false identity and does an act in                                                                       
     the assumed character with intent  to defraud, commit a                                                                    
     crime, or obtain  a benefit to which the  person is not                                                                    
     entitled; or                                                                                                               
          (2) pretends to be a representative of some                                                                           
     person  or   organization  and  does  an   act  in  the                                                                    
     pretended  capacity with  intent to  defraud, commit  a                                                                    
     crime, or obtain  a benefit to which the  person is not                                                                    
          (b) Criminal impersonation in the second degree                                                                       
     is a class A misdemeanor.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE KOTT surmised, then,  that under AS 11.46.570, the                                                               
person could be charged with a class A misdemeanor.                                                                             
CHAIR McGUIRE  concurred, but  noted that HB  308 provides  for a                                                               
class B misdemeanor penalty.                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  said it  seems  as  though it  would  be                                                               
difficult  to either  prove a  person used  fraudulent caller  ID                                                               
technology, or to track down someone who has used it.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN  suggested  that  it might  be  possible  to                                                               
backtrack to the person who is using such technology.                                                                           
CHAIR McGUIRE, in response to  questions, pointed out that HB 308                                                               
provides for  a mental  state of  "knowingly," and  surmised that                                                               
someone might be charged with  this particular crime once another                                                               
crime  is committed  or a  complaint is  received and  the victim                                                               
reports  that  he/she received  a  phone  call from  someone  who                                                               
turned  out to  not be  the person  listed on  his/her caller  ID                                                               
system.   For  example,  one  could report  that  one's child  is                                                               
getting repeated phone  calls from someone who seems  to be using                                                               
fraudulent caller  ID technology,  and then that  situation could                                                               
be investigated by law enforcement.                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL pondered  whether  they  were creating  a                                                               
crime that can't be enforced.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  acknowledged that  this type of  crime could                                                               
be  very hard  to prove,  but  offered his  understanding that  a                                                               
fraudulent caller ID would be recorded  on a caller ID system and                                                               
so someone might be caught in that fashion.                                                                                     
CHAIR McGUIRE remarked that "knowingly" is a high standard.                                                                     
2:57:07 PM                                                                                                                    
ROBERT  DOUGLAS, PrivacyToday.com,  relayed that  he's spent  the                                                               
last   nine  years   as  an   information  security   consultant,                                                               
specifically  examining information  brokers and  others who  use                                                               
various types of  deceit in order to  obtain personal information                                                               
and, in many  cases, sell it on the Internet.   He mentioned that                                                               
he  recently  testified in  the  House  and  Senate of  the  U.S.                                                               
Congress on  [certain] issues, including  the issue of  caller ID                                                               
spoofing.   Mr.  Douglas said  that he  would like  to adopt  the                                                               
comments made  by Congressman Murphy and  Representative Lynn and                                                               
point  out that  the services  are  being used  at a  substantial                                                               
volume.    Furthermore,  there are  investigations  underway  and                                                               
although those investigations are  in their infancy, it's evident                                                               
that these  services and devices  are being used  successfully to                                                               
deceive  both consumers  and American  businesses into  divulging                                                               
proprietary and personal information.                                                                                           
MR. DOUGLAS said  that these devices are also  being used against                                                               
banks, companies, and  the military.  Furthermore,  they are used                                                               
in corporate espionage,  defeating the federal and  state "do not                                                               
call" lists,  and by pedophiles  and stalkers.  He  then referred                                                               
to a  case that  occurred in  New Hampshire  in which  deceit was                                                               
used  in a  murder case.   He  explained that  a woman  named Amy                                                               
Boyer was stalked  by a number of  years by a Liam Uen.   Mr. Uen                                                               
was documenting  the stalking  and his intent  to kill  Ms. Boyer                                                               
and others.   Moreover, Mr. Uen  went to a number  of information                                                               
brokers to obtain  personal information about Ms.  Boyer in order                                                               
to assist him  in conducting the murder.  Mr.  Uen used a company                                                               
that  called Ms.  Boyer's mother  pretending to  be an  insurance                                                               
company  that had  a  refund  for Ms.  Boyer  that  needed to  be                                                               
processed through  her employer.   Ms. Boyer's mother  thought it                                                               
was  a  legitimate  request  and turned  over  Ms.  Boyer's  work                                                               
address.   Within weeks, Ms. Boyer  was gunned down at  her place                                                               
of employment.                                                                                                                  
MR. DOUGLAS  opined that  the aforementioned  example graphically                                                               
illustrates that  if these services  can be used to  convince the                                                               
recipient of a  phone call that they are from  an organization to                                                               
which  the information  can be  legitimately  released, the  more                                                               
likely they are  to succeed.  He posited that  there is really no                                                               
legitimate  purpose   for  these   services,  and   therefore  he                                                               
applauded the introduction of HB 308.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG referred to page  1, line 6, and offered                                                               
his belief that  a national security agency  may potentially have                                                               
to do  this.  Therefore,  he questioned whether the  language "or                                                               
national  security   agency"  should   be  inserted   after  "law                                                               
enforcement agencies".                                                                                                          
3:02:09 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN said that he  would accept the aforementioned                                                               
as a friendly amendment.                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  made  a  motion  to  adopt  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 1, to insert, on page  1, line 6, after the words, "law                                                               
enforcement   agencies",  the   words,   "or  national   security                                                               
agencies".  There being no  objection, Conceptual Amendment 1 was                                                               
CHAIR  McGUIRE, after  ascertaining that  no one  else wished  to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony on HB 308.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA   said  that   he  couldn't  think   of  any                                                               
unintended consequences  of this legislation, but  suggested that                                                               
some thought  be given  to any possibilities.   He  surmised that                                                               
political polls  would be swept  in by this legislation  as well,                                                               
which he  said may not  be a bad  thing.   He then said  that the                                                               
legislation should be moved out of the committee.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN  pointed  out  that  HB  308  addresses  the                                                               
utilization of an actual device  that can be purchased at various                                                               
stores.   He also pointed out  that those performing polls  do so                                                               
using a regular telephone call.                                                                                                 
3:04:42 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  ANDERSON  moved to  report  the  proposed CS  for                                                               
HB 308, Version 24-LS0779\F, Bannister,  1/25/06, as amended, out                                                               
of   committee   with    individual   recommendations   and   the                                                               
accompanying zero fiscal  notes.  There being  no objection, CSHB
308(JUD)  was   reported  from   the  House   Judiciary  Standing                                                               
HJR 32 - CONST. AM: BENEFITS & MARRIAGE                                                                                       
[Contains  brief mention  of  SJR 20,  Senate  companion bill  to                                                               
HJR 32.]                                                                                                                        
3:05:01 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR McGUIRE  announced that the  final order of  business would                                                               
be HOUSE JOINT  RESOLUTION NO. 32, Proposing an  amendment to the                                                               
section of  the Constitution of  the State of Alaska  relating to                                                               
3:05:11 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL, speaking  as the  sponsor, relayed  that                                                               
HJR 32 was  engendered by the Alaska Supreme Court  ruling in the                                                               
2005  Alaska Civil  Liberties Union  v. State  & Municipality  of                                                             
Anchorage case regarding benefits  for same-sex couples, a ruling                                                             
with which he  disagrees.  He offered his belief  that in passing                                                               
the 1998  [marriage] amendment to the  Alaska State Constitution,                                                               
68  percent  of the  voters  also  had  the expectation  that  no                                                               
benefits would be granted based  on same-sex relationships.  [Via                                                               
HJR 32], he  is proposing that the people of  Alaska get a chance                                                               
to speak to this issue specifically;  he said his concern is that                                                               
the movement  to establish that same-sex  relationships are equal                                                               
to marriage  will have a  huge impact  on Alaska's whole  body of                                                               
law,  and  his hope,  as  the  resolution continues  through  the                                                               
process,  is  to have  statutes  and  other [provisions  of  law]                                                               
[underscore]  his  belief that  [no  benefits  should be  granted                                                               
based on same-sex relationships].                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  said he  is concerned  that the  only way                                                               
the people  of Alaska will have  an opportunity to speak  to this                                                               
issue  is via  a  constitutional amendment,  and  although he  is                                                               
reluctant  to   propose  any  amendment   to  the   Alaska  State                                                               
Constitution, his  view is that  there is a tension  between what                                                               
the people of Alaska think and  what the courts think.  He opined                                                               
that   the  legislature   has  been   clear  regarding   same-sex                                                               
relationships, even  putting it in  statute that the  benefits of                                                               
marriage  would   not  be  afforded  to   same-sex  couples;  the                                                               
legislature  has been  clear  on  what a  marriage  is, what  the                                                               
benefits  of marriage  are,  to  whom they  belong,  and yet  the                                                               
courts have gone right around that.                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL   surmised  that  some  will   raise  the                                                               
argument  that  [HJR  32]  is  discriminatory,  and  he  somewhat                                                               
agrees; "it's  discrete that a  marriage should be between  a man                                                               
and a woman, and the benefits  of marriage should be between that                                                               
man  and  that  woman  in  that  marriage."    To  allow  another                                                               
relationship to  be equal  to or congruent  with marriage  is not                                                               
something that "we  as a society" should do, he  opined.  He said                                                               
he would like to  appeal to the people of Alaska  and ask them if                                                               
"that's  what they  really  mean."   Again,  there  is a  tension                                                               
between how  the courts view this  issue and how the  people view                                                               
it, but unless the people get  a chance to speak, there will only                                                               
be the court's viewpoint to go by.                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  characterized the  language of HJR  32 as                                                               
being fairly clear, noting that it  says in part, "No other union                                                               
is  similarly  situated",  remarking  that  the  term  "similarly                                                               
situated" comes  directly from the aforementioned  Alaska Supreme                                                               
Court   decision  in   which  the   court   equated  a   same-sex                                                               
relationship to  marriage.  And  so by necessity, he  opined, the                                                               
language  in the  Alaska State  Constitution must  be changed  so                                                               
that  it speaks  to the  issue of  whether the  rights, benefits,                                                               
obligations,  qualities,  and  effects   of  marriage  should  be                                                               
extended to any other union.                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL said he is  sympathetic towards people who                                                               
need healthcare coverage and benefits,  but he stands firm in his                                                               
belief that  the relationship of  marriage is one of  the "health                                                               
cornerstones" of  the country.   He relayed  that he  would speak                                                               
more on this issue after the public has testified.                                                                              
3:11:44 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GARA said he doesn't  think the sponsor has stated                                                               
the  issue the  way  he  thinks it  is  being  presented to  [the                                                               
legislature].  He elaborated:                                                                                                   
     I think  the voters,  in 1998,  said marriage  shall be                                                                    
     between a man and a woman,  and I think you can respect                                                                    
     that  and  separately  consider   the  issue  ...  [of]                                                                    
     whether  ...  people  who   are  not  heterosexual  are                                                                    
     entitled to health  benefits at work.   I think they're                                                                    
     separate questions, and I don't  believe that you would                                                                    
     disrespect   the  [Alaska   State]  Constitution,   the                                                                    
     prohibition  against  same-sex   marriage,  by  letting                                                                    
     somebody  get health  benefits for  working -  or their                                                                    
     partner.   I  certainly  understand there  might be  an                                                                    
     opposition  to that  latter concept;  we can  have that                                                                    
     debate,  and I  want [to]  ... hear  the discussion  on                                                                    
     whether  ... we  should limit  health benefits  to only                                                                    
     straight couples,  but I don't think  that has anything                                                                    
     to do with the separate  question of same-sex marriage.                                                                    
     And   so   I   guess    I   don't   agree   with   your                                                                    
     characterization of the issue.                                                                                             
CHAIR McGUIRE asked members to refrain from using witnesses to                                                                  
profess their own views.                                                                                                        
3:14:38 PM                                                                                                                    
KEVIN  G.  CLARKSON,  Esq.,  Attorney   at  Law,  Brena,  Bell  &                                                               
Clarkson,  PC, relayed  that he'd  been  retained by  Legislative                                                               
Council  to  provide legal  advice  regarding  the recent  Alaska                                                               
Supreme Court  case, ACLU v.  State & Municipality  of Anchorage,                                                             
and  the proposed  amendments -  SJR 20  and HJR  32 -  that were                                                               
introduced in response to that case.  He then said:                                                                             
     By way  of introduction,  I was  legal counsel  for the                                                                    
     Alaska  legislature in  1998 in  the legal  action that                                                                    
     related to  whether the marriage amendment,  Article I,                                                                    
     Section  25, would  remain on  the ballot  so that  the                                                                    
     people  of Alaska  could vote  to  ratify it.   I  also                                                                    
     represented  the  Alaska  legislature in  the  original                                                                    
     same-sex marriage  case itself,  and I  was one  of the                                                                    
     primary drafters  of the marriage  amendment.   Now, in                                                                    
     order to  understand the significance  of HJR  32, it's                                                                    
     essential to  understand the history  that has  lead up                                                                    
     to its  introduction in the  legislature at  this time.                                                                    
     Relevant  history,  I  think, includes  events  in  the                                                                    
     United States  Congress, the Lower  48 states,  also in                                                                    
     Now, in  1996, Congress adopted the  federal Defense of                                                                    
     Marriage  Act  -  DOMA.   Congress  passed  [the]  DOMA                                                                    
     because of  a decades-long  assault that had  been made                                                                    
     in  various  courts   challenging  the  definition  and                                                                    
     constitutionality  of  marriage,  and  particularly  in                                                                    
     response  to  a Hawaii  court  decision  at that  time.                                                                    
     [The] DOMA  has two sections:   one defining "marriage"                                                                    
     for purposes  of federal law,  and the  other affirming                                                                    
     federalism  principles under  the authority  granted by                                                                    
     Article IV, Section 1, of  the U.S. Constitution, which                                                                    
     is  the  full  faith  and credit  clause.    The  first                                                                    
     section  of  [the] DOMA  states  that  for purposes  of                                                                    
     federal  law, marriage  means a  legal union  between a                                                                    
     man and  a woman.   The  second ...  section reaffirmed                                                                    
     the power  of the  states to  make their  own decisions                                                                    
     about marriage.                                                                                                            
     By way  of [the] DOMA,  all of the  various attributes,                                                                    
     benefits, and  privileges of marriage that  are created                                                                    
     or assigned  by federal  law, are assigned  or provided                                                                    
     only to,  one, "marriages,"  which are limited  to only                                                                    
     legal unions between  one man and one  woman as husband                                                                    
     and  wife,  or, two,  "spouses,"  which  is defined  in                                                                    
     [the] DOMA  as a person  of the  opposite sex who  is a                                                                    
     husband or a  wife.  Thus, under [the]  DOMA, and under                                                                    
     federal law,  none of the various  attributes, benefits                                                                    
     and/or privileges of marriage  that exist under federal                                                                    
     law  are available  to any  unmarried couples,  whether                                                                    
     same  sex or  opposite sex.   Now,  in Alaska,  ... the                                                                    
     marriage  amendment was  ratified by  the people,  on a                                                                    
     vote of 68 percent to 32 percent.                                                                                          
MR. CLARKSON continued:                                                                                                         
     Now, the Alaska marriage amendment  can be said to have                                                                    
     its  origin   in  reaction   to  a   specific  judicial                                                                    
     decision, much like HJR 32;  the marriage amendment was                                                                    
     ratified in response  to a decision by  ... [an Alaska]                                                                    
     Superior Court judge in a  case called Brause v. Bureau                                                                  
     of Vital  Statistics.  On  February 28, 1998,  that ...                                                                  
     judge  ruled  that   the  Alaska  [State]  Constitution                                                                    
     provided a  fundamental right to  marry someone  of the                                                                    
     same sex.                                                                                                                  
     Now, the  history of  Alaska's marriage  statute, which                                                                    
     is  relevant as  well, dates  back to  about the  early                                                                    
     turn  of  the  century; Alaska's  marriage  statute  is                                                                    
     based on  a territorial law, which  defined marriage as                                                                    
     being a  civil contract  entered into between  males of                                                                    
     the  age of  21, and  females  of the  age of  18.   In                                                                    
     [1959] the law was changed  slightly to change the ages                                                                    
     that people  could marry at;  in 1970, the  statute was                                                                    
     modified  to reduce,  from  "21" to  "19,"  the age  at                                                                    
     which a  man could  marry.   And, up  to this  point in                                                                    
     time,  Alaska's  marriage statutes  clearly  restricted                                                                    
     marriage to one man and one  woman - along with all the                                                                    
     benefits  and attributes  of marriage  that went  along                                                                    
     with marriage.                                                                                                             
     Now,   something  very   interesting,  and   also  very                                                                    
     unintended, occurred  in 1974.   The Alaska  revisor of                                                                    
     statutes  set  upon  the  task  of  rendering  Alaska's                                                                    
     statutes  "gender  neutral"  in language  and,  in  the                                                                    
     process,  made two  unintended  substantive changes  to                                                                    
     the  marriage statute,  one clear  and express  and the                                                                    
     other  implicit.  ... Now,  mind  you,  the revisor  of                                                                    
     statutes  has no  authority whatsoever  to be  changing                                                                    
     the substance of Alaska  statute; that's something that                                                                    
     only the  legislature is supposed  to be doing,  or the                                                                    
     people,  by initiative,  but  nonetheless it  occurred.                                                                    
     The  express substantive  change which  the revisor  of                                                                    
     statute's  made was  to change  the age  of permissible                                                                    
     marriage for  both genders to  19 from the  previous 19                                                                    
     for men and  18 for women.  And  the second substantive                                                                    
     change,  which  was only  implicit  in  effect, was  to                                                                    
     eliminate the words "man" and  "woman" from the statute                                                                    
     and insert the word "person" in their place.                                                                               
MR. CLARKSON added:                                                                                                             
     Now, while  gender neutrality is probably  a very noble                                                                    
     goal,  and appropriate  in the  context of  most Alaska                                                                    
     statutes,  from  the   standpoint  of  the  substantive                                                                    
     meaning and effect of the  marriage law, the result was                                                                    
     very drastic.  ... By eliminating  the words  "man" and                                                                    
     "woman"  from  the   marriage  statute,  the  revisor's                                                                    
     gender neutral language had  the appearance of changing                                                                    
     Alaska's  definition  of  marriage  to  being  a  civil                                                                    
     contract which  could be entered  into between  any two                                                                    
     persons,  presumably  of   any  combination  of  either                                                                    
     gender, who are 19 years [of age] or older.                                                                                
3:20:02 PM                                                                                                                    
     The statute  was again modified  in 1975, this  time by                                                                    
     the legislature  itself, to reduce the  age of marriage                                                                    
     to 18 for  both men and women,  and, apparently unaware                                                                    
     of the  substantive change  that had  been made  by the                                                                    
     revisor  at that  time, the  Legislature just  retained                                                                    
     the  gender-neutral language  and  didn't even  discuss                                                                    
     what  effect  it  might  have.   And  from  that  point                                                                    
     forward,  the marriage  statute remained  unchanged and                                                                    
     unchallenged for the next 21 years until 1996.                                                                             
     Now  just  a year  before  the  marriage amendment  was                                                                    
     adopted,  the   Alaska  Supreme  Court  heard   a  case                                                                    
     involving  two employees  of the  University of  Alaska                                                                    
     who  wanted  healthcare  insurance for  their  same-sex                                                                    
     partners.   The  employees challenged  the University's                                                                    
     decision not  to extend the benefits  to their same-sex                                                                    
     partners, claiming  that there  was a violation  of the                                                                    
     state  human  rights  Act,  which  prohibited  marital-                                                                    
     status discrimination.                                                                                                     
     The plaintiffs  in that case challenged  the University                                                                    
     of   Alaska  Fairbanks's   policies  limiting   spousal                                                                    
     benefits  to  the  husbands or  wives  of  its  married                                                                    
     employees.    The  superior court  judge  in  Fairbanks                                                                    
     pretty much set  loose a firestorm when  she ruled that                                                                    
     UAF  could  not  legally   limit  spousal  benefits  to                                                                    
     traditional husbands and wives,  basing her decision in                                                                    
     part  on the  revisor of  statute's 1974  bill and  the                                                                    
     sort of  inaction of  the legislature  in 1975  when it                                                                    
     failed  to mention  the impact  of that  gender neutral                                                                    
MR. CLARKSON also said:                                                                                                         
     Now,  suddenly, at  that time,  the Alaska  legislature                                                                    
     became very  aware of the potential  substantive change                                                                    
     that had taken place and  the impact that it would have                                                                    
     upon  the extension  of marriage  benefits, privileges,                                                                    
     and attributes.   And in 1995,  Representative [Norman]                                                                    
     Rokeberg introduced House Bill  227, which was designed                                                                    
     to define  marriage specific to  a man and a  woman and                                                                    
     to limit the  benefits and privileges of  marriage to a                                                                    
     marriage  between a  man  and a  woman,  and there  was                                                                    
     another bill, House Bill 226,  that was introduced also                                                                    
     at  that  same  time.   Those  bills  were  passed  and                                                                    
     enacted and  the statute was amended  to clearly define                                                                    
     marriage as  [between] a man  and a woman only,  and to                                                                    
     limit   the  benefits,   privileges,  attributes   [of]                                                                    
     marriage to  that marriage  relationship between  a man                                                                    
     and a woman.                                                                                                               
     Now, the plaintiffs  in the Brause case -  which is the                                                                  
     same-sex marriage case, which was  filed in 1995 also -                                                                    
     ... sought  marriage as a  doorway to the  benefits and                                                                    
     privileges that  the law bestows upon  married couples.                                                                    
     The plaintiffs  in Brause argued repeatedly  that there                                                                  
     are  some  115  benefits and  privileges  available  to                                                                    
     married couples under Alaska law,  which they could not                                                                    
     access.   The plaintiffs  in Brause  sought to  use the                                                                  
     status of  marriage as  a doorway  by which  they could                                                                    
     access   the  various   benefits   and  privileges   of                                                                    
     marriage,   and   attach   them   to   their   same-sex                                                                    
     The  Brause  litigation   treated  marital  status  and                                                                  
     marital benefits as being inseparable.   In Brause, the                                                                  
     plaintiffs  specifically   sought  benefits   based  on                                                                    
     marital  status.    In   fact,  the  [Alaska]  Superior                                                                    
     Court's  ruling in  Brause treated  marital status  and                                                                  
     benefits  as being  inseparable.   "Once married,"  the                                                                    
     court  said,  ...  "the  state  provides  benefits  and                                                                    
     imposes  duties that  are significant  and valuable  to                                                                    
     society as  well as  to the  individual members  of the                                                                    
     marriage." ...  Put another way, the  [Alaska] Superior                                                                    
     Court's  ruling treated  the benefits,  privileges, and                                                                    
     duties of  marriage as  being entirely  consequent upon                                                                    
     marital status.                                                                                                            
MR. CLARKSON then said:                                                                                                         
     Now,  the   marriage  amendment,   in  1998,   ...  was                                                                    
     specifically  designed to  close  marital  status as  a                                                                    
     doorway by  which same-sex couples, or  any combination                                                                    
     of opposite  sex couples,  other than  one man  and one                                                                    
     woman,  might access  the  benefits  and privileges  of                                                                    
     marriage.  The marriage  amendment as it was originally                                                                    
     introduced   in  the   legislature  as   [Senate  Joint                                                                    
     Resolution  42] contained  three sentences  - today  it                                                                    
     only has one - ... and  it provided that to be valid or                                                                    
     recognized  in the  state, a  marriage  may exist  only                                                                    
     between one man and one woman. ...                                                                                         
     The  second sentence  [said that]  no provision  of the                                                                    
     [Alaska  State]  Constitution  may  be  interpreted  to                                                                    
     require  the  state  to recognize  or  permit  marriage                                                                    
     between  individuals  of the  same  sex.   [The]  final                                                                    
     sentence  [said that]  additional requirements  related                                                                    
     to marriage may be  established to the extent permitted                                                                    
     by  the  Constitution  of the  United  States  and  the                                                                    
     Constitution  of  the  State  of  Alaska.    The  third                                                                    
     sentence   of  the   amendment  was   dropped  by   the                                                                    
     legislature during the legislative process.                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE, noticing that Mr.  Clarkson was merely reading his                                                               
written testimony,  requested that  he summarize,  since members'                                                               
packets  already  contained  that  19-page document.    She  also                                                               
mentioned to  Mr. Clarkson that Representative  Coghill has asked                                                               
that he remain  on line, listen to the remainder  of the meeting,                                                               
and be available as a resource.                                                                                                 
3:25:14 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. CLARKSON, in conclusion, then, opined  that HJR 32 is in line                                                               
with the  amendments that  have been passed  and proposed  in the                                                               
Lower 48, noting  that 19 states have marriage  amendments, 11 of                                                               
which contain  language very  similar or  identical in  effect to                                                               
HJR 32.   Also, there are 12 more states  with similar amendments                                                               
pending; should  these all be  adopted, there would be  31 states                                                               
with marriage amendments.  In response  to a question, he said he                                                               
didn't know why  originally men in Alaska had to  wait until they                                                               
were 21 to get married.                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  surmised that maturity might  have played                                                               
a role.                                                                                                                         
MR. CLARKSON, in response to  further questions, relayed that his                                                               
fee is $235 per hour, that his total  bill to the state so far is                                                               
probably  less  than   $4,000,  and  that  it  would   be  up  to                                                               
Legislative Council  to decide whether  he would also  be getting                                                               
paid for his time testifying before committees.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE GARA remarked,  "I think much of this  is really a                                                               
political debate  and not a  legal debate, and, frankly,  I don't                                                               
think that we  need to keep you  on line for the  next hour, hour                                                               
and a half, at $235 an hour, to listen to this."                                                                                
MR. CLARKSON said,  then, that he would not  bill the legislature                                                               
for [the time he remains on line].                                                                                              
3:29:02 PM                                                                                                                    
MAUREEN LONGWORTH, M.D., relayed that  she would be testifying on                                                               
behalf  of  both  herself  and   the  Alaska  Academy  of  Family                                                               
Physicians.   Referring to  the term  cornerstone, she  said that                                                               
she grew  up in a very  religious atmosphere, and her  family was                                                               
taught the  value of love and  of loving everyone at  the expense                                                               
of any judgment.  She offered:                                                                                                  
     My father entered the kitchen every morning saying to                                                                      
      my mother, "Oh, my vision of loveliness," before he                                                                       
     kissed  her.    This  was  taken  even  [further]  when                                                                    
     anybody  in  the  family  had a  need,  whether  it  be                                                                    
     something ... we could barely  afford; my father worked                                                                    
     very hard,  for our family  of nine people,  to support                                                                    
     us,  and it  wasn't easy.   Beyond  that, he  taught us                                                                    
     that in a religious context -  and he used the bible as                                                                    
     his  guide -  we would  extend  that kind  of love  and                                                                    
     fairness to others outside our family.                                                                                     
     I remember  when I was 10  years old, the first  time a                                                                    
     black student enrolled in my  grammar school, my father                                                                    
     sat  all  nine  of  us  down and  talked  to  us  about                                                                    
     discrimination, and  he said, "We will  treat Blen (ph)                                                                    
     as  we wish  to be  treated,  we will  always love  one                                                                    
     another the way  we wished to be loved."   Later, in my                                                                    
     thirties,  my  father  was  asked to  speak  at  a  gay                                                                    
     commitment ceremony,  and it  was at  a time  when that                                                                    
     was still  a very new  thing, and  I was very  proud of                                                                    
     the words  my father  spoke at  the microphone  at that                                                                    
     ceremony; it was:  "May  all the barriers that face you                                                                    
     and others  in your minority  group fall away,  and may                                                                    
     you  be met  by  the  love you  have  for one  another,                                                                    
     reflecting back to you, all the days of your lives."                                                                       
     You  know by  what I'm  saying that  I'm very  lucky to                                                                    
     have been  raised with my  father.  He obviously  was a                                                                    
     sacred  leader, someone  who went  beyond what  he felt                                                                    
     about  anyone  judgmentally, to  be  able  to teach  us                                                                    
     what's right  and wrong ...  [and] to practice  what he                                                                    
     preached to us  about love and about  equality and lack                                                                    
     of discrimination.   This made it easer for  me, when I                                                                    
     decided  to become  a physician,  to practice  that way                                                                    
     with my  patients, so  that I'm able  to walk  into the                                                                    
     emergency room  and give  non-discriminate care  to the                                                                    
     girl who was raped or to the uncle who raped her.                                                                          
DR.  LONGWORTH relayed  that what  the Alaska  Academy of  Family                                                               
Physicians is  pointing out, along  with the American  Academy of                                                               
Family  Physicians  -  which, respectively,  are  groups  of  355                                                               
doctors and  94,000 physicians in the  United States - is  that a                                                               
legislator's oath of  office is of a similar sacred  nature.  She                                                               
said she agrees  with Representative Gara that this  is not about                                                               
marriage  at  all,   but  is  instead  about   equal  access  for                                                               
healthcare.  She said:                                                                                                          
     This  is  a cornerstone  of  our  constitution, of  our                                                                    
     rights  as  Americans, to  be  able  to provide  better                                                                    
     health  for all  people,  and we  should certainly  not                                                                    
     change it in  our constitution.  We  believe, as people                                                                    
     who've taken  a sacred  oath, that  you who've  taken a                                                                    
     sacred oath  need to not let  this go to a  ballot box,                                                                    
     where people who do not  take any sacred oath are given                                                                    
     an  opportunity to  vote.    Whatever your  prejudices,                                                                    
     whatever your  feelings about gay marriage,  your duty,                                                                    
     as our  legislators, is to  guarantee health  access to                                                                    
     the families  of all  our workers.   In  actuality, and                                                                    
     you can look at any  statistics, ... when ... [such is]                                                                    
     provided for  more families, we know  that economically                                                                    
     we have  a ...  [stronger] nation.   We know,  as well,                                                                    
     that it strengthens the healthcare  of a people to have                                                                    
     benefits  -  there's  less  disease  and  there's  less                                                                    
     So we are asking you to  put aside your ideas of what's                                                                    
     discrimination  and  what's   not  discrimination;  all                                                                    
     these ...  thousands of physicians  are asking  you [to                                                                    
     understand] that  this is not  an issue for  the ballot                                                                    
     box.   It requires your  sacred oath, the one  that you                                                                    
     swore to  when you  came into office,  and I  hope that                                                                    
     some  of you,  enough  of you,  will be  as  big as  my                                                                    
     father, who taught me this at  a young age.  And I wish                                                                    
     for all  of you  that you  had the  example that  I had                                                                    
     growing  up,  and I'm  sorry  that  not everyone  does.                                                                    
     Thank you so much.                                                                                                         
DR.  LONGWORTH,  in closing,  offered  her  belief that  members'                                                               
packets  contain  a letter  from  the  Alaska Academy  of  Family                                                               
3:36:34 PM                                                                                                                    
PAULA TERREL  said she is  opposed to HJR  32, and would  like to                                                               
discuss two  points.   She relayed  that she's  been in  a loving                                                               
relationship for  20 years followed  by 7 years of  marriage, and                                                               
that she  used to work  for the legislature  - for 28  sessions -                                                               
and  had wanted  to "pull"  her retirement.   Doing  so, however,                                                               
meant that  she couldn't protect  her then-partner -  with regard                                                               
to  health  benefits  and survivor  benefits  -  without  getting                                                               
married,  and so  they were  married for  that practical  reason.                                                               
She had that choice, she pointed  out, because she happened to be                                                               
heterosexual,  but  those  that  are gay  don't  have  that  same                                                               
choice.   The issue of  equity is  what the Alaska  Supreme Court                                                               
was  speaking  to,  she  opined,  rather  than  to  the  marriage                                                               
amendment, which  was passed  while she  worked as  a legislative                                                               
MS. TERREL offered her  understanding that Representative Coghill                                                               
is concerned  that "opening  up ...  benefits for  state workers"                                                               
would open up a "Pandora's Box"  because it would open up so many                                                               
other  benefits  for  same-sex  couples;  her  response  to  that                                                               
concern is, "Why  not?"  To her, she relayed,  such would be fine                                                               
if the  couple is  in a  committed relationship.   She  urged the                                                               
committee to oppose HJR 32,  adding her belief that although some                                                               
issues should go  before the voters, some things  shouldn't - the                                                               
Alaska  State  Constitution is  more  powerful  in its  right  of                                                               
privacy  and  equal  protection   [clauses]  than  other  states.                                                               
Recalling testimony  provided during a Senate  committee hearing,                                                               
she  asked members  what they  think would  have happened  if, in                                                               
1965, the issue of integration had  been put before a vote of the                                                               
people; had such  been done, she surmised,  integration would not                                                               
have passed.   For  some issues, she  concluded, the  people must                                                               
rely on their legislators and on the Alaska Supreme Court.                                                                      
3:40:38 PM                                                                                                                    
DOUG VEIT,  after relaying  that he  is homosexual  and currently                                                               
doesn't  have  a partner,  said  he  is  very dismayed  that  the                                                               
supporters  of   HJR  32  are  bringing   forth  ponderous  legal                                                               
arguments, bending  over backwards,  in an attempt  to illustrate                                                               
the logic and order of this  proposal, and yet the very fact that                                                               
"we  are here  in the  first place"  is because  of illogic,  "no                                                               
thinking," and fear - all based  upon religious beliefs.  He went                                                               
on to say:                                                                                                                      
     I find  it very  disappointing that  now we  are having                                                                    
     logic when why  wasn't logic applied in  the very first                                                                    
     place    concerning   whether    there   is    anything                                                                    
     inappropriate about gay people  marrying.  It's already                                                                    
     been  mentioned  that  this amendment  is  nothing  but                                                                    
     flagrant and  blatant discrimination.   I find  it very                                                                    
     upsetting  that on  the  pretext  of citizens'  rights,                                                                    
     that the people of this  state should have the right to                                                                    
     fine-tune  this, the  original ignorance;  that on  the                                                                    
     basis  of  their  citizens'  rights,  you're  stripping                                                                    
     another group  of people of  their rights;  that you're                                                                    
     stripping human rights  from loyal, successful, useful,                                                                    
     instructive members of both  state government and state                                                                    
     citizenship just because of their gender orientation.                                                                      
     Why?    What  have  they ever  done  to  deserve  this?                                                                    
     Again, you're  favoring one  group over  another group,                                                                    
     all because  of ...  religious beliefs.   The arguments                                                                    
     of pros  and cons about  what constitutes a  gay person                                                                    
     and/or  those  relationships   has  never  really  been                                                                    
     adequately,  logically   discussed  or  debated.     In                                                                    
     conclusion,  I  just want  to  say  that anybody  who's                                                                    
     thinking  about  dollars  today,  that  that  issue  is                                                                    
     miniscule  and petty  in the  extreme  compared to  the                                                                    
     real damage done, willy-nilly, to  other humans for the                                                                    
     sake of somebody else's religious  beliefs.  I think if                                                                    
     this proposal is passed, ...  [then] the support for it                                                                    
     is  actually  representative  government  at  its  most                                                                    
     vicious, and, I think, in  its darkest mode.  Thank you                                                                    
     for your time.                                                                                                             
3:44:30 PM                                                                                                                    
KEVIN  DOUGHERTY,  mentioning  that  he is  a  retired  attorney,                                                               
stated that he strongly supports  HJR 32 and the Senate companion                                                               
bill.   He  offered his  recollection that  from the  time Alaska                                                               
became a  state, 27 amendments  to the Alaska  State Constitution                                                               
have  been  approved,   all  with  the  goal,   he  surmised,  of                                                               
reconciling the will of the  people with conflicting law or court                                                               
decision.   He  opined that  constitutional policy  questions are                                                               
very  different than  political  questions; characterized  Alaska                                                               
constitutional law as  the "organic law" of the  people; and read                                                               
the first  few words of the  Preamble, as well as  a good portion                                                               
of Article  I, Section  2, of the  Alaska State  Constitution, to                                                               
underscore his belief that it is  not the will of the legislature                                                               
or the  courts or  the executive branch  [to decide  this issue].                                                               
In   conclusion,   he   posited    that   although   the   Alaska                                                               
Constitutional   Convention  makes   no  mention   of  redefining                                                               
marriage, there  is constitutional  history surrounding  the 1998                                                               
marriage  amendment, and  opined  that they  ought  to honor  the                                                               
constitution and the "foundation" by  respecting the right of the                                                               
people to vote,  rather than viewing this issue  from a political                                                               
3:47:43 PM                                                                                                                    
LAURA MOSLEY-MINNE  thanked the committee for  the opportunity to                                                               
testify.    Acknowledging  that  Representative  Coghill  is  the                                                               
sponsor of  HJR 32, she  opined that  this proposal to  amend the                                                               
Alaska  State  Constitution's  definition of  marriage  will,  in                                                               
effect, limit  healthcare benefits to straight  couples only, and                                                               
will  specifically  discriminate  against  a  minority  group  of                                                               
people, and that, as her father's son has stated, "is simply un-                                                                
American."  She went on to say:                                                                                                 
     At  home, as  well  as  in our  schools,  we teach  our                                                                    
     children  to welcome  diversity, to  accept differences                                                                    
     in others,  and to be willing  to stand up for  what we                                                                    
     believe is  right.   I am the  mother of  a 10-year-old                                                                    
     son.  Both his father  and myself work hard at teaching                                                                    
     him to be  tolerant of behavior he  may not understand.                                                                    
     We encourage him  to search deeper to  find meaning and                                                                    
     worth in another  person he may not agree  with or even                                                                    
     like.   We teach him  about acceptance and  about being                                                                    
     Children are  not born with discriminating  thoughts or                                                                    
     prejudices, they  are learned ... [from]  the adults in                                                                    
     their  lives.    Parents  and leaders  alike  have  the                                                                    
     responsibility to our children  to begin, as a society,                                                                    
     to   walk  this   talk  of   embracing  diversity   and                                                                    
     demonstrating their belief in  equality and justice for                                                                    
     all.   As  representatives for  all the  people, I  ask                                                                    
     that  you do  not discriminate  against those  that may                                                                    
     not  believe as  you do.   I  want to  remind you  that                                                                    
     same-sex  couples are  people who  believe in  god, and                                                                    
     are   doctors,  your   friends,  your   children,  your                                                                    
     coworkers, your family members.                                                                                            
     These are  people who, like  you, have  fully committed                                                                    
     to  sharing  their  lives and  hearts  with  one  other                                                                    
     person.    This  issue   is  about  discrimination  and                                                                    
     inequality.  I  ask that you search  within yourself to                                                                    
     find what  your real  intention and truth  is.   We are                                                                    
     people who  vote, who have  strong voices,  values, and                                                                    
     commitments to  our families, communities, and  to this                                                                    
     beautiful state.   We  are not odd  or despicable.   We                                                                    
     just happen  to love differently  than you may.   I ask                                                                    
     that you take  a stand for what is truth  and just, and                                                                    
     do not  allow the proposed  [resolution] ... to  go any                                                                    
3:50:54 PM                                                                                                                    
KIM  PATTERSON  thanked  the committee  for  the  opportunity  to                                                               
testify on HJR 32, and relayed  that he has been married 19 years                                                               
and makes a living helping people.   He offered three reasons for                                                               
putting this  issue before Alaska  voters.  One, it  will provide                                                               
Alaskans a final opportunity to  restate more clearly - statewide                                                               
and to the rest  of the nation - what was  determined in the 1998                                                               
marriage amendment,  that the  majority of  Alaskans hold  to the                                                               
view  that marriage  in  Alaska should  be  defined, legally,  as                                                               
being a union between  one man and one woman.   Two, it will draw                                                               
more people to  the polls, people who will want  to make it known                                                               
that they feel marriage should be  between one man and one woman.                                                               
And three, as  an African-American male, he is  insulted by those                                                               
who bring  up the issue  of discrimination  because of race  as a                                                               
basis for  acquiring healthcare, since members  of minority races                                                               
can't choose their race.  He  expressed his hope that HJR 32 will                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  asked  testifiers  to  try  to  keep  their                                                               
comments civil and non-personal.                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL concurred, but  added that he doesn't want                                                               
people to refrain from expressing their passion on this issue.                                                                  
3:54:42 PM                                                                                                                    
DEBBIE  JOSLIN,  Eagle Forum  Alaska,  thanked  the sponsors  for                                                               
introducing HJR 32 and SJR 20.  She said:                                                                                       
     Since the  beginning of  history, marriage  between one                                                                    
     man and  one woman has  been recognized as  special and                                                                    
     unique.   The  people  of Alaska  thought  we had  made                                                                    
     ourselves quite clear on this  subject in 1998, when we                                                                    
     voted  overwhelmingly to  adopt the  marriage amendment                                                                    
     as  part  of  our  [Alaska] State  Constitution.    The                                                                    
     Alaska  Supreme Court  has  once  again undermined  the                                                                    
     will  of the  people  in their  October 2005  decision.                                                                    
     The court's ruling to mandate  the state to pay spousal                                                                    
     benefits to same-sex partners  of state employees shows                                                                    
     no regard for the meaning and spirit of the law.                                                                           
     The [Alaska] Supreme Court is  supposed to be upholding                                                                    
     our constitution,  but has instead chosen  to attempt a                                                                    
     rewrite by legislating from the  bench; ... the meaning                                                                    
     of the  amendment in  1998 was  very clear  to everyone                                                                    
     but the [Alaska]  Supreme Court.  So now  we are forced                                                                    
     to spell out, in capital  letters, that marriage is for                                                                    
     one  man and  one woman,  and marriage  is special  and                                                                    
     unique  from any  other relationship.   Passing  HJR 32                                                                    
     will  allow the  people of  Alaska to  clarify what  we                                                                    
     said  in  1998,  for  those  who  did  not  understand.                                                                    
     Please pass this ... [resolution].  Thank you.                                                                             
3:56:29 PM                                                                                                                    
KAREN TAFT WELLS noted that she has worked for the State of                                                                     
Alaska for 27 years and is taking annual leave in order to be                                                                   
present to testify.  She said:                                                                                                  
     The [Alaska] State Constitution  says that I have equal                                                                    
     protection  under   the  law.     What  some   of  your                                                                    
     colleagues have proposed to do  is take that right away                                                                    
     from a  certain class of  people and say  that everyone                                                                    
     is protected except for gays  and lesbians.  By placing                                                                    
     this [resolution]  on the  fall ballot,  you will  be a                                                                    
     party  to  further  discrimination  against  a  certain                                                                    
     class of people.   I am one of those  people, and I ask                                                                    
     you to stop this initiative today.                                                                                         
     I have  thought about  this issue  for many  years, and                                                                    
     had many conversations about what  is the truth.  In my                                                                    
     mind, the truth is that  this is an issue of separation                                                                    
     of church and  state, that each church  across the land                                                                    
     should  let their  congregations  decide  who and  what                                                                    
     they  want to  recognize  as marriage  in  the eyes  of                                                                    
     their  chosen  god  and beliefs.    State  and  federal                                                                    
     government,   however,   should  be   responsible   for                                                                    
     granting to  all people  equal protection,  rights, and                                                                    
     benefits.   Since this is  not the system  within which                                                                    
     we   live,   you   as   our   elected   officials   and                                                                    
     representatives need to protect all citizens.                                                                              
     When  Alaskans chose  to deny  gay and  lesbian couples                                                                    
     the right to marry,  discrimination happened - this lie                                                                    
     was written into the constitution.   The reason it is a                                                                    
     lie is  that I  exist, I  am here, I  am a  resident of                                                                    
     this state, I  work for the state, I love  a woman, and                                                                    
     my god  holds a space  for any  person who loves  to be                                                                    
     treated equally.  The Constitution  denies me the right                                                                    
     to receive  a marriage  license, which is  the document                                                                    
     that   bestows   benefits  to   heterosexual   couples.                                                                    
     Because   I   cannot   obtain   the   license,   I   am                                                                    
     discriminated  against in  terms of  being granted  the                                                                    
     same benefits my married co-workers receive.                                                                               
     Why  is there  anything written  into the  constitution                                                                    
     about human  genitalia?  Why  can't we make  laws based                                                                    
     on  the  human  heart?    The heart  is  the  organ  of                                                                    
     perception,  it is  the organ  where  love arises,  and                                                                    
     where my love for another  is as precious and deserving                                                                    
     as  yours.   My heart  longs to  join with  another and                                                                    
     create a  divine union just  as yours does.   Who cares                                                                    
     if my love is for a woman,  rather than a man, and if I                                                                    
     want to share  my life with a woman?   What business is                                                                    
     it  of yours  or any  other  person who  lives in  this                                                                    
     state to judge who and how I love?                                                                                         
     The  people  of  this  state   do  not  vote  on  union                                                                    
     contracts,  on GGU  or legislative  pay  raises or  any                                                                    
     other  personnel policies.    Why should  they vote  on                                                                    
     this particular issue?   How do you  think the majority                                                                    
     would vote?   Do  you really think  the people  of this                                                                    
     state  can navigate  the legal  waters better  and more                                                                    
     fairly  than  our esteemed  Alaska  Supreme  Court?   I                                                                    
     don't.   I think the  wording of this  [resolution] ...                                                                    
     is mean  spirited and seeks  to discriminate  against a                                                                    
     class  of   employees  that  you,  as   the  body  that                                                                    
     represents  us,  are  responsible for  protecting.    A                                                                    
     better question  to put to  the voters would be  to ask                                                                    
     if they  want to limit  the equal protection  clause so                                                                    
     that it no longer applies to unmarried individuals.                                                                        
     And lastly,  what scares me  the most is  that amending                                                                    
     the constitution to  discriminate against some citizens                                                                    
     will set  the standard for  any other minorities  to be                                                                    
     written  out of  the constitution.   Because  I am  ...                                                                    
     part of a minority group  should not lessen my value or                                                                    
     worth as  an employee.   What  group will  be next?   I                                                                    
     hired  a  new  employee  last  week  and  she  has  two                                                                    
     children  - three  new people  for the  state insurance                                                                    
     benefits without a thought,  let alone a constitutional                                                                    
     change.   It  gave  me  pause.   I  passed  a car  this                                                                    
     morning with  a bumper  sticker [that  said]:   "If the                                                                    
     people lead, the leaders will follow."                                                                                     
     I pray  that your  decision will be  in service  of the                                                                    
     truth and  right action, rather than  political agendas                                                                    
     influenced by  constituents who  do not  have tolerance                                                                    
     for   human   differences.     Thank   you   for   this                                                                    
     opportunity, and  [I] just hope  you know that  this is                                                                    
     such an emotional thing to sit before you and do this.                                                                     
4:00:52 PM                                                                                                                    
BEN KRALL, after relaying that he is 10 years old and was born                                                                  
and raised in Juneau, said he would be testifying against HJR
32.  He said:                                                                                                                   
     I know  that the legislature  has already made  one big                                                                    
     mistake by  stopping gays and lesbians  from being able                                                                    
     to  marry.   I  was  the  ring  bearer in  the  joining                                                                    
     ceremony  of two  of  my really  good  friends who  are                                                                    
     lesbian.  I  just can't believe you think  that any two                                                                    
     people are  less than any  other people, when  they are                                                                    
     so much in love with each  other.  But now you are just                                                                    
     going too  far.  You are  trying to make life  for gays                                                                    
     and lesbians harder than ever  by taking away from them                                                                    
     so many things  that all people deserve to  have.  Like                                                                    
     they want  to be able to  take care of the  people that                                                                    
     they love and  their children, but you're  not going to                                                                    
     let them have insurance and other things they need.                                                                        
     My  friends are  about to  start a  family, and  I know                                                                    
     they'll be  really good  at it.   They have  babysat me                                                                    
     many times, come to lots  of my soccer games, taught me                                                                    
     how  to  play cribbage,  taken  me  on hikes,  fed  me,                                                                    
     played at the  beach, come to all  my birthday parties,                                                                    
     and just  been great friends.   My parents  have chosen                                                                    
     them as  some of the people  who might take care  of me                                                                    
     if both  Mom and  Dad died, and  I think  they're great                                                                    
     choices.   But what if  you pass this amendment  to the                                                                    
     Alaska  [State] Constitution?    I don't  know all  the                                                                    
     rights that  married people  get, but  I have  heard of                                                                    
     some of them.                                                                                                              
     How  will  they   be  able  to  pay   for  their  kids'                                                                    
     insurance?   And how will  they have the right  to take                                                                    
     care of me?   Or if one of them  got really sick, could                                                                    
     the other one even have the  right to visit them in the                                                                    
     hospital?   My aunt is  a lesbian too, and  her partner                                                                    
     is a  great aunt  to me.   They  have been  together 27                                                                    
     years,  which is  a  really long  time.  ... Don't  you                                                                    
     think  that   proves  they  deserve  all   the  rights,                                                                    
     benefits,  obligations,  qualities,   or  effects  that                                                                    
     married people get?  I sure  do.  And I would be really                                                                    
     disgusted  with  the  legislature  if  it  passes  this                                                                    
     horrible amendment.  Lots of  my friends I've talked to                                                                    
     about this agree  with me.  Here's some  advice for you                                                                    
     that my  mom always  says to me:   "Really  think about                                                                    
     what you're doing."  Please stop trying to do this.                                                                        
4:03:52 PM                                                                                                                    
CINDY BOESSER, after  remarking that she is fortunate  to be able                                                               
to be  married, and that  she is  "birthmother" to one  child and                                                               
stepmother  to  another, relayed  that  she  would be  testifying                                                               
against HJR 32.  She said:                                                                                                      
     It is  blatantly discriminatory  against a  minority of                                                                    
     Alaska  residents.   [It's] simply  unthinkable to  put                                                                    
     such  an amendment  in the  great  Constitution of  the                                                                    
     State  of Alaska,  even  if 99  percent  of the  voters                                                                    
     shared  a prejudice  against gays  and  lesbians.   Why                                                                    
     would it be wrong?  Because  we live in a country where                                                                    
     equal  rights are  supposed to  be guaranteed  for each                                                                    
     and every individual of all  minority groups, no matter                                                                    
     how un-accepting the  majority of the voters  is at the                                                                    
     We learned this in the  South, with the white Christian                                                                    
     majority  righteously denying  minority rights  just as                                                                    
     long as they possibly could.   We learned it in Europe,                                                                    
     when the Jews,  the mentally ill, the  gypsies, and the                                                                    
     gays  and   lesbians  were   murdered  by   the  white,                                                                    
     Christian, straight German majority.   We learned it in                                                                    
     World War  II at  the expense of  our Japanese-American                                                                    
     minority  friends and  neighbors, who  were heartlessly                                                                    
     interned,  with [the]  ethnic  majority's approval,  in                                                                    
     the name  of god  and our  country.   We learned  it in                                                                    
     Alaska  as the  peoples of  this great  land were  laid                                                                    
     waste   by    the   aggressive    majority's   cultural                                                                    
     destruction, in many cases led by the missionaries.                                                                        
     It greatly  saddens me now  to see this effort,  by so-                                                                    
     called Christian legislators,  proposing such a hateful                                                                    
     amendment  to our  [Alaska  State]  Constitution.   The                                                                    
     Jesus  I  know  loved  and  accepted  the  outcasts  of                                                                    
     society.   And unfortunately, at this  point in history                                                                    
     in  this country,  gays and  lesbians  are still  often                                                                    
     outcasts.     But  they're  also  my   friends  and  my                                                                    
     neighbors  and my  coworkers  and my  family.   I  love                                                                    
     them.   And  I see  them in  long-term, very  committed                                                                    
     relationships.    And I  insist  that  they deserve  to                                                                    
     receive equal compensation for  their work, which means                                                                    
     they  must receive  equal benefits  regardless of  what                                                                    
     you think of as marriage;  this is not about marriage -                                                                    
     you're  trying to  put it  on there.  ... Their  rights                                                                    
     must  be protected,  even  if only  a  minority of  one                                                                    
     speaks up for them.                                                                                                        
     Don't you dare put  [this amendment] before the voters;                                                                    
     they have  done horrible things  in the past,  and they                                                                    
     could ... [again].   Please take [a] good  hard look at                                                                    
     history  as  you  consider this  appalling  resolution.                                                                    
     Don't repeat  the mistakes of zealots  throughout time,                                                                    
     no matter  how many of your  constituents pressure you.                                                                    
     For when we allow the  majority to determine the rights                                                                    
     of  the minorities,  none of  us will  be safe.   Thank                                                                    
4:06:52 PM                                                                                                                    
BARBARA  BELKNAP, after  relaying  that she  is  a retired  state                                                               
employee and currently  owns her own business, said  she would be                                                               
testifying  in opposition  to  HJR  32 and  for  equal rights  as                                                               
guaranteed by the Alaska State Constitution.  She offered:                                                                      
     This  resolution and  its  companion [resolution]  have                                                                    
     given  Alaskans  a  forum for  debate  about  fairness,                                                                    
     preserving equal  rights for all in  our [Alaska State]                                                                    
     Constitution,  and  the  role  of  the  three  separate                                                                    
     branches  of  government.     Challenging  the  [Alaska                                                                    
     Supreme] Court's  decision has provided  an opportunity                                                                    
     for   some   Alaskans   to   express   their   visceral                                                                    
     condemnation of homosexuality, and  for others to speak                                                                    
     out for  the right of  Alaskans in the gay  and lesbian                                                                    
     I  am a  57-year-old white  heterosexual woman  who has                                                                    
     been married to  the same man since 1969.   We have two                                                                    
     adult children  we're very proud  of and  two beautiful                                                                    
     grandchildren.   As  a retired  state  employee I  have                                                                    
     health insurance that covers my  husband.  As a retired                                                                    
     Coast  Guard  officer,  he has  health  insurance  that                                                                    
     covers me.   As children  of United States  Marines, we                                                                    
     have had some form  of guaranteed healthcare our entire                                                                    
     lives.  As children and  later as young married adults,                                                                    
     we  took  healthcare  for granted.    Now  we  consider                                                                    
     health  insurance  to  be  one  of  our  most  valuable                                                                    
     My sister Kathy is 53 years  old.  She is the mother of                                                                    
     two grown  children and the  grandmother of  two little                                                                    
     boys.   For many  years she owned  her own  business in                                                                    
     the  small  town  of  Montello,  Wisconsin.    She  was                                                                    
     elected  to the  school board  and served  as a  parish                                                                    
     lector and  member of  the parish  council at  St. John                                                                    
     the  Baptist Catholic  Church.   When she  was 47,  she                                                                    
     embarked on  a different  life path.   At [the  age of]                                                                    
     50,  Kathy earned  her degree  in pastoral  ministry at                                                                    
     Dominican  University in  Chicago and  is now  a social                                                                    
     worker with a nonprofit in Connecticut.                                                                                    
MS. BELKNAP continued:                                                                                                          
     Kathy  is  also a  lesbian;  she  "came out"  in  2002.                                                                    
     Kathy and her partner Leslie,  who is also a mother and                                                                    
     grandmother, have  lived lives as married  women in the                                                                    
     past.  They  are acutely aware of the  legal and social                                                                    
     inequities  between  their previous  privileged  status                                                                    
     and  now.   While they  can be  their authentic  selves                                                                    
     now,  they cannot  live whole  lives  because they  are                                                                    
     reminded on  a daily  basis, in  small and  large ways,                                                                    
     that  they are  less than  equal.   When my  sister got                                                                    
     married at [the age of] 21  to a cowboy who rode bulls,                                                                    
     my  first reaction  was, "Everybody  knows bull  riders                                                                    
     are  trouble"; and  he was  - and  they divorced  seven                                                                    
     years later.                                                                                                               
     But when she came out as  a lesbian at age 50, my first                                                                    
     reaction was  fear for her.   What  must it be  like to                                                                    
     read articles  and letters to  the editor  almost every                                                                    
     day  vilifying who  you are?    I also  feared for  her                                                                    
     personal safety  - that year  a man was charged  with a                                                                    
     hate   crime  for   murdering  two   lesbians  on   the                                                                    
     Appalachian Trail.   I've learned  a great deal  in the                                                                    
     past three  years.  Sara Boesser's  book, Silent Lives:                                                                  
     How High  a Price?  is an excellent  resource.   I know                                                                  
     that Kathy's community has lists  of safe and welcoming                                                                    
     [places] for  lesbians to stay on  vacation, relatively                                                                    
     safe towns to travel to,  and states that allow them to                                                                    
     be relatively full citizens.                                                                                               
     It's taken  Kathy two years  to find a new  church that                                                                    
     welcomes  her unconditionally.    Here  is a  religious                                                                    
     woman  with  a degree  in  pastoral  ministry who  must                                                                    
     search  for a  spiritual  home.   Straight people  have                                                                    
     become  agnostics  for  less.    Does  all  this  sound                                                                    
     familiar?  These are  humiliations minorities know only                                                                    
     too well.   Their full  citizenship is relative  - they                                                                    
     face physical  danger, even death, because  of who they                                                                    
     are    as   people.       I    firmly   believe    that                                                                    
     institutionalized   discrimination  against   gays  and                                                                    
     lesbians will  be a thing  of the past in  my lifetime,                                                                    
     but prejudices  live in people's hearts,  and [so] it's                                                                    
     up to our government to take the high road.                                                                                
     Civil  rights for  Alaska  Natives,  voting rights  for                                                                    
     blacks, school desegregation, a  woman's right to vote,                                                                    
     and the American  Disabilities Act all came  out of the                                                                    
     courts  and the  halls  of state  legislatures and  the                                                                    
     Congress.    The  court decision  that  generated  this                                                                    
     resolution  is about  fairness  and  healthcare.   City                                                                    
     governments and private employers  all over the country                                                                    
     are providing  health benefits to same-sex  couples and                                                                    
     the world continues to rotate on its axis.                                                                                 
     The   United   States   of    America   is   the   only                                                                    
     industrialized country  that does not have  a universal                                                                    
     healthcare system.  What outrages  me is that uninsured                                                                    
     parents  have to  organize  fundraisers  to save  their                                                                    
     sick  children's  lives, and  what  shocks  me is  that                                                                    
     medical  bills are  the number  one cause  of financial                                                                    
     ruin in the  world's richest nation.   There are states                                                                    
     with fewer resources and a  lot more people than Alaska                                                                    
     considering  some kind  of  statewide health  insurance                                                                    
     program.   It would  make me very  proud if  the energy                                                                    
     being  expended  on this  resolution  and  SJR 20  were                                                                    
     channeled into the creation  of an all-inclusive health                                                                    
     insurance system for Alaska.                                                                                               
MS. BELKNAP concluded:                                                                                                          
     This morning, the opening prayer  in the [Alaska State]                                                                    
     House  of Representatives  called for  light and  love.                                                                    
     This  amendment  is  about   neither  light  nor  love.                                                                    
     Preserve  our  constitution's   equal  protections  for                                                                    
     Alaskans -  please vote no  on this resolution.   Thank                                                                    
4:12:08 PM                                                                                                                    
JAMES  GRAY, noting  that he  is employed  by the  Anchorage Fire                                                               
Department, indicated that he would  be speaking in opposition to                                                               
HJR 32 because it is  discriminatory in nature and would enshrine                                                               
that discrimination  in the  Alaska State  Constitution.   In the                                                               
current climate  of "religious-rule  mentality," he  remarked, it                                                               
may  be  that this  proposed  constitutional  amendment would  be                                                               
approved  by  the  voters,  but   50  years  in  the  future,  he                                                               
predicted, the DOMA  and this proposed amendment  will clearly be                                                               
seen as discriminatory and plainly  wrong.  "It's simply wrong to                                                               
deny my partner  and I the [same] benefits [that  are granted] to                                                               
those ... who  are allowed to marry simply on  the basis of their                                                               
sexuality, and  I ask you  to table this  discriminatory proposal                                                               
because it makes me a second  class citizen and its hurtful to my                                                               
family," he concluded, and thanked the committee.                                                                               
4:13:13 PM                                                                                                                    
GREG  SCHMIDT  relayed that  he  appreciates  the opportunity  to                                                               
testify in  favor of HJR 32.   He suggested that  members look at                                                               
the logic of the Alaska Supreme  Court's decision and where it is                                                               
likely  to  lead  the  state.    For  example,  the  court  first                                                               
identifies a duty  to define the liberty of all,  and then states                                                               
that the  express goal of  state government is to  limit benefits                                                               
to  "truly close"  relationships.   He opined  that this  concept                                                               
throws out the actual wording  of the [Alaska State] Constitution                                                               
and presumes that a person's  liberty includes deciding what sort                                                               
of sexual  relationship is  most satisfying  to him/her  and then                                                               
that  decision, by  implication,  becomes part  of that  person's                                                               
identity,  thereby   engendering  a  state  obligation   to  fund                                                               
benefits for  the parties  in that  "close relationship."   Under                                                               
that logic,  he surmised,  the state would  be helpless  to limit                                                               
the extension of benefits to  "other living arrangements" such as                                                               
polygamy  or  group  sexual  relationships  if  the  participants                                                               
declare that they are committed and truly close.                                                                                
MR. SCHMIDT opined that although  this "logic" implicitly accepts                                                               
the idea  that sexual preference is  an immutable trait, it  is a                                                               
weak  foundation  upon  which  to  upend  the  legislature's  and                                                               
voters'  decision to  define what  marriage  is.   If the  Alaska                                                               
Supreme Court's ruling  is allowed to remain  unchallenged by the                                                               
legislature,  he predicted,  Alaska could  become fertile  ground                                                               
for the  overturning of the  DOMA - thereby weakening  the fabric                                                               
of  marriage  -  because  if   the  legislature  concedes  ground                                                               
regarding same-sex  civil unions,  benefits, adoption,  and other                                                               
incidents  of marriage,  the courts  may  well view  it as  state                                                               
policy,  which could  then be  used in  attempts to  overturn the                                                               
MR. SCHMIDT  said that this is  an issue for the  ballot box, and                                                               
clearly affects the  stability of the family as well  as the very                                                               
fabric of society;  this is an issue of  discrimination against a                                                               
behavior,  rather  than against  what  a  person is,  and  merely                                                               
addresses  a demand  by a  small, vocal  minority that  taxpayers                                                               
subsidize a  certain lifestyle.   Other states have  proposed and                                                               
adopted  constitutional amendments  protecting  marriage and  its                                                               
benefits, and it is time that  Alaska do the same, he opined, and                                                               
concluded with a request that the legislature allow this                                                                        
important issue to go before the voters.                                                                                        
4:17:19 PM                                                                                                                    
CHARLES  L. O'CONNELL,  after  indicating that  he  is a  married                                                               
father  of  five  [grown]  children, relayed  that  he  would  be                                                               
testifying in opposition to HJR 32  on behalf of all seven of his                                                               
family members, all of whom are frequent voters.  He said:                                                                      
     The first Americans have lived  on our continent for at                                                                    
     least  30,000 years;  Columbus got  close in  1492; the                                                                    
     pilgrims   arrived   in   1620;  the   Declaration   of                                                                    
     Independence  was signed  by 56  delegates  on July  4,                                                                    
     1776; and  our [U.S.]  Constitution was ratified  by 14                                                                    
     states between  1787 and 1791.   Well guess what?   Not                                                                    
     one single person among the  millions alive during this                                                                    
     entire  period  of our  nation's  early  history had  a                                                                    
     marriage license.  I'm sure  that the millions who were                                                                    
     married during  this historical period  were recognized                                                                    
     as married by their respective contemporaries.                                                                             
     Why oh why is my country  so caught up in this marriage                                                                    
     debate?  It  is not a time to further  limit the rights                                                                    
     and benefits  of citizens who  share housing  without a                                                                    
     government  marriage license.    The marriage  license,                                                                    
     after  all,  was originally,  and  has  always been,  a                                                                    
     tyrannical way  to legally oppress minorities.   People                                                                    
     promoting  this  amendment  are  the  same  ideological                                                                    
     purists  who  want  to   make  some  medical  decisions                                                                    
     between  a  woman and  her  doctor  illegal, they  want                                                                    
     certain  religious dogma  in  courthouses and  schools,                                                                    
     they  brazenly interfere  with the  right  to die,  and                                                                    
     they oppose  enlightened scientific research  with stem                                                                    
     For  me, nothing  could be  more threatening  than this                                                                    
     stupid, continued interference  in the personal privacy                                                                    
     of some  of Alaska's citizens with  whom some disagree.                                                                    
     This  entire interference  in marriage  was created  in                                                                    
     the  first   place  by   government  oppression   of  a                                                                    
     consensual  relationship between  consenting adults  of                                                                    
     mixed  race.   And  now  there  are those  in  elective                                                                    
     office who  are seriously considering  further limiting                                                                    
     those constitutional  rights and benefits  solely based                                                                    
     on whom we live with.   What the state should do is get                                                                    
     out of  the privacy of  our homes, and provide  for our                                                                    
     public safety and promote our general welfare.                                                                             
     Tyranny  by   the  majority  is   extremely  dangerous.                                                                    
     Remember,  we  are  all   minorities  in  some  degree.                                                                    
     Racial   segregation,  striking   down  "separate   but                                                                    
     equal,"  the right  to  interracial marriage,  striking                                                                    
     down  sodomy  laws,  and the  constitutional  right  to                                                                    
     equal  benefits for  all are  all the  result of  court                                                                    
     decisions.  Were it up  to the tyranny of the majority,                                                                    
     all  of  these  enumerated   rights  would  not  exist.                                                                    
     Marriage  has  long  been a  vehicle  used  to  oppress                                                                    
     minority groups.                                                                                                           
     You can be  [a] pawn or you can be  a statesman on this                                                                    
     issue -  the choice  is yours.   I  urge [you]  to keep                                                                    
     your  oath  of office  and  uphold  the [Alaska  State]                                                                    
     Constitution - don't  turn your back and  vote to limit                                                                    
     it - please oppose House Joint Resolution 32.                                                                              
4:21:07 PM                                                                                                                    
RANDY   MAGEN,  Ph.D.,   President,   Alaska  Chapter,   National                                                               
Association of  Social Workers  (NASW), said  he agrees  with the                                                               
sponsor's  comment that  the  issue of  marriage  was settled  in                                                               
Alaska in 1998.   Furthermore, he opined, neither HJR  32 nor the                                                               
aforementioned  Alaska Supreme  Court  case have  anything to  do                                                               
with  marriage.   That court  case was  decided on  the issue  of                                                               
equal protection,  and the  first sentence  in the  conclusion of                                                               
that case says,  "We conclude that the  public employers' spousal                                                               
limitations  violate the  Alaska Constitution's  equal protection                                                               
clause."  He went on to say:                                                                                                    
     I've heard  speakers who've  believed it  was necessary                                                                    
     to begin their testimony  by talking about whether they                                                                    
     were heterosexual or homosexual,  married or single, or                                                                    
     how they worship  god, all of which  I consider private                                                                    
     behavior,  private  behavior  which the  state  has  no                                                                    
     interest [in] or right to  interfere with.  And, again,                                                                    
     this  legislation   has  nothing  to  do   with  sexual                                                                    
     orientation,  marriage,  or  religious beliefs  -  it's                                                                    
     about equal protection.   So the Alaska  chapter of the                                                                    
     National Association  of Social  Workers is  opposed to                                                                    
     HJR 32 for philosophical and practical reasons.                                                                            
     Philosophically,  this legislation  conflicts with  the                                                                    
     core values of the social  work profession - the values                                                                    
     upon  which ...  social work's  mission is  based; this                                                                    
     legislation  allows for  discrimination and  unbalanced                                                                    
     protections,  a stance  in conflict  with the  value of                                                                    
     social  justice.   This  legislation  sets  a class  of                                                                    
     people apart  and makes them  unworthy of  benefits, in                                                                    
     conflict with the value of  respect and the dignity and                                                                    
     worth of  every person.  Pragmatically,  the ... [NASW]                                                                    
     is  opposed because  this  eliminates domestic  partner                                                                    
     benefits.   Domestic partner  benefits are  a pragmatic                                                                    
     way  to deal  with the  over 100,000  people in  Alaska                                                                    
     without health insurance.                                                                                                  
     It  would seem  to  me that  the  legislature would  be                                                                    
     interested   in  covering   more  people   with  health                                                                    
     insurance,   especially   at   a  time   when   they're                                                                    
     struggling  to  deal  with   the  increased  burden  of                                                                    
     Medicaid.   Furthermore, domestic partner  benefits are                                                                    
     widely used  in [the]  private and public  [sectors] in                                                                    
     Alaska as a  way to recruit and retain  employees.  And                                                                    
     I  fear that  if you  pass this  legislation, the  only                                                                    
     winners will  be lawyers who spend  time litigating the                                                                    
     constitutionality   of   this   amendment.     So   our                                                                    
     organization urges you  to vote no on [HJR  32].  Thank                                                                    
4:24:27 PM                                                                                                                    
LIN DAVIS,  after relaying that  she has taken annual  leave from                                                               
her state job in order to be  present to testify and that she has                                                               
a master's  degree in  career counseling, said  that her  life of                                                               
service is based  on the idea that a community  is only as strong                                                               
as  its most  disadvantaged and  low-income members,  adding, "We                                                               
all  pay when  community members  can't succeed  economically and                                                               
don't have safety nets."  She went on to say:                                                                                   
     For the  last [nine years]  I've worked out at  the ...                                                                    
     Juneau Job Center, working for  the Department of Labor                                                                    
     &  Workforce Development.    Interestingly,  my job  is                                                                    
     called a Community Development  Specialist, and I think                                                                    
     probably at heart  all of us who do work  for the State                                                                    
     are community development specialists.   Now let's look                                                                    
     at House [Joint] Resolution 32,  and see if it deserves                                                                    
     a  community development  specialist  award:   Does  it                                                                    
     strengthen  Alaskan  communities?    Will  it  help  us                                                                    
     create  an  improved  business environment  in  Alaska?                                                                    
     Does it create  a level economic playing  field for our                                                                    
     community  members?    Is  it   a  model  of  fair  and                                                                    
     reasonable government activity?  Is  it kind?  And does                                                                    
     it  have  the  highest  intentions for  the  people  of                                                                    
     Alaska?   The answer to  all of these  is no:   it does                                                                    
     not  appear to  have  community or  economic value,  it                                                                    
     harms  Alaska's children,  it harms  Alaska's families,                                                                    
     and it prevents equal pay for equal work.                                                                                  
     Ten days  ago, I attended  my union convention,  and we                                                                    
     represent the largest union of  State employees - 7,500                                                                    
     people, more  of whom  are women -  and we  voted quite                                                                    
     easily a  resolution to  condemn HJR 32.   And  I would                                                                    
     urge all  of you,  for so many  good reasons  that have                                                                    
     been put  forward, to  oppose it as  well. ...  I liked                                                                    
     what  President  Bush  said  at  Coretta  Scott  King's                                                                    
     funeral; he said her work made  us whole.  Now the work                                                                    
     of [HJR 32] is  not going to make us whole;  it is mean                                                                    
     and  divisive.    And  Tommy  Sands,  the  singer  from                                                                    
     Ireland, was here  in Juneau just a few  weeks ago, and                                                                    
     he   reminded  us,   he  said,   "You  know,   so  many                                                                    
     democracies  are not  really  very democratic,  they're                                                                    
     really like  three wolves asking  two sheep  what would                                                                    
     they  all  like  to  have for  dinner  tonight."    And                                                                    
     majority-ism is alive and well;  it's alive and well in                                                                    
     this resolution that we're discussing today.                                                                               
     And I feel like, because I  am a plaintiff in this suit                                                                    
     and I'm nine years older than  my partner - I'm the one                                                                    
     who is working for the state  - I would simply like for                                                                    
     her to have my death benefits  if I die before her; she                                                                    
     recently lost her  job of 13 years, and  I would really                                                                    
     like ...  to get her  on my  health insurance.   We are                                                                    
     stronger in  our community when we  have that financial                                                                    
     safety net.   And so,  given the health cost  crisis in                                                                    
     this  country, as  many other  speakers  have said,  it                                                                    
     just doesn't make  sense for people to be  voted out of                                                                    
     having this kind of safety  net.  Despite good jobs, my                                                                    
     life partner  and I know that  it's easy to be  one car                                                                    
     accident  or one  major medical  emergency away  from a                                                                    
     family financial crisis, not  to mention, and maybe you                                                                    
     folks  know about  this too,  going down  the trail  of                                                                    
     dental  work -  dental work  can take  you to  the poor                                                                    
     house quite quickly.                                                                                                       
     So not being  able to be double covered  really ... has                                                                    
     a severe financial  impact on my little  family, and we                                                                    
     try to  send checks to  her mother and her  sister, who                                                                    
     are both  disabled and in  wheelchairs, and as  much as                                                                    
     we can be  financially strong we're able  to help other                                                                    
     family members  stay financially stronger.   So there's                                                                    
     a clear  reason why  my heterosexual coworkers  and [I]                                                                    
     were  [yahooing]  and  crying   tears  of  joy  Friday,                                                                    
     October  28,  when  we  all  got  the  news  about  the                                                                    
     [Alaska] Supreme Court decision;  it affirmed equal pay                                                                    
     for  equal work.    For nine  years  I've been  working                                                                    
     alongside  my straight  coworkers  and now  I have  the                                                                    
     chance to  receive the same  benefit package  that they                                                                    
     get, and as  we all know, the  ... benefit compensation                                                                    
     is a big chunk of  our compensation as State employees.                                                                    
     So  thank [you]  for this  opportunity to  tell you  my                                                                    
     story, and I urge you to vote against this.                                                                                
4:29:40 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  acknowledged how  difficult  it  can be  to                                                               
testify  on   this  issue,   and  pointed   out  that   the  most                                                               
conservative  member  of  the  Alaska  Supreme  Court  wrote  the                                                               
opinion that is being discussed.  He went on to say:                                                                            
     I  know that  when  a court  issues  an opinion  people                                                                    
     don't agree with, they assume  that the judge must have                                                                    
     different values than they have.  ... [But] often, when                                                                    
     a judge writes an opinion, it  has much more to do with                                                                    
     what  the law  is that  they have  to follow  than what                                                                    
     their personal  values are.   And I suspect  that maybe                                                                    
     some on  the [Alaska] Supreme  Court who voted  one way                                                                    
     might  have values  that actually  go a  different way.                                                                    
     So I don't think that  there were those on the [Alaska]                                                                    
     Supreme Court who were trying  to impose values through                                                                    
     their opinion.   Similarly, Representative  Coghill and                                                                    
     I  spend, I  think, most  of  the day  agreeing on  one                                                                    
     thing, and that's that each other is wrong. ...                                                                            
     But the one  thing I've gained a respect  [for] is that                                                                    
     [Representative Coghill] is real  well motivated by the                                                                    
     things  that he  does,  and I  don't  think there's  an                                                                    
     ounce of  malice in  this bill.   It's  something we'll                                                                    
     fight  about,  and we've  had  so  many really,  really                                                                    
     divisive issues in  this committee - we get  them all -                                                                    
     and most  folks don't  know Representative  Coghill the                                                                    
     way I  do, and I  just ...  want to assure  people that                                                                    
     even though he's wrong, ...  that there really isn't an                                                                    
     ounce of  anything other than,  really, a  value system                                                                    
     going  on  here.   And  that's  what makes  the  debate                                                                    
     really hard, when it's a  value issue as opposed to one                                                                    
      where there is an easy answer one way or the other.                                                                       
CHAIR McGUIRE noted  that she has seen the  effect that testimony                                                               
can have on members' points of view.                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL,  remarking that  there are three  or four                                                               
different dimensions  to this issue,  one being the  legal debate                                                               
and  another being  the political  debate  wherein values  simply                                                               
clash,  said  that he  respectfully  disagrees  with the  [Alaska                                                               
Supreme] Court.   Acknowledging that the art  of persuasion plays                                                               
a  role  in debate,  he  said  he  generally  tries to  take  the                                                               
approach of  explaining the principle  and then aiming  for that.                                                               
So as  people testify,  he explained, he  has been  attempting to                                                               
discern the legal  argument from the value argument, so  as to be                                                               
able to see where he can  either agree or disagree, clearly, with                                                               
the  points  being made  by  those  who  are  speaking.   In  the                                                               
political  arena, legislators  display  their  values, he  noted,                                                               
adding  that he  will attempt  to do  so as  respectfully yet  as                                                               
forcefully as he can.                                                                                                           
CHAIR  McGUIRE  explained that  regardless  of  her own  personal                                                               
views  on  the  proposed  legislation,  as  committee  chair  she                                                               
attempts to consider  whether a bill or resolution  is legal, and                                                               
whether  it   fulfills  the  mandates   of  the   [Alaska  State]                                                               
Constitution, and whether it will  fulfill the sponsor's goals in                                                               
a legal  manner.  With regard  to HJR 32, she  relayed, she would                                                               
like  the  committee  to  focus on  whether  the  [Alaska  State]                                                               
Constitution is  the place for expressing  the values surrounding                                                               
the resolution and whether it  contains the appropriate language;                                                               
however, lawmakers  should also attempt,  in some regard,  to see                                                               
ahead  into the  future  and consider  how  the legislation  will                                                               
affect the citizens of the state.                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  again acknowledged  how difficult it  can be                                                               
to discuss an  issue that one believes in  sincerely, as compared                                                               
to an issue one has purely a financial interest in.                                                                             
4:38:33 PM                                                                                                                    
SIDNEY HEIDERSDORF  said he wholeheartedly  supports HJR  32, and                                                               
believes  that it  is appropriate  for Alaskans  to vote  on this                                                               
issue.   He  opined that  it is  incredible that  people are  now                                                               
revisiting   this  issue,   given   the  passage   of  the   1998                                                               
constitutional  amendment defining  marriage, and  suggested that                                                               
everyone had  the right to believe  at that time that  that would                                                               
be  the  end of  the  [debate].    It  seemed quite  logical,  he                                                               
remarked, to  think that  if marriage  was clearly  defined, then                                                               
all the  benefits of marriage would  be limited to those  who met                                                               
the requirements  of marriage -  not so, according to  the Alaska                                                               
Supreme Court.   He offered  his belief  that it would  have been                                                               
much more  logical for the court  to have simply stated  that the                                                               
amendment defining  marriage was unconstitutional and  then state                                                               
that it  would be appropriate  for any two individuals  living in                                                               
some kind of close relationship to receive benefits.                                                                            
MR. HEIDERSDORF  offered his belief  that it is  disingenuous for                                                               
the  court  to say  that  the  amendment was  constitutional  but                                                               
benefits cannot be limited to those who are married.  He said:                                                                  
     Marriage  is an  institution vital  to our  society and                                                                    
     [the] wellbeing  of our  society.   We recognize  it as                                                                    
     the place  for the  begetting and rearing  of children.                                                                    
     One way of recognizing  the importance of marriage, and                                                                    
     to promote it,  is to give special  rights and benefits                                                                    
     to  those who  legally assume  the responsibilities  of                                                                    
     marriage.   I've heard arguments against  this proposed                                                                    
     amendment ... that  if the right to  benefits is denied                                                                    
     same-sex couples, it  will simply be the  first step in                                                                    
     denying rights to other individuals.                                                                                       
     I would  argue just  the opposite,  that if  this court                                                                    
     decision is  allowed to stand, there's  no telling what                                                                    
     relationship the  court will  approve next in  terms of                                                                    
     marriage benefits;  using the logic of  the court, it's                                                                    
     difficult  to  see  how they  could  deny  benefits  to                                                                    
     bigamists or  polygamists or any other  kind of illegal                                                                    
     relationship.   We hear [that] arguments  ... [against]                                                                    
     benefits   for    same-sex   couples   is    based   on                                                                    
     discrimination.  I do not  believe it is discrimination                                                                    
     to  limit benefits  to people  who must  meet specified                                                                    
     qualifications  when the  state  exercises control  for                                                                    
     the benefit of society.                                                                                                    
     If we wish  to call it discrimination, then  we have to                                                                    
     acknowledge that  there are  limits to  equal treatment                                                                    
     under the law.   We live with all  kinds of limitations                                                                    
     to  equal treatment  as far  as I'm  concerned; they're                                                                    
     based  on age,  race, economic  status, and  residence.                                                                    
     We   have    requirements   for    driver's   licenses,                                                                    
     professional   licenses,  limited   entry,  subsistence                                                                    
     hunting,  welfare  programs.   These  requirements  are                                                                    
     ostensibly  for  the good  of  our  society, [and]  the                                                                    
     benefits  are limited  to those  who qualify.   There's                                                                    
     nothing   unusual,   then,  about   limiting   marriage                                                                    
     benefits to those who are married.                                                                                         
     There is  reason to fear [that]  the formal recognition                                                                    
     of  same-sex  relationships  would be  harmful  to  our                                                                    
     society; however, I  view [HJR 32] as  a recognition of                                                                    
     the value  and importance that marriage  and the family                                                                    
     has to  our society and  the need  to preserve it  as a                                                                    
     unique and  special institution for a  healthy society.                                                                    
     So  in conclusion  I would  ask the  committee to  look                                                                    
     favorably upon  ... HJR  32, and  I hope  Alaskans will                                                                    
     have the right to vote on this issue.  Thank you.                                                                          
4:43:09 PM                                                                                                                    
DIXIE A. HOOD,  after noting that she is a  licensed marriage and                                                               
family therapist in private practice,  relayed that as a citizen,                                                               
she is  alarmed and offended that  "our representative democracy"                                                               
at the  state level, as well  as at the national  level, is being                                                               
undermined through political opportunism.  She went on to say:                                                                  
     Proposing   an   amendment   to  our   [Alaska   State]                                                                    
     Constitution  which would  further  deprive [many]  ...                                                                    
     Alaskans of  their civil rights  is unjust  and totally                                                                    
     contrary to ideals  of our democracy.   For hundreds of                                                                    
     years,  women  and blacks  in  the  United States  were                                                                    
     denied  equality by  laws determined  by the  majority.                                                                    
     I'm  old  enough  to  remember World  War  II  and  the                                                                    
     Germans'   condemnation    of   Jews,    gypsies,   and                                                                    
     homosexuals.    I  participated  in  the  civil  rights                                                                    
     movement of  the 1960s,  [and] I  have continued  as an                                                                    
     advocate  for  civil rights  on  behalf  of women,  the                                                                    
     elderly, gays, and persons with disabilities.                                                                              
     Putting  civil   rights  up  for  a   popular  vote  is                                                                    
     shameful.     There   have  been   scientifically-valid                                                                    
     surveys  of public  opinion measuring  support for  the                                                                    
     Bill  of   Rights,  [but]   ...  when   these  historic                                                                    
     statements  were not  identified as  amendments to  the                                                                    
     U.S.  Constitution, the  majority of  American subjects                                                                    
     sampled were opposed to them.   Discrimination based on                                                                    
     self-interest, ignorance,  or righteousness is  all too                                                                    
     common in  this day and age,  [but] it has no  place in                                                                    
     Alaska.   I urge you  all to  stand up for  our highest                                                                    
     aspirations  as  a  democratic   society  -  stop  this                                                                    
     proposal to  deny rights and benefits  based on marital                                                                    
     status.  Thank you.                                                                                                        
4:45:41 PM                                                                                                                    
AMY PAIGE said  she felt compelled to come  [and testify] because                                                               
she  feels  that  her  American   citizenship  would  be  damaged                                                               
terribly if legislation such as HJR  32 is allowed to go before a                                                               
vote of the  people, because it would result in  a tyranny of the                                                               
majority.  She opined that  it is important to protect minorities                                                               
in every  way possible, and that  the full protection of  the law                                                               
is one of  the highest features of the constitution  - one of the                                                               
most prominent  and best.   Furthermore, she said she  feels that                                                               
her fellow  Alaskans would be damaged  by HJR 32, adding  that it                                                               
would make  her so sad  to think that she  was part of  a society                                                               
that  would limit  opportunities  and rights  just  on the  basis                                                               
gender and type of relationship.                                                                                                
MS. PAIGE  said she doesn't believe  that passage of HJR  32 will                                                               
help strengthen  marriage; instead,  homosexual families  and the                                                               
whole  community would  be strengthened  by giving  [homosexuals]                                                               
the full rights  that they have earned as employees  of the State                                                               
and  other  entities.    Offering  her  understanding  that  many                                                               
employers in the  state already do provide  benefits for same-sex                                                               
partners, she  urged the committee not  to pass HJR 32  on to the                                                               
voters, adding  her belief  that it is  not something  they would                                                               
want Alaskans  to vote on given  there are people who  would vote                                                               
away their own rights as  evidenced by the aforementioned surveys                                                               
regarding the Bill of Rights.                                                                                                   
4:48:12 PM                                                                                                                    
MARY ELIZABETH RIDER  said she would be  testifying in opposition                                                               
to HJR 32.  She recounted that  as a teenager 26 years ago, she'd                                                               
came up  to Alaska  to live  with a  great aunt  who took  her in                                                               
during some of her rough days.   Ms. Rider, in turn, took care of                                                               
her great aunt while she died last year.  She went on to say:                                                                   
     My great  aunt never married,  and neither have I.   My                                                                    
     [Great] Aunt Liz set up  libraries anywhere there was a                                                                    
     [military] base in  this state.  She  was [the American                                                                    
     Military  University's  (AMU's)]  librarian  until  the                                                                    
     libraries were  consolidated, she was the  librarian in                                                                    
     Kodiak, she  was a  member of  the Pioneers  of Alaska,                                                                    
     she was  an active member  of the catholic  church, and                                                                    
     [she]  saved  her  money  so  she  could  leave  it  to                                                                    
     charities  here, in  Alaska.   When  I read  HJR 32,  I                                                                    
     think  that this  bill  intends  to consider  unmarried                                                                    
     Alaskans such as  my great aunt -  who homesteaded here                                                                    
     before most of you were born  - to be less than a woman                                                                    
     who  married a  man.   I thought  we had  fought [that]                                                                    
     battle at the turn of the last century.                                                                                    
     My great  aunt had  two homesteading neighbors  who are                                                                    
     now in  their mid-80s; they're still  in the mountains,                                                                    
     they share a  truck - which is a really  good thing for                                                                    
     all  of us  - they  have known  each other  for 60-plus                                                                    
     years -  probably closer  to 70 -  [and] at  this point                                                                    
     they live  in one  cabin instead of  two -  it's safer.                                                                    
     They're both men;  they could be targeted  under HJR 32                                                                    
     as unmarried  people who share  an asset. ...  And they                                                                    
     don't   think   they're   gay;   they   think   they're                                                                    
     Episcopalian -  and what Episcopalians do  is share and                                                                    
     ... take care of each other.                                                                                               
     I live in  Airport Heights, I'm the  sole proprietor of                                                                    
     a very  small business -  I don't have employees  - but                                                                    
     if I were fortunate enough to  do so, I would be in the                                                                    
     same  position as  other Alaskan  businesses are  now -                                                                    
     I'd  be  working  very  hard   to  recruit  and  retain                                                                    
     qualified   employees.     The  work   environment  has                                                                    
     changed.     Employers  that  do  not   anticipate  the                                                                    
     interests of their  employees are going to  lose out as                                                                    
     baby boomers  retire and "GenX" and  "GenY" generations                                                                    
     emerge as  the primary workforce.   Legislating against                                                                    
     benefits  for  workers  is  anti-business;  legislating                                                                    
     against  businesses' incentives  to  secure clients  is                                                                    
     anti-business too.                                                                                                         
     [House Joint  Resolution 32] is concerning  to me, it's                                                                    
     not clear to  me how far the author intends  to go, but                                                                    
     I  believe that  this proposal  not only  restricts the                                                                    
     equal  protection of  Alaskans -  which is  a decidedly                                                                    
     un-Alaskan thing  to do -  but restricts free  trade to                                                                    
     boot;  I   believe  there  are  scores   of  unintended                                                                    
     consequences to this.   I regularly lunch  with a group                                                                    
     of women  who are mostly  working, we all take  care of                                                                    
     parents  or kids,  some are  married,  some are  living                                                                    
     with a partner,  and some are dating and  some are not;                                                                    
     HJR 32  is a hot topic  on Saturday at (Indisc.).   Two                                                                    
     bankers, a teacher, a  therapist, two oil [executives],                                                                    
     and I had  a hay-day with this; this is  a message from                                                                    
     the ladies  who had  lunch:   "This is  confusing, it's                                                                    
     vague,  it  will surely  end  up  right back  in  court                                                                    
MS. RIDER concluded:                                                                                                            
     To  my friends  and my  elders and  to me,  the [Alaska                                                                    
     State]  Constitution is  just  high near  sacred.   The                                                                    
     [Alaska  State]  Constitution  should  not  be  amended                                                                    
     lightly, and  certainly not to restrict  the rights and                                                                    
     responsibilities of  specific groups.  You  do not have                                                                    
     to like  everyone in  this state,  but you  should have                                                                    
     respect for  them as human  beings, and that  should be                                                                    
     reflected  in  our   [Alaska  State]  Constitution;  it                                                                    
     should  remain the  way  it is  in  our [Alaska  State]                                                                    
     Constitution.   I  ask  you to  please  stand firm  for                                                                    
     keeping   government    out   of   the    business   of                                                                    
     discrimination, keep  our businesses safe,  and protect                                                                    
     the personal liberties of Alaskans.  Thank you.                                                                            
4:52:00 PM                                                                                                                    
MARINA DAY recalled the slogan, "Alaska:  land of the individual                                                                
and other endangered species."  She said:                                                                                       
     Individual rights  and liberties are the  foundation of                                                                    
     a  free democratic  society, and  is that  not why  our                                                                    
     military  men and  women are  on foreign  soil in  Iraq                                                                    
     fighting now  to preserve  our freedom?   With  all due                                                                    
     respect to  them, let  us preserve  our freedom  on ...                                                                    
     Alaskan soil also.   I ask the committee to  vote no to                                                                    
     limiting the Alaska equal protection  clause so that it                                                                    
     no  longer applies  to the  unmarried.   Alaskans honor                                                                    
     their  right to  privacy as  expressed in  our [Alaska]                                                                    
     State Constitution.                                                                                                        
     I say,  "Government, stay out  of the private  lives of                                                                    
     the people."   The very  language of HJR 32  is woolly.                                                                    
     Freedom-loving   people   would    be   fighting   this                                                                    
     [resolution] for years, (indisc.)  the broad and narrow                                                                    
     connotations  of  the   [resolution's]  (indisc.).    I                                                                    
     understand that we  now have to waste  precious time on                                                                    
     such an attack against  equal protection under the law.                                                                    
     Proponents say this [issue]  attacks the [sanctity] ...                                                                    
     of traditional marriage.                                                                                                   
     [What] does  that really mean?   Where's the cryptogram                                                                    
     for  this translation?    How in  the  world does  same                                                                    
     compensation for  equal work attack the  [sanctity] ...                                                                    
     of traditional  marriage?  There is  no indication that                                                                    
     denying  benefits to  employees with  same-sex domestic                                                                    
     partners has  any impact on  who marries.   Granting or                                                                    
     denying  benefits to  employees with  same-sex partners                                                                    
     does not (indisc. -  teleconference system cutting out)                                                                    
     employees  [with] opposite-sex  domestic partners  will                                                                    
     alter their decision about whether to marry.                                                                               
     Furthermore, same-sex  domestic partners will  not seek                                                                    
     opposite-sex  partners with  the intention  of marrying                                                                    
     them  just because  being married  entitles them  to be                                                                    
     equally salaried  from their employers.   The denial of                                                                    
     benefits  to  all   employees  with  same-sex  domestic                                                                    
     partners   is  contradictory   to   the  interests   of                                                                    
     promoting  family  stability.    The  social  good  for                                                                    
     family stability  in same-sex relationships is  just as                                                                    
     important and  valuable as the  social good  for stable                                                                    
     opposite-sex relationships.                                                                                                
     The   decision   to   extend   benefits   to   domestic                                                                    
     partnerships is not revolutionary,  but the decision to                                                                    
     withhold   these   benefits   could   be   cataclysmic.                                                                    
     Healthcare  should be  expanded, not  restricted.   The                                                                    
     promotion of family  stability ... [among] opposite-sex                                                                    
     couples   but    not   among   same-sex    couples   is                                                                    
     [discriminatory].     The  definition   of  traditional                                                                    
     marriage  is not  under attack;  rather  the threat  is                                                                    
     directed at  the equal protection clause  of our Alaska                                                                    
     [State]  Constitution.    This  clause  guarantees  all                                                                    
     Alaskans reward  for industry, and  requires employment                                                                    
     to be based on merit, not marriage.                                                                                        
     This    resolution   would    give   married    workers                                                                    
     substantially greater  compensation, for  the identical                                                                    
     work, [than]  they give to  unmarried workers  with ...                                                                    
     same-sex      or     opposite-sex      domestic-partner                                                                    
     relationships.    This  is  fundamentally  against  our                                                                    
     wonderful [Alaska  State] Constitution  principles, and                                                                    
     furthers no  legitimate goal.   The government  may not                                                                    
     favor a class  simply because it favors  the class, and                                                                    
     discrimination is never a legitimate interest.                                                                             
MS. DAY concluded:                                                                                                              
     Proponents of this  amendment have gone too  far.  It's                                                                    
     all  right  to  define the  definition  of  traditional                                                                    
     marriage,   but  don't   take   away   the  rights   of                                                                    
     individuals who fall outside of  these norms.  I'd like                                                                    
     to  incorporate   all  the  testimonies   against  this                                                                    
     ambiguous  and [discriminatory]  resolution, and  I ask                                                                    
     the committee not to pass this  on.  Thank you for your                                                                    
4:56:15 PM                                                                                                                    
JEANNE   LAURENCELLE,   Social    Action   Committee,   Unitarian                                                               
Universalist  Fellowship  of  Fairbanks, relayed  that  Unitarian                                                               
Universalists  affirm the  inherent  worth and  dignity of  every                                                               
person,  and  have  a  record of  opposing  slavery  and  women's                                                               
suffrage   when    those   were   divisive    issues;   Unitarian                                                               
Universalists also  supported civil  rights when  other religious                                                               
denominations shied away from the topic.  She went on to say:                                                                   
     As you know,  history bears us out.  I'm  here today to                                                                    
     testify on  behalf of all  unmarried couples -  gay and                                                                    
     straight;  I  think  history  will bear  us  out.    We                                                                    
     absolutely reject  the call to, quote,  "Let the people                                                                    
     decide," unquote, in  this matter.  We  assert that the                                                                    
     rights of  a minority  should never  be subject  to the                                                                    
     vote of a  majority.  This is a matter  of justice.  We                                                                    
     are   proud  that   our  [Alaska   State]  Constitution                                                                    
     guarantees every  Alaskan equal  rights, opportunities,                                                                    
     and protections under the law.   This, too, is a matter                                                                    
     of   justice  which   should  not   be  undermined   by                                                                    
     legislation   such  as   the  proposed   constitutional                                                                    
     amendment,  an amendment  which  was  crafted with  the                                                                    
     express  intent of  depriving a  group  of Alaskans  of                                                                    
     rights and benefits.                                                                                                       
     I am pleased to report  that the opinions of Lutherans,                                                                    
     Episcopalians,  Methodists, Presbyterians  are evolving                                                                    
     to  a greater  recognition that  gays and  lesbians are                                                                    
     individuals  created  and  loved   by  god.    A  local                                                                    
     example:    Fairbanks  Lutheran Church  has  adopted  a                                                                    
     resolution   welcoming   and    valuing   all   people,                                                                    
     regardless of  sexual orientation; gays are  welcome to                                                                    
     fully  participate in  the  life  of the  congregation.                                                                    
     Even  Dr. James  Dobson  of Focus  on  the Family,  who                                                                    
     strongly opposes gay marriage  and civil unions, is now                                                                    
     supporting a  benefits bill  in Colorado  that includes                                                                    
     unmarried and same-sex couples.                                                                                            
     A February  19th article in  The Christian  Post quotes                                                                  
     Dr.  Dobson as  calling it,  quote, "A  fairness bill,"                                                                    
     unquote.  It further states  that Focus [on the Family]                                                                    
     believes the reciprocal bill  they support will address                                                                    
     the issue  [of] benefits separately from  marriage.  We                                                                    
     are right there with Dr.  Dobson; we, too, believe that                                                                    
     this  is a  matter of  fairness, and  we, too,  believe                                                                    
     that   benefits  can   be  addressed   separately  from                                                                    
     marriage.   If benefits for unmarried  couples and gays                                                                    
     are morally acceptable to the  leader of the "Christian                                                                    
     Right"  in Colorado,  they  must  therefore be  morally                                                                    
     acceptable in Alaska too.                                                                                                  
MS. LAURENCELLE continued:                                                                                                      
     As I am sure you know  by now, the cost of implementing                                                                    
     benefits for  state workers is miniscule,  [so] this is                                                                    
     not a  financial issue.   Focus on the  Family endorses                                                                    
     benefits legislation  to include unmarried  couples and                                                                    
     same-sex  couples  in Colorado,  so  this  cannot be  a                                                                    
     moral   issue.     The  Alaska   Supreme  Court   found                                                                    
     unanimously  that   the  state  must   provide  partner                                                                    
     benefits  for  gay  employees, so  there  is  no  legal                                                                    
     By process  of elimination it  seems that this  must be                                                                    
     an issue  simply of discomfort  and dislike -  that is,                                                                    
     prejudice - driving a push  to deprive others of rights                                                                    
     and  benefits.    I  urge  you to  oppose  HJR  32,  an                                                                    
     unabashed  attempt to  discriminate against  (indisc.).                                                                    
     And I'd like  to make one further  observation, that if                                                                    
     this   amendment   passes,   five   children   in   our                                                                    
     congregation  will have  the safety  net of  healthcare                                                                    
     and other benefits  pulled out from under  them.  Thank                                                                    
4:59:40 PM                                                                                                                    
JIM  MINNORY, Alaska  Family Council,  offered his  understanding                                                               
that there are  19 states, including Alaska,  that have enshrined                                                               
language  in their  constitutions  preserving  marriage; that  in                                                               
nearly  every election,  the  victory margin  was  75 percent  or                                                               
better; and  that several more  states will be voting  on similar                                                               
language and each  is expected to pass with solid  majorities.  A                                                               
national consensus is being formed,  he opined, and defining just                                                               
what that consensus  means in Alaska is what  some are attempting                                                               
to do  now.   Marriage as a  uniquely privileged  relationship is                                                               
accompanied with  certain benefits,  but according to  the Alaska                                                               
Supreme  Court,  the  marriage amendment  adopted  back  in  1998                                                               
eliminated  the right  to those  benefits by  preventing same-sex                                                               
couples from  marrying; the recent Alaska  Supreme Court decision                                                               
effectively  ignored the  will of  nearly 70  percent of  Alaskan                                                               
[voters],  he remarked,  because it  ruled that  state and  local                                                               
governments  must  provide  what he  termed,  "tax-payer  funded"                                                               
benefits to employees involved in same-sex relationships.                                                                       
MR.  MINNORY  opined  that  this  ruling was  based  on  a  false                                                               
contention, and questioned whether  currently the civil rights of                                                               
gays and lesbians  really are being denied,  particularly given -                                                               
according  to his  understanding  - that  gays  and lesbians  can                                                               
easily  obtain legal  documents establishing  hospital visitation                                                               
rights, medical  decision-making rights, inheritance  rights, and                                                               
property  ownership rights;  be granted  power of  attorney; have                                                               
joint bank  accounts; and  be life  insurance beneficiaries.   He                                                               
then  offered his  belief that  in Connecticut,  same-sex couples                                                               
have  been  granted all  the  same  benefits and  protections  as                                                               
married couples,  but that even  so, the state of  Connecticut is                                                               
currently involved  in litigation  because some  same-sex couples                                                               
are  claiming that  they still  feel  like second-class  citizens                                                               
because they are precluded from marrying.                                                                                       
MR.  MINNORY  surmised  that  the   reason  for  such  litigation                                                               
revolves around  the issue of  public affirmation rather  than an                                                               
issue of  being denied benefits or  rights.  He then  offered the                                                               
following  as  a  quote  by Paula  Ettelbrick,  director  of  the                                                               
National  Gay and  Lesbian Task  Force's  Family Policy  Program:                                                               
"Being  queer means  pushing the  parameters of  sex and  family,                                                               
and, in  the process, transforming  the very fabric  of society."                                                               
Mr. Minnory went on to say:                                                                                                     
     One of the more slippery  aspects of the ruling will be                                                                    
     defining  what qualifies  as  a same-sex  relationship.                                                                    
     Will  it be  based  on how  long  the relationship  has                                                                    
     existed,  or simply  on whether  the  couple is  living                                                                    
     together?  Will  the couple be required  to be sexually                                                                    
     active?  In  order to be qualified  for employee health                                                                    
     benefits  at   the  University  of   Florida,  same-sex                                                                    
     couples  must   sign  an  affidavit   actually  stating                                                                    
     they're   involved    in   a,    quote,   "non-platonic                                                                    
     relationship."  Do we want  our tax dollars to be spent                                                                    
     determining who is engaged in  sexual relations and who                                                                    
     is not?                                                                                                                    
     Once  the  state  is  mandated  to  recognize  same-sex                                                                    
     couples  and provide  them  with  benefits, it  becomes                                                                    
     very difficult  to deny that same  right to polygamists                                                                    
     or  even  cohabitating  friends   or  relatives.    The                                                                    
     homosexual  movement   has  been  very   purposeful  in                                                                    
     avoiding   any  comparisons   to  polygamy,   but  that                                                                    
     argument  is getting  more disingenuous  all the  time.                                                                    
     The ACLU itself has declared  its support of the repeal                                                                    
     of all  laws prohibiting or penalizing  the practice of                                                                    
     what  they call  plural marriage.   Polygamy  advocates                                                                    
     today are  following, to a  "T," the script of  the gay                                                                    
     rights  movement,   and  TV  shows   boldly  presenting                                                                    
     polygamy  as an  acceptable  lifestyle -  like the  HBO                                                                    
     series  ... "Big  Love"  - are  paving  the way  toward                                                                    
     acceptance  and more  lawsuits  demanding civil  rights                                                                    
     and benefits of marriage for polygamy.                                                                                     
     Those of  us supporting these resolutions  believe this                                                                    
     language simply clarifies what was  central to the 1998                                                                    
     marriage  amendment, [that]  marriage  between one  man                                                                    
     and  one woman  serves a  public  purpose in  a way  no                                                                    
     other relationship  can and should be  legitimately and                                                                    
     uniquely privileged in public policy.   It is not about                                                                    
     hatred, respect,  or gay bashing.   It never  has been,                                                                    
     for most  people lifting up  the sanctity  of marriage;                                                                    
     it's  not about  taking away  rights or  discriminating                                                                    
     against  a  segment of  society,  either.   It's  about                                                                    
     unapologetically   distinguishing   and   intentionally                                                                    
     lifting  up marriage  as  a  treasured institution  and                                                                    
     valued  social  bond  that distinctively  benefits  our                                                                    
MR. MINNORY concluded:                                                                                                          
     The  reality   is  that  there's   a  segment   of  our                                                                    
     population that  wants all  of society  to collectively                                                                    
     approve  of and  legally endorse  homosexuality in  the                                                                    
     same  way we  validate heterosexuality.   Rulings  from                                                                    
     the  Alaska  Supreme  Court cannot  make  that  happen;                                                                    
     neither  can  an attempt  to  thwart  the will  of  the                                                                    
     people by  denying them the  right to vote on  an issue                                                                    
     they've  already decided  on.   I urge  you to  vote in                                                                    
     favor of  [allowing] the  people of  Alaska to  vote on                                                                    
     HJR 32, and I thank  you for the opportunity [to speak]                                                                    
5:04:46 PM                                                                                                                    
STEVEN JACQUIER relayed that his  partner is a retired University                                                               
of  Alaska Anchorage  (UAA) professor  and small  business owner,                                                               
and that he is a teacher  and owner/operator of a small business.                                                               
He went on to say:                                                                                                              
     This is  a second relationship  for both of us.   Doran                                                                    
     lost his  first partner, Frank, to  diabetes after they                                                                    
     were together for  27 years.  I lost  my first partner,                                                                    
     Robb,  after 13  years.    Doran and  I  have now  been                                                                    
     together for  4 going  on 5  years, and  will doubtless                                                                    
     remain a  couple for  the rest of  our lives.   Between                                                                    
     the two of  us, we've worked in Alaska for  43 years so                                                                    
     far.    Our  family  resides in  south  Anchorage;  our                                                                    
     daughter,  Kristina, is  in high  school, and  our son,                                                                    
     Andrew, is  in college.   Raising children  and putting                                                                    
     them  through college  is  indeed  expensive, [but]  we                                                                    
     carry  our own  weight,  [and] are  not  a burden  upon                                                                    
     anyone else.                                                                                                               
     My partner  and I have  worked long and hard  in Alaska                                                                    
     and  continue   to  do  so   now,  [and]   our  payroll                                                                    
     contributions have  funded the coverage of  our married                                                                    
     coworkers  for  decades.     My  current  group  health                                                                    
     insurance runs  out in October;  if the  [Alaska State]                                                                    
     Constitution  ... is  protected, then  [in] October,  I                                                                    
     will  become covered  by my  partner's  insurance.   If                                                                    
     this  bill succeeds,  though,  then  after having  paid                                                                    
     [in] once already via our  payroll deductions, we would                                                                    
     be  forced  to  also   seek  private  health  coverage,                                                                    
     pulling  out  our  wallets  a second  time  to  pay  at                                                                    
     private rates,  on top of  our labor  having subsidized                                                                    
     coverage for our coworkers' spouses for 43 years.                                                                          
MR. JACQUIER added:                                                                                                             
     We  estimate a  direct cost  to our  family of  $11,400                                                                    
     (indisc -  microphone picking up room  noise) per year,                                                                    
     out  of   pocket,  for  obtaining   equivalent  medical                                                                    
     insurance at private rates.   This is money which could                                                                    
     be  much  better  spent on  our  children's  needs  and                                                                    
     college tuition  fees.   Bills like  this in  the South                                                                    
     were  called "Jim  Crow  laws";  they marginalized  and                                                                    
     disenfranchised people of color,  forced white folks to                                                                    
     be parasites  upon the  labor of  people of  color, and                                                                    
     were bad for  everyone.  Jim Crow  laws existed because                                                                    
     a  righteous majority  was content  to  abuse and  take                                                                    
     advantage of a minority -  not an admirable exercise of                                                                    
     good  Christian values.   This  is no  different.   Gay                                                                    
     people  are just  as god  created us;  we have  no more                                                                    
     choice about that than our skin color.                                                                                     
     Just as  women should  receive pay  equal with  that of                                                                    
     men   for   performing    equal   work,   Alaskans   in                                                                    
     longstanding  committed  relationships contributing  to                                                                    
     our  community with  our labor  yet who  are prohibited                                                                    
     from marriage absolutely do  merit treatment equal with                                                                    
     that  accorded  our  married  coworkers.    The  Alaska                                                                    
     [State] Constitution says so,  the highest court in the                                                                    
     state says  so, and  common decency says  so.   We work                                                                    
     just  as  hard,  pay  in  just as  much;  we  too  have                                                                    
     children in  school and college.   We would go  to city                                                                    
     hall and  sign a civil  marriage contract if  we could,                                                                    
     and  many  of  us   have  certainly  been  together  as                                                                    
     committed  unmarried  couples   far  longer  than  most                                                                    
     heterosexual married couples.                                                                                              
     If  the situation  were turned  around,  with this  ...                                                                    
     [resolution] directly  targeting our  married coworkers                                                                    
     and  neighbors -  and forcing  us  to become  parasites                                                                    
     upon them - then we would  not stand for it.  This bill                                                                    
     turns  our  married  coworkers into  parasites.    Yes,                                                                    
     parasites  - parasites  benefiting  at  the expense  of                                                                    
     others  by  taking from  the  labor  of coworkers  with                                                                    
     families who  are barred from  marriage.   Parasites do                                                                    
     not make for good coworkers,  nor good neighbors, nor a                                                                    
     healthy  Alaska.   Parasites are  without any  shred of                                                                    
     honor  or   dignity,  and  people  who   embrace  being                                                                    
     parasites should  not even think about  trying to claim                                                                    
     the high moral ground on this issue.                                                                                       
     Pandering  to prejudice,  HJR 32  seeks to  pervert the                                                                    
     Alaska  [State]  Constitution  by inverting  the  whole                                                                    
     purpose of a constitution,  to - rather than protecting                                                                    
     equality  and citizens'  rights  -  instead strip  away                                                                    
     equal treatment and unfairly target  a specific group -                                                                    
     unmarried families  - for  harm while  creating special                                                                    
     protections  and   special  privileges  for   others  -                                                                    
     married families - thus  effectively forcing the latter                                                                    
     to  be parasites  upon their  coworkers and  neighbors,                                                                    
     whether they want that despicable role or not.                                                                             
5:09:25 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. JACQUIER remarked:                                                                                                          
     Quite likely,  some members of this  committee actually                                                                    
     are  listening to  testimony with  an open  mind and  a                                                                    
     genuine desire to  sort out that which  will best serve                                                                    
     our  community here  in Alaska.    Unfortunately it  is                                                                    
     also fairly likely that some  of you are so enmeshed in                                                                    
     partisan politics that you are  merely making a cynical                                                                    
     pretense at listening for the  sake of form.  Whichever                                                                    
     group  you fall  into, I  hope that  you can  recognize                                                                    
     that  such  a  divisive,  ...  fiscally  irresponsible,                                                                    
     prejudicial   [resolution]  as   this   will,  like   a                                                                    
     malignant  burden of  parasites,  bring  more and  more                                                                    
     grief, expense, and suffering the  bigger it is allowed                                                                    
     to  grow.     And  that  harm  will   be  to  everyone,                                                                    
     yourselves included.                                                                                                       
     The sponsors  and supporters of  this bill  should feel                                                                    
     deeply  ashamed of  themselves; they  are also  placing                                                                    
     themselves  at  risk.    How would  you  feel  if  your                                                                    
     family, your  children, were attacked?   How  would you                                                                    
     respond  to people  who are  intending to  deliberately                                                                    
     and  knowingly  inflict  harm upon  your  family,  your                                                                    
     children?   Those who would target  and attack people's                                                                    
     families  and  children  should have  a  care  for  the                                                                    
     situation in  which they  are placing  themselves; they                                                                    
     should  not assume  [that] those  whom they  delight in                                                                    
     demonizing  and attacking  will  indefinitely turn  the                                                                    
     other cheek to such brutality.                                                                                             
MR. JACQUIER concluded:                                                                                                         
     Prejudicially  targeting   and  harming   families  and                                                                    
     children is  exactly that which  HJR 32 does -  make no                                                                    
     mistake.    Please  do  not   become  guilty  of  doing                                                                    
     violence  to others  through supporting  this repugnant                                                                    
     legislation.    Please demonstrate  maturity,  exercise                                                                    
     statecraft, and through your actions  be leaders we may                                                                    
     feel proud to have serving  in our legislature - please                                                                    
     defeat  this [resolution]  ... as  well as  every other                                                                    
     bigoted effort which comes  before [you], regardless of                                                                    
     whom  it  targets.    Thank you  for  listening  to  my                                                                    
     family; please feel  welcome to contact us  if you have                                                                    
     any questions.                                                                                                             
5:11:49 PM                                                                                                                    
FRANCIS  MANYOKY,  noting  that  he has  also  submitted  written                                                               
testimony to the  committee, relayed that he is a  student at UAA                                                               
studying  business  administration,  is   a  homosexual,  and  is                                                               
opposed to  HJR 32  on the  basis that it  will deprive  both the                                                               
government  and the  citizens  of Alaska  of  civil and  economic                                                               
benefits.   Although supporters  of HJR  32 say  that it  is only                                                               
intended to  protect traditional marriage and  limit the benefits                                                               
of marriage  to only  those that  are married,  since homosexuals                                                               
have been  denied the  right to  be married,  they are  thus also                                                               
precluded  from  the same  state  employee  benefits accorded  to                                                               
those that are  married.  Such being the case,  are proponents of                                                               
HJR  32  suggesting that  homosexuals  should  simply enter  into                                                               
fraudulent  heterosexual  marriages  so  as to  be  able  to  get                                                               
healthcare  and  other  benefits?     Or  are  proponents  simply                                                               
attempting  to  discourage  homosexuals from  seeking  employment                                                               
with the state?                                                                                                                 
MR.  MANYOKY pointed  out that  either way,  HJR 32  will have  a                                                               
negative civil and  economic impact on the state.   For if HJR 32                                                               
encourages   heterosexual   marriages  among   homosexual   state                                                               
employees,  it will  then mock  the very  sacredness of  marriage                                                               
that proponents claim  to be protecting.  And if  HJR 32 is meant                                                               
to  discourage homosexuals  from  seeking  state employment,  not                                                               
only would  doing so simply  be unacceptably  discriminatory, but                                                               
also  the   state  wouldn't   be  able   to  benefit   from  many                                                               
exceptionally qualified applicants.   In conclusion, he asked the                                                               
committee to defeat HJR 32.                                                                                                     
[HJR 32 was held over.]                                                                                                         
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Judiciary Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 5:15 p.m.                                                                 

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