The Latest: State: Same-sex spouse eligible for oil check
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on a lawsuit over a denied oil-wealth check in Alaska (all times local):
The state of Alaska says it erred in sending a woman a letter citing her same-sex marriage in denying her application for a state oil-wealth fund check.
The Department of Law says Denali Nicole Smith was notified earlier this month that she was eligible for a Permanent Fund Dividend.
The department says a booklet for the agency charged with determining eligibility still included a provision, struck down as unconstitutional, that said same-sex marriages are not recognized. The department says applications that could have been denied under that law were to have been put on hold pending clarification from the Department of Law, but a denial inadvertently went to Smith.
Smith’s attorney, Heather Gardner, says it’s “not unexpected” that the state would try to present this as an issue only affecting Smith.
Tweets from Alaska’s attorney general related to a woman’s lawsuit over eligibility for a check from the state’s oil-wealth fund have been deleted.
Department of Law spokeswoman Cori Mills says the agency decided it needed to double check its facts before posting and make sure it was clearly talking about the correct years. She says she hopes to have further information later Friday.
Earlier, Attorney General Kevin Clarkson tweeted that a lawsuit by Denali Nicole Smith was “pointless,” saying she is eligible for a check but has not been paid because of an address issue.
Attached to Smith’s federal lawsuit was a denial letter from the state that cites nullified laws barring recognition of same-sex marriage.
Alaska’s attorney general says a woman who alleged she was wrongly denied a check from the state’s oil-wealth fund because of her same-sex marriage is eligible.
Kevin Clarkson in a since-deleted tweet called Denali Nicole Smith’s lawsuit “pointless.” He says her application for the check is listed as eligible but hasn’t been paid because of an address issue.
Attached to Smith’s federal lawsuit is a denial letter from the state that cites nullified laws barring recognition of same-sex marriage.
The lawsuit says Smith is an Alaska resident who has been living in Florida to accompany her military wife. It claims Smith was denied eligibility when she would have been eligible had her spouse been a man.
A spokeswoman for Clarkson’s office said the matter was being looked into.