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(NEWSER)– A federal judge has struck down Alaska's first-in-the-nation ban on gay marriages. US District Judge Timothy Burgess—who heard arguments Friday afternoon and promised a quick decision—released his 25-page decision yesterday afternoon.

"Refusing the rights and responsibilities afforded by legal marriage sends the public a government-sponsored message that same-sex couples and their familial relationships do not warrant the status, benefits, and dignity given to couples of the opposite sex," he wrote, declaring the state's same-sex marriage laws unconstitutional because "no state interest provides 'excessively persuasive justification' for the significant infringement of rights that they inflicted upon homosexual individuals."

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