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Senators oppose Parnell nominee who wants to criminalize sex outside of marriage

From Sean Cockerham in Juneau –

The Senate Judiciary Committee today took the rare step of urging the Legislature to vote down Gov. Sean Parnell’s appointee to the Alaska Judicial Council because, among other issues, he believes that sex outside of marriage should be a crime.

Parnell picked Don Haase for one of three public seats on the council in charge of the nominations for who should be a judge in Alaska.

Haase, who does electrical and mechanical design work at the trans-Alaska pipeline terminal in Valdez, was a leader in Eagle Forum Alaska, a group that advocates for social conservative issues.

Members of the judiciary committee said they were opposing Haase because of his Constitutional views rather than his political leanings. Fairbanks Democratic Sen. Joe Paskvan said Alaska’s Constitution guarantees perhaps the strongest right to privacy in the nation.

“Mr Haase’s views when it comes to premarital or extramarital sex are views that I think directly infringe and challenge whether there is a Constitutional right of privacy in Alaska,” Paskvan said. “It’s deeply troubling to me that he wants government to enter into those areas, and not just enter into them but make criminal that activity.”

No members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which includes three Democrats and two Republicans, objected to the recommendation to ask the Legislature to vote down Haase’s nomination.

Haase’s nomination will be up for a vote of the House and Senate meeting in joint session next Friday, along with the rest of the governor’s appointees.

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