Lesbian sues for survivor benefits after partner gunned down

Kerry Fadely and Debbie Harris

Kerry Fadely (left) and Debbie Harris


An Alaskan woman whose same-sex partner was shot and killed is going to court to fight Alaska’s ban on same-sex couples accessing survivor benefits.

On October 29, 2011, Kerry Fadely was gunned down at her place of work, the Millennium Alaskan Hotel in Anchorage. Kerry’s same-sex partner of 10 years, Debbie Harris, per state and federal law, is denied survivor benefits because, in legal terms, the couple are rendered strangers.

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