Four Gay Couples Sue Montana Over Same-Sex Marriage Ban - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Four Gay Couples Sue Montana Over Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Posted: Updated:
GREAT FALLS -

The fight for same-sex marriage lands in Montana, as four gay couples file a lawsuit against the state over the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

The ban was passed by voters in 2004.

The Montana lawsuit was being filed Wednesday in federal court in Great Falls, with help from the Montana ACLU. It lists as plaintiffs four Montana couples who are either unmarried or were married outside the state.

Four gay couples are suing Montana over its constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

The lawsuit alleges the ban denies same-sex couples the freedom and dignity afforded to other Montanans, and denies them the state and federal legal protections and benefits that come with marriage.

“It isn’t the government’s place to stand in the way of someone’s happiness,” says ACLU of Montana Legal Director Jim Taylor. “It’s the government’s place to provide equal protection under the law. Excluding same-sex couples from marriage is a clear violation of our nation’s guarantee of equal protection. Every couple should have the freedom to marry and to have the legal protections to care for one another that marriage provides.”

The plaintiffs in the case are Angie and Tonya Rolando of Great Falls, Shauna and Nicole Goubeaux of Billings, Ben Milano and Chase Weinhandl of Bozeman and Sue Hawthorne and Adel Johnson of Helena.

“We want Aden to grow up knowing that we are a family like any other family,” says Shauna Goubeaux of her and wife Nicole’s 1 year-old son. The two married in Iowa, but that marriage is not recognized in Montana. “Marriage is part of being a family. By being plaintiffs in this case we are showing him his mommies will stand up for what is right and stand up for him.”

“An amazing change has taken place over the past few years as more Americans embrace the idea that same-sex couples should have the freedom to marry,” says Elizabeth Gill, staff attorney with the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. “It’s time for Montana to join the march toward equality for all loving and committed couples across the country.”

Governor Bullock released the following statement concerning the legal action filed today in Federal Court challenging Montana’s prohibition against marriage equality:

“Montanans cherish our freedom and recognize the individual dignity of every one of us. The time has come for our state to recognize and celebrate – not discriminate against – two people who love one another, are committed to each other, and want to spend their lives together. I look forward to a future where all Montanans have the opportunity to marry the person they love, just as Lisa and I did almost 15 years ago. We are on the path to greater understanding and equality, and we will all be better for it.”

North Dakota and South Dakota are now the only two states with gay marriage bans and no lawsuits seeking to overturn them.




  • NationalMore>>

  • Lawyer says family of girl with Uzi is devastated

    Lawyer says family of girl with Uzi is devastated

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:24 PM EDT2014-09-03 02:24:25 GMT
    Police reports released Tuesday say a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed a shooting range instructor with an Uzi in northern Arizona had said immediately after the shooting that she felt the gun was too much...>>
    An attorney for the parents of a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed an Arizona shooting range instructor with an Uzi said Tuesday the family is devastated by the tragedy that occurred on a brief excursion during a...>>
  • Son of ex-Bush aide pleads guilty in Md. slaying

    Son of ex-Bush aide pleads guilty in Md. slaying

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 9:23 PM EDT2014-09-03 01:23:43 GMT
    The son of a former aide to President George W. Bush has pleaded guilty to killing a friend with a hatchet and will be committed to a state psychiatric facility.>>
    The son of a former aide to President George W. Bush has pleaded guilty to killing a friend with a hatchet and will be committed to a state psychiatric facility.>>
  • Recovery knocks 21 fish species from watch list

    Recovery knocks 21 fish species from watch list

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 9:11 PM EDT2014-09-03 01:11:56 GMT
    Twenty-one species of fish made the leap Tuesday off a watch list of seafood to avoid as unsustainably overfished, leaving conservationists and many fishermen and chefs celebrating the turnaround of a West Coast...>>
    Twenty-one species of fish made the leap Tuesday off a watch list of seafood to avoid as unsustainably overfished, leaving conservationists and many fishermen and chefs celebrating the turnaround of a West Coast fishing...>>
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • One person dead after hit & run in Spokane Valley

    One person dead after hit & run in Spokane Valley

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:02 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:02:36 GMT
    KHQ.COM - One person is dead after a hit and run near I-90 Park Rd. in Spokane Valley. It happened around 1:30 am on Tuesday. At this point police do not have a suspect description but are asking for anyone who may have witnessed the incident to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233.>>
    KHQ.COM - One person is dead after a hit and run near I-90 Park Rd. in Spokane Valley. It happened around 1:30 am on Tuesday. At this point police do not have a suspect description but are asking for anyone who may have witnessed the incident to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233.>>
  • VIRAL VIDEO: Holy Moly! This girl is definitely NOT afraid of spiders!

    VIRAL VIDEO: Holy Moly! This girl is definitely NOT afraid of spiders!

    Monday, September 1 2014 12:00 PM EDT2014-09-01 16:00:12 GMT
    KHQ.COM - You don't even know what this girl is about to do to prove she is definitely NOT afraid of spiders! Is she crazy or just fearless? Would you do this for $500? $1,000? $20,000? >>>WATCH>>>>>
    KHQ.COM - You don't even know what this girl is about to do to prove she is definitely NOT afraid of spiders! Is she crazy or just fearless? Would you do this for $500? $1,000? $20,000? >>>WATCH>>>>>
  • PHOTOS: Share your back-to-school pics!

    PHOTOS: Share your back-to-school pics!

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 12:18 PM EDT2014-09-02 16:18:59 GMT
    KHQ.COM - School is starting! Everyone knows the drill right? Before you can run out the door and jump on the bus, mom always has to snag a picture to remember her little baby growing up through the years! We want to see those photos! Whether they are from this year, last year or 50 years ago, send us the photos of your first day of school!>>
    KHQ.COM - School is starting! Everyone knows the drill right? Before you can run out the door and jump on the bus, mom always has to snag a picture to remember her little baby growing up through the years! We want to see those photos! Whether they are from this year, last year or 50 years ago, send us the photos of your first day of school!>>
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Big Sky County District Employee Arrested and Detained

    Big Sky County District Employee Arrested and Detained

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:15 PM EDT2014-09-02 03:15:37 GMT
    Cyle Kokot, an employee of the Big Sky School District, has been arrested and detained. The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office arrested Kokot for two counts of "sexual intercourse without consent.>>
    Cyle Kokot, an employee of the Big Sky School District, has been arrested and detained. The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office arrested Kokot for two counts of "sexual intercourse without consent.>>
  • Photos from Fatal Missoula Shooting Scene

    Photos from Fatal Missoula Shooting Scene

    Monday, September 1 2014 8:11 PM EDT2014-09-02 00:11:07 GMT
    One man is dead after a shooting outside of a Missoula Strip club.>>
    One man is dead after a shooting outside of a Missoula Strip club.>>
  • PHOTOS: Hobo Spider season has arrived

    PHOTOS: Hobo Spider season has arrived

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:37 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:37:17 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Mid August is about the time that we start to see spiders come into our homes, particularly the hobo spider. August and September is mating season for the hobo and that means you may be seeing more funnel-like webs in and around your home. Males are on a mission to find a female which is why they are a lot more active at this time.>>
    KHQ.COM - Mid August is about the time that we start to see spiders come into our homes, particularly the hobo spider. August and September is mating season for the hobo and that means you may be seeing more funnel-like webs in and around your home. Males are on a mission to find a female which is why they are a lot more active at this time.
    >>
  • Cobell Settlement Checks Could Be Mailed By Fall 2014

    Cobell Settlement Checks Could Be Mailed By Fall 2014

    Friday, August 15 2014 9:03 PM EDT2014-08-16 01:03:47 GMT
    The people in charge of doling out money in the Cobell settlement want to put checks in the mail by this fall.>>
    The people in charge of doling out money in the Cobell settlement want to put checks in the mail by this fall.
    >>
  • Sentinel High School Principal And Assistant Principal Suspended

    Sentinel High School Principal And Assistant Principal Suspended

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:35 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:35:48 GMT
    Missoula County Public Schools suspended two of Sentinel High School's top administrators for "board policy violation.">>
    Missoula County Public Schools suspended two of Sentinel High School's top administrators for "board policy violation."
    >>
  • Chanin Starbuck Murder Case To Be On 'Dateline' Nationwide Friday Night

    Chanin Starbuck Murder Case To Be On 'Dateline' Nationwide Friday Night

    Thursday, July 11 2013 9:23 PM EDT2013-07-12 01:23:04 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. – It's a classic show millions of Americans have watched for years and this week "Dateline" heads to the Inland Northwest showcasing a tragic murder that left a mother dead and a father behind bars.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. – It's a classic show millions of Americans have watched for years and this week "Dateline" heads to the Inland Northwest showcasing a tragic murder that left a mother dead and a father behind bars. A little more than a month ago a jury convicted Clay Starbuck for the murder of his ex-wife Chanin Starbuck.>>
  • Search to Resume on Tuesday for Swimmer Missing on Ennis Lake

    Search to Resume on Tuesday for Swimmer Missing on Ennis Lake

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:56 PM EDT2014-09-02 03:56:06 GMT
    The search for a missing swimmer on Ennis Lake has ended for the night on Monday and will resume again Tuesday morning.>>
    The search for a missing swimmer on Ennis Lake has ended for the night on Monday and will resume again Tuesday morning.>>
  • EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Mother remembers Gracie Snider

    EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Mother remembers Gracie Snider

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-09-02 19:00:41 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Two little girls, best buddies, spent the day playing soccer at a central Washington tournament in May. Gracie Snider and Ayla James were riding back from the game, laughing and talking like friends do.But just a few miles east of Ritzville on i-90 on May 3rd, the vehicle the girls were in hit a semi truck. Gracie didn't make it and Ayla was seriously hurt.>>
    KHQ.COM - Two little girls, best buddies, spent the day playing soccer at a central Washington tournament in May. Gracie Snider and Ayla James were riding back from the game, laughing and talking like friends do.But just a few miles east of Ritzville on i-90 on May 3rd, the vehicle the girls were in hit a semi truck. Gracie didn't make it and Ayla was seriously hurt.
    >>