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>>

  • LaToya Cantrell becomes New Orleans' 1st woman mayor

    LaToya Cantrell becomes New Orleans' 1st woman mayor

    Sunday, November 19 2017 12:59 AM EST2017-11-19 05:59:54 GMT
    Sunday, November 19 2017 1:00 AM EST2017-11-19 06:00:32 GMT
    It's a historic election night in New Orleans, where voters have elected the first woman mayor and the first member of the Vietnamese community to serve on the City Council.>>
    It's a historic election night in New Orleans, where voters have elected the first woman mayor and the first member of the Vietnamese community to serve on the City Council.>>
  • Deduction targeted by GOP used by tax filers in most states

    Deduction targeted by GOP used by tax filers in most states

    Saturday, November 18 2017 9:53 AM EST2017-11-18 14:53:07 GMT
    Sunday, November 19 2017 1:00 AM EST2017-11-19 06:00:27 GMT
    Residents of high-tax states would be affected most by the GOP's plan to eliminate or reduce the deduction for state and local taxes, but the change also could affect millions of other filers, including some in...>>
    Residents of high-tax states would be affected most by the GOP's plan to eliminate or reduce the deduction for state and local taxes, but the change also could affect millions of other filers, including some in Republican-led states.>>
  • Ohio candidate doesn't regret sexual conquest Facebook post

    Ohio candidate doesn't regret sexual conquest Facebook post

    Saturday, November 18 2017 12:29 PM EST2017-11-18 17:29:39 GMT
    Sunday, November 19 2017 1:00 AM EST2017-11-19 06:00:24 GMT
    An Ohio Supreme Court justice and Democratic gubernatorial candidate says he deleted a Facebook post outlining his sexual history after being criticized in part for potentially identifying some of the women.>>
    An Ohio Supreme Court justice and Democratic gubernatorial candidate says he deleted a Facebook post outlining his sexual history after being criticized in part for potentially identifying some of the women.>>
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Spokane family discovers their new home destroyed

    Spokane family discovers their new home destroyed

    Saturday, November 18 2017 1:38 AM EST2017-11-18 06:38:51 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A family's dream home turned into a house of horrors after a man breaks in, destroying everything inside.  It was a day the Gunther family had been waiting for, to move into their new home. But when she checked on the place during her lunch break Thursday, Brittanie immediately knew something was wrong.   All of the work her family had done to get their new home ready was gone. "I don't even know what's really 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A family's dream home turned into a house of horrors after a man breaks in, destroying everything inside.  It was a day the Gunther family had been waiting for, to move into their new home. But when she checked on the place during her lunch break Thursday, Brittanie immediately knew something was wrong.   All of the work her family had done to get their new home ready was gone. "I don't even know what's really 

    >>
  • Navy issues updated statement on 'irresponsible and immature act' after obscene images drawn in skies over Okanogan Co.

    Navy issues updated statement on 'irresponsible and immature act' after obscene images drawn in skies over Okanogan Co.

    Friday, November 17 2017 4:50 PM EST2017-11-17 21:50:11 GMT

    OMAK, Wash. - I can picture the Austin Powers bit now.  The people of Omak looking up at the sky and seeing a giant (Fill in the blank innuendo here) just like in 1999's Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. If you're unfamiliar, I'll save you a Google search.  A simple, yet effectively funny joke.  Except the U.S. Navy doesn't see humor in the real-life version at all.  

    >>

    OMAK, Wash. - I can picture the Austin Powers bit now.  The people of Omak looking up at the sky and seeing a giant (Fill in the blank innuendo here) just like in 1999's Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. If you're unfamiliar, I'll save you a Google search.  A simple, yet effectively funny joke.  Except the U.S. Navy doesn't see humor in the real-life version at all.  

    >>
  • AC/DC founding member Malcolm Young dead at 64

    AC/DC founding member Malcolm Young dead at 64

    Saturday, November 18 2017 10:34 AM EST2017-11-18 15:34:00 GMT

    NEW YORK (AP) - Malcolm Young, the rhythm guitarist and guiding force behind the Australian hard rock band AC/DC, has died. He was 64. AC/DC announced the death on their official Facebook page and website Saturday. The posts did not say when or where Young died. Young was diagnosed with dementia in 2014. A statement says he died peacefully with his family by his side.

    >>

    NEW YORK (AP) - Malcolm Young, the rhythm guitarist and guiding force behind the Australian hard rock band AC/DC, has died. He was 64. AC/DC announced the death on their official Facebook page and website Saturday. The posts did not say when or where Young died. Young was diagnosed with dementia in 2014. A statement says he died peacefully with his family by his side.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Regional NewsMore>>

  • Veteran's Meat Locker Helping Those Who Served

    Veteran's Meat Locker Helping Those Who Served

    Friday, November 17 2017 12:30 AM EST2017-11-17 05:30:32 GMT
    Friday, November 17 2017 12:30 AM EST2017-11-17 05:30:32 GMT

    A Montana veteran and his wife have started an organization to help other veterans in the state. They are giving away free meat.

    >>

    A Montana veteran and his wife have started an organization to help other veterans in the state. They are giving away free meat.

    >>
  • U.S. Marshals urging public to report imposter scams to FTC

    U.S. Marshals urging public to report imposter scams to FTC

    Thursday, November 16 2017 3:42 PM EST2017-11-16 20:42:46 GMT

    WASHINGTON - The U.S. Marshals want you to know of several nationwide imposter scams from people claiming to be U.S. Marshals, court officers or other law enforcement officials.  During these calls, scammers attempt to collect a fine in lieu of arrest for failing to report for jury duty or other offenses.

    >>

    WASHINGTON - The U.S. Marshals want you to know of several nationwide imposter scams from people claiming to be U.S. Marshals, court officers or other law enforcement officials.  During these calls, scammers attempt to collect a fine in lieu of arrest for failing to report for jury duty or other offenses.

    >>
  • Zinke says Democrats holding Interior nominees 'hostage'

    Zinke says Democrats holding Interior nominees 'hostage'

    Friday, November 10 2017 3:19 PM EST2017-11-10 20:19:42 GMT

    WASHINGTON - Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is complaining that Senate Democrats are holding the department's nominees "hostage" to a political agenda that includes opposition to his review of presidentially designated monuments. 

    >>

    WASHINGTON - Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is complaining that Senate Democrats are holding the department's nominees "hostage" to a political agenda that includes opposition to his review of presidentially designated monuments. In a sharply worded letter to Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, Zinke says it's unfortunate that Democrats have placed holds on four Interior nominees.

    >>