Same Sex Couple Fight For Equal Rights - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Same Sex Couple Fight For Equal Rights

Posted: Updated:
BOZEMAN -

The Department of Justice announced on Monday that married same sex couples will now receive equal treatment as opposite sex couples when they file for bankruptcy, testify in court or visit family in prison.

In Montana, six same-sex couples continue to fight for legal protections which they say are not given to them under Montana's constitution.

Rich Parker and Mike Long have been together for 12 years and got married this past November.

"We have a life together. We have a mortgage, two black labs and a son in college," said Long. "We would like to have the same protections under Montana state laws that other couples can have."

Parker and Long are one of the six couples in Montana along with the American Civil Liberties Union suing the state of Montana for failing to offer legal protections to same-sex couples and their families.

"I want to make sure that the gay youth of this state feel comfortable being out there," said Parker.

Unlike opposite sex couples Parker and Long are denied state rights such as work compensation, state pensions or death benefits.

"We really believe that these committed and loving couples have a right to be able to take care of one another," said Amy Cannata, ACLU Communications Director. "We're going to do everything we can to make sure that happens here in Montana."

"Marriage is still forbidden under the Montana constitution and we're not questioning that. We're questioning the part of the Montana constitution that says everyone should be treated equally under the law," said Long.

This is not the first time the lawsuit has been filed. In December 2012, the Montana Supreme Court denied the request for domestic partnerships saying the complaint didn't specify statues that discriminate.  

A new complaint was filed in July 2013, outlining specific acts of discrimination.
This Wednesday, attorneys on both sides will discuss the facts of the case.

"Right now, it's in the discovery phase. We're still looking at sending documentation back and forth with the state," said Cannata.

Long said a trial date for the case is set in December in District court in Helena.

"It makes me feel optimistic that it will happen," said Long.

Currently, there are 18 states in the country where same-sex marriage is legal.

  • NationalMore>>

  • Carjacked vehicle hits crowd, killing 2 children

    Carjacked vehicle hits crowd, killing 2 children

    Friday, July 25 2014 4:10 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:10:32 GMT
    Two men forced a woman into the backseat of her vehicle at gunpoint, drove off but later lost control and plowed into a group of people on a corner near a fruit stand in Philadelphia on Friday, police said. Two...
    Two men forced a woman into the backseat of her sport utility vehicle at gunpoint, drove off but later lost control and plowed into a group of people on a corner near a fruit stand in Philadelphia on Friday, police said....
  • Fukushima study: Think about unthinkable disasters

    Fukushima study: Think about unthinkable disasters

    Friday, July 25 2014 3:56 PM EDT2014-07-25 19:56:06 GMT
    A U.S. science advisory report says a key lesson from Japan's Fukushima nuclear accident is that the nation's nuclear industry needs to focus more on the highly unlikely but super-serious worst case scenarios.
    A U.S. science advisory report says Japan's Fukushima nuclear accident offers a key lesson to the nation's nuclear industry: Focus more on the highly unlikely but worst case scenarios.
  • Fired Ohio State band director vows to clear name

    Fired Ohio State band director vows to clear name

    Friday, July 25 2014 3:23 PM EDT2014-07-25 19:23:40 GMT
    The Ohio State marching band is moving forward without its director; a day after he was fired they're performing with the Columbus Symphony in what's often considered the band's unofficial season kickoff.
    The fired director of Ohio State University's celebrated marching band said through his attorney Friday that he has become a scapegoat for behavior occurring within the organization before his leadership and he'll...
  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Search Crews Use All Resources As They Try To Recover Kayaker

    Search Crews Use All Resources As They Try To Recover Kayaker

    Thursday, July 24 2014 8:54 PM EDT2014-07-25 00:54:32 GMT
    Thursday was day five of the search for a Polson doctor who disappeared while kayaking on Flathead Lake.
    Thursday was day five of the search for a Polson doctor who disappeared while kayaking on Flathead Lake.
  • ABC All-Star: Bailey Deyle

    ABC All-Star: Bailey Deyle

    Thursday, July 24 2014 8:34 PM EDT2014-07-25 00:34:26 GMT
    Sentinel senior to be Bailey Deyle and her Montana Avalanche softball team just won the state ASA softball tournament, and have been competing across the country this entire summer. Although it's not just her success on the field that makes her this week's ABC All-Star.
    Sentinel senior to be Bailey Deyle and her Montana Avalanche softball team just won the state ASA softball tournament, and have been competing across the country this entire summer. Although it's not just her success on the field that makes her this week's ABC All-Star.
  • Bozeman Scuba Divers Explore Yellowstone Lake

    Bozeman Scuba Divers Explore Yellowstone Lake

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:38 PM EDT2014-07-23 03:38:22 GMT
    Montana is known for its outdoor recreational and adventure sports.There's everything from whitewater kayaking to extreme mountain biking.
    Montana is known for its outdoor recreational and adventure sports.There's everything from whitewater kayaking to extreme mountain biking.
  • The Catalan Secret Camp Comes to Missoula

    The Catalan Secret Camp Comes to Missoula

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:22 AM EDT2014-07-24 04:22:53 GMT
    The relationship between Big Sky high school soccer and coaches from Barcelona goes back to 2011, when the Eagles boys team visited Spain.
    The relationship between Big Sky high school soccer and coaches from Barcelona goes back to 2011, when the Eagles boys team visited Spain.
  • Spokane Crew Cleans Up Chemical Spill Near DeBorgia

    Spokane Crew Cleans Up Chemical Spill Near DeBorgia

    Thursday, July 24 2014 11:53 PM EDT2014-07-25 03:53:01 GMT
    Mineral county officials call in a team from Spokane to clean up a hazardous chemical spill on I-90.
    Mineral county officials call in a team from Spokane to clean up a hazardous chemical spill on I-90.
  • UPDATE: Search and Rescue Efforts Continue for Flathead Kayaker

    UPDATE: Search and Rescue Efforts Continue for Flathead Kayaker

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:04 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:04:28 GMT
    The search for a missing kayaker will continue Monday on Flathead Lake, it's surrounding shores and the Flathead River, after he's been missing for more than 24 hours.
    The search for a missing kayaker will continue Monday on Flathead Lake, it's surrounding shores and the Flathead River, after he's been missing for more than 24 hours.
  • Many Frustrated By Stalled Cobell Settlements

    Many Frustrated By Stalled Cobell Settlements

    Wednesday, July 16 2014 9:30 PM EDT2014-07-17 01:30:30 GMT
    In Congress Wednesday, the group in charge of doling out Cobell settlement claims says it's waiting on setting exact amounts and a judge's okay before making the rest of the payments.
    In Congress Wednesday, the group in charge of doling out Cobell settlement claims says it's waiting on setting exact amounts and a judge's okay before making the rest of the payments.
  • Silver Bow Creek Has Life Again

    Silver Bow Creek Has Life Again

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 8:52 PM EDT2014-07-23 00:52:34 GMT
    For more than 100 years Silver Bow Creek was void of any life. Not only are there signs of life again but the native wildlife are thriving.
    For more than 100 years Silver Bow Creek was void of any life. Not only are there signs of life again but the native wildlife are thriving.
Powered by WorldNow

Features

  • More Features
  • Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Cowles Montana Media. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.