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>>

  • Nazi war suspect, 89, dies as extradition OK'd

    Nazi war suspect, 89, dies as extradition OK'd

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 3:24 PM EDT2014-07-23 19:24:54 GMT
    The lawyer for a suspected Nazi war crimes suspect says the 89-year-old Philadelphia man has died while awaiting extradition to Germany.
    An 89-year-old Nazi war crimes suspect died in custody hours before a U.S. ruling Wednesday that he should be extradited to Germany to face trial.
  • APNewsBreak: Medicaid enrollees strain Oregon

    APNewsBreak: Medicaid enrollees strain Oregon

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 3:24 PM EDT2014-07-23 19:24:36 GMT
    Low-income Oregon residents were supposed to be big winners after the state expanded Medicaid under the federal health care overhaul and created a new system to improve the care they received.
    Low-income Oregon residents were supposed to be big winners after the state expanded Medicaid under the federal health care overhaul and created a new system to improve the care they received.
  • Meat supplier in China scandal has global reach

    Meat supplier in China scandal has global reach

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 3:24 PM EDT2014-07-23 19:24:04 GMT
    It isn't a household name, but the company that's at the center of a food scandal in China helps make some of the world's most popular foods, including the Big Macs and Quarter Pounders served at...
    It isn't a household name, but the company that's at the center of a food scandal in China helps make some of the world's most popular foods, including the Big Macs and Quarter Pounders served at McDonald's...
  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Carlton Complex Fire now 250,136 acres; 2,500+ firefighters on scene

    Carlton Complex Fire now 250,136 acres; 2,500+ firefighters on scene

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 1:19 PM EDT2014-07-23 17:19:47 GMT
    UPDATE: The Carlton Complex is now the largest wild land fire ever to burn in the State of Washington. The perimeter of this fire is more than 100 miles long. The total acreage burned is 250,136 acres (391 square miles). A total of 2,542 firefighters and support personnel are assigned to the incident. The fire is 16% contained.
    UPDATE: The Carlton Complex is now the largest wild land fire ever to burn in the State of Washington. The perimeter of this fire is more than 100 miles long. The total acreage burned is 250,136 acres (391 square miles). A total of 2,542 firefighters and support personnel are assigned to the incident. The fire is 16% contained.
  • INCREDIBLE drone video shows fire destruction over Pateros/Brewster

    INCREDIBLE drone video shows fire destruction over Pateros/Brewster

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:51 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:51:52 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Chelan HD Productions has given us permission to show this incredible video they shot with a drone surveying the damage done from the Carlton Complex Fire in the areas of Brewster and Pateros. This video is truly jaw dropping and really shows the level of destruction from the fire.
    KHQ.COM - Chelan HD Productions has given us permission to show this incredible video they shot with a drone surveying the damage done from the Carlton Complex Fire in the areas of Brewster and Pateros. This video is truly jaw dropping and really shows the level of destruction from the fire.
  • 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.
  • Update: Semi Removed, Lanes Reopen After Chemical Spill Near Bonner

    Update: Semi Removed, Lanes Reopen After Chemical Spill Near Bonner

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 3:22 PM EDT2014-07-23 19:22:36 GMT
    Emergency officials, including health department personnel, are on scene of a semi rollover east of Missoula.
    Emergency officials, including health department personnel, are on scene of a semi rollover east of Missoula.
  • Bugg Road fire near Tonasket

    Bugg Road fire near Tonasket

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 2:29 PM EDT2014-07-22 18:29:21 GMT
    KHQ.COM- UPDATE: The Bugg Road fire burning 7 miles east of Tonasket, WA and has destroyed one structure and expanded to 1,700 acres on Tuesday.This fire started on Monday and by the end of the day had burned 1,000 acres. Air support and dozers are trying to keep the fire in check.
    KHQ.COM- UPDATE: The Bugg Road fire burning 7 miles east of Tonasket, WA and has destroyed one structure and expanded to 1,700 acres on Tuesday.This fire started on Monday and by the end of the day had burned 1,000 acres. Air support and dozers are trying to keep the fire in check.
  • Water Pipe Improvements in Bozeman

    Water Pipe Improvements in Bozeman

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:41 AM EDT2014-07-23 04:41:42 GMT
    A water main break earlier today knocked out the water supply to about 20 homes in Bozeman. This is the second break within recent weeks, but city officials say there is nothing to be alarmed about.
    A water main break earlier today knocked out the water supply to about 20 homes in Bozeman. This is the second break within recent weeks, but city officials say there is nothing to be alarmed about.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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.