MT Among Three States With No Action Against Gay Marriage Ban - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

MT Among Three States With No Action Against Gay Marriage Ban

Posted: Updated:
MISSOULA - Montana is now just one of three states that doesn't have a lawsuit seeking marriage rights for same-sex couples. This comes after five couples filed a lawsuit over Alaska's ban on same-sex marriage.

Missoula City Councilwoman Caitlin Copple moved from Idaho to Montana, because of its welcoming atmosphere to same sex couples.

"Part of the reason I left Idaho is because I felt Montana was a much more welcoming place," Copple said.

Now, Idaho couples can get married as early as Friday, after a judge named Idaho's same sex marriage ban unconstitutional on Tuesday.

"I was surprised by what happened yesterday," Copple said.

Montana's same sex marriage ban, passed by voters in 2004, has yet to be challenged.

"Here in Montana we're still working on non-discrimination protections," Copple said.

Copple said while she'd like to see a fight for marriage equality in all 50 states, here in Montana there's bigger fish to fry.

"It's a matter of figuring out where our efforts are best spent, while marriage impacts people in a loving relationship, all LGBT people suffer when we don't have non-discrimination," Copple said.

Right now, Montana's LGBT advocates are working to take non-discrimination protections to a state level.

"It's pretty clear full marriage equality is going to happen nationally in just a matter of time," Copple said.

Anthony Johnstone is an assistant professor of law at the University of Montana. With all states, but three having cases against same sex marriage bans, he said it's only a matter of time before the issue of marriage equality makes its way back to the Supreme Court.

"Many of the challenges going on in other states are likely to reach the Supreme Court in Washington, and decide this issue," Johnstone said.

He said here in Montana we could see same-sex marriage legalized through federal law if the Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage unconstitutional, or if Montana's ban on same-sex marriage is taken out of the state's constitution.

"The big question is whether they decide this issue in Washington, D.C. before we decide on this issue under the Montana Constitution," Johnstone said.

The Human Rights Campaign said North Dakota and South Dakota are the other two states without lawsuits seeking marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples.

While no pending cases in Montana specifically address marriage, one lawsuit does call for state-recognized domestic partnerships for same-sex couples.

The American Civil Liberties Union is currently representing six same-sex couples who have sued the state of Montana for failing to offer legal protections to same-sex couples and their families. The goal of this lawsuit is to see that same-sex couples are able to protect their families with the same kind of legal protections that the state offers to different-sex couples through marriage.
    
The Montana Supreme Court denied the initial appeal calling it too broad. However, it encouraged the ACLU to move forward with a narrowly tailored appeal to equal treatment for same-sex couples in the state.
  • NationalMore>>

  • Arizona's McCain: Execution was torture

    Arizona's McCain: Execution was torture

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:33 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:33:36 GMT
    U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake was attending a ceremony for a judicial colleague when he received an urgent - and unusual - request: Lawyers for a condemned inmate wanted him to stop an execution that didn't...
    U.S. Sen. John McCain says the execution of an Arizona inmate that lasted two hours was torture.
  • Large Sandy-struck family splits $20M lottery win

    Large Sandy-struck family splits $20M lottery win

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:35 PM EDT2014-07-26 01:35:42 GMT
    A large family that lives at the shore and suffered losses during Superstorm Sandy will share a $20 million lottery jackpot that one of the 17 siblings said will be "a great pick-me-up."
    A lottery-playing tradition started by the matriarch of a large New Jersey shore family paid off for her 17 children this week when the group won a $20 million jackpot that will partly be used to help family members...
  • Police still investigating after burglar killed

    Police still investigating after burglar killed

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:32 PM EDT2014-07-26 01:32:57 GMT
    An 80-year-old man who came home to find two burglars said he shot and killed one of them despite her pleas that she was pregnant, but it's the woman's alleged accomplice who has been arrested on suspicion...
    Prosecutors Friday were waiting for the results of a police investigation into the killing of a burglar by an 80-year-old California homeowner who says he shot the woman in the back as she fled his home and ran down an...
  • 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.