D Gregory Smith

Same-Sex Seven Sue Big Sky State

Filed By D Gregory Smith | July 23, 2010 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality, Politics, The Movement
Tags: ACLU, Big Sky discrimination, GLAAD, Montana, Montana Human Rights Network, strangers in the night

Another reason why Montana matters:

6.jpgSeven committed same-sex couples and the ACLU are suing the State of Montana for 'failing to offer legal protections to same-sex couples and their families in violation of the Montana Constitution's rights of privacy, dignity and the pursuit of life's basic necessities and its guarantees of equal protection and due process."

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 opposite-sex couples through marriage.

In 2004, Montana, along with several other states, approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and same-sex couple recognition. The plaintiffs contend that this violates their right of equal protection They are seeking the protection of state-recognized domestic partnerships, not marriage at this time.

Why do we keep banging our heads out here?

Because it's the right thing to do.

Kellie Gibson and partner Denise Boettcher are one of the couples involved in the suit.

"Denise has stood with me through 56 brain surgeries and over 300 spinal taps, yet to Montana we're nothing more than strangers," Gibson said in a statement. "Knowing we have legal protections for our family sure would make it easier on both of us the next time I have a medical crisis."

More on the plaintiffs here.

Many of us coupled up in Montana have to take extra legal precautions to ensure our wishes are respected at least on a level of legal will- those of us with children even more so. It's bigotry at it's finest.

Montana is a tricky place. "Live and let live" is the unofficial motto- there are white supremacists living in the same block with hippies, stockbrokers and rodeo clowns. Yet, the Montana GOP wants to criminalize the gays. Letters to the editor regarding LGBT rights/persons never get published. State Democrats give lukewarm statements on LGBT issues, etc.

There has been a fundamental right-wing element pushing the marginalization of LGBT persons in this state for over thirty years, and it's time it was stopped. With the assistance of these plaintiffs, GLAAD, the ACLU, The Montana Human Rights Campaign and good people from all over this nation it might just happen. But it needs to keep it's legs. This discriminatory attitude has to continue to be called out and placed in the laps of the people of Montana.

There are good people here, some of the best I know- that's why I stay. We just need a better way to get their attention. Keep writing your letters and making your phone calls. Hell, shoot a public service announcement if you have the resources. The good people of Montana are being manipulated and coerced by a few loudmouths in power- and once we convince them of that, I believe things will turn around.

Because nobody likes a bully.

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