July 17, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
ACLU files amended Montana DP lawsuit

Helena, Montana. (Photo by RTC via Wikimedia)

HELENA, Mont. — The American Civil Liberties Union on July 15 filed a lawsuit on behalf of seven same-sex couples seeking domestic partner benefits in Montana.

“We’re challenging statutes that offer some of the most egregious examples of how state laws do not give equal protection to same-sex couples and violate the Montana Constitution,” said ACLU of Montana Legal Director Jon Ellingson.

The state Supreme Court in December 2012 denied an ACLU appeal that challenged every Montana statute that denied gays and lesbians legal protections afforded to married heterosexual couples. The justices in their ruling said, however, the group could pursue what an ACLU press release described as “statute-specific efforts to secure equal treatment for same-sex couples in the state.”

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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