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Mont. Couples Want Partner Recognition

Mont. Couples Want Partner Recognition


Six gay and lesbian Montana couples filed a request Tuesday asking a district court judge to issue a ruling without a trial on their case seeking domestic-partnership recognition.

The couples, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, filed a lawsuit earlier looking to protect gay and lesbian couples and their families under the equal protection clause in the Montana constitution.

"Recognition of domestic partnerships would enable our couples to access important legal protections they need to secure their relationships and families," attorney James Goetz said on behalf of the plaintiffs in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon.

The constitution currently bans marriage equality and recognition of same-sex couples for protections and benefits that married heterosexual couples can access.

Plaintiffs in the case Donaldson and Guggenheim v. State of Montana are Mary Anne Guggenheim and Jan Donaldson of Helena, Stacey Haugland and Mary Leslie of Bozeman, Mike Long and Rich Parker of Bozeman, M.J. Williams and Nancy Owens of Basin, Rick Wagner and Gary Stallings of Butte, and Denise Boettcher and Kellie Gibson of Laurel.

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