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ACLU Files Appeal in Montana Domestic Partnership Case 

ACLU Files Appeal in Montana Domestic Partnership Case 

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Arguing that the Montana constitution guarantees fair and equal treatment to all people, the American Civil Liberties Union is appealing a District Court's dismissal of a same-sex domestic partnership case.

Donaldson and Guggenheim vs. State of Montana was filed by Jan Donaldson and her partner of 27 years, Mary Anne Guggenheim, after a doctor refused to speak with Donaldson without a release after Guggenheim had hip replacement surgery.

"This case is about treating people fairly and humanely," Donaldson said. "We just want the dignity of having our committed partnership recognized as worthy of those legal protections."

The ACLU says recognition of same-sex partnerships is necessary to uphold fair treatment for all, which is guaranteed by the Montana state constitution.

"Anyone who works and pays taxes should be treated equally and fairly by our state," said Jennifer Giuttari, interim legal director for the ACLU of Montana. "When two people are in a committed relationship, they should be eligible for benefits, like filing a joint tax return, regardless of whether they are a same-sex couple or a different-sex couple."

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