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Marriage Equality

Marriage Equality Suit Filed in Montana

Marriage Equality Suit Filed in Montana

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The suit, filed in federal court today, leaves only the Dakotas as states that ban same-sex marriage but have no pending legal challenges -- and that is expected to change soon.

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The marriage equality movement has come to Montana, as four same-sex couples filed suit there today seeking the freedom to marry and to have their out-of-state marriages recognized.

The couples are Angie and Tonya Rolando of Great Falls, Shauna and Nicole Goubeaux of Billings, Ben Milano and Chase Weinhandl of Bozeman and Sue Hawthorne and Adel Johnson of Helena. They are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and two private law firms, Goetz, Gallik, & Baldwin and Morrison & Foerster.

"We want Aden to grow up knowing that we are a family like any other family," said Shauna Goubeaux of her and wife Nicole's 1-year-old son, in an ACLU press release. "Marriage is part of being a family. By being plaintiffs in this case we are showing him his mommies will stand up for what is right and stand up for him."

Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, released a statement supporting the couples, but Attorney General Tim Fox, a Republican, "said he would vigorously defend the ban" on same-sex marriage in Montana, reports the Associated Press.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court, "leaves just two states -- North Dakota and South Dakota -- with gay marriage bans and no legal challenges aiming to overturn them," notes the AP. Suits are expected to be filed in those states soon.

It's been a big news week for marriage equality, with federal judges ruling for equal marriage rights in Oregon and Pennsylvania; neither of those decisions will be appealed. Same-sex couples have begun marrying in Oregon and applying for licenses in Pennsylvania; the latter state mandates a three-day waiting period between application and ceremony unless a judge grants a waiver.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.