MONTANA: Bozeman Commission Backs Gay Couples In Lawsuit Against State
The Montana GOP might want to outlaw gay sex, but the Bozeman City Commission is more enlightened. Yesterday Bozeman's city commissioners unanimously approved a resolution backing a pending lawsuit demanding equal treatment for LGBT couples in Montana. Bozeman, population 27,000, maybe be small by most standards, but they are the fifth largest town in Montana and the very first to back LGBT rights.
From a group of pro-gay activists holding signs and cheering outside, to the packed seats of the commission room, City Hall was filled with powerful emotion during a Monday night meeting. Commissioners heard from comments on all sides of the homosexuality debate before making their unanimous decision to support the resolution. Mayor Jeff Krauss drafted the document, saying he wants Bozeman to put forth a clear message. "I think there are kids out there that are terrified of who they are and what they are," Krauss said. "They need to hear they are all welcome here and yes life for you can be normal here in Bozeman." "So proud, very proud and very grateful. The commission (is) doing the right thing at the risk of losing political cash," said one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Mary Leslie.Seven gay couples are suing Montana. The case resumes next month.
UPDATE: The ACLU's LGBT Project writes us to offer more details about the case.
Seven committed same-sex couples have sued 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 different-sex couples through marriage. Because there is a constitutional amendment in Montana barring marriage for same-sex couples, this lawsuit is not seeking marriage. The couples in the suit are seeking the protection of state-recognized domestic partnerships.