Same-Sex Partnership Dismissed by Montana Judge
The suit was filed in July of 2010 by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on the behalf of seven gay couples. The suit argued that the state of Montana has failed to offer same-sex couples and their families legal protections, in addition to denying the same-sex couples their rights to 'privacy, dignity and the pursuit of life’s basic necessities as provided for in the Montana Constitution.'
Montana voters in 2004 passed a constitutional amendment excluding same-sex couples from marriage, and this caused the couples to state that their constitutional rights had been violated. The issue right now, is allowing the couples access to share medical insurance, healthcare information, and the right to privacy. 
In his ruling on April 19, 2011, Judge Sherlock said that to instruct the legislature to pass laws that give same-sex couples the same rights as married couples was something he could not do. "...in spite of this Court's sympathy for the plight of the Plaintiffs this court finds that the state's motion to dismiss should be granted." Judge Sherlock stated. He also went on to say, "This court finds that to be an inappropriate exercise of this Court's power. Primarily it would violate the separation of powers contained in the Montana Constitution."
No statement has been officially issued by the ACLU at this time, but attorney Betsy Griffing is now reading and reviewing the ruling. ACLU is prepared to take the lawsuit all the way to the Montana Supreme Court if it becomes necessary.
- LGBTQNATION.com-ACLU, seven same-sex couples sue Montana for equal protections-July 24, 2010
- LGBTQNATION.com-Montana judge dismisses suit by gay couples seeking legal protections-April 21, 2011
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