ACLU Files Suit To Overturn Montana's Ban On Benefits For Same-Sex Couples
Following similar suits in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana has filed an amended lawsuit against the state on behalf of seven gay couples in an attempt to win for them the same benefits that married straight couples receive. The Missoulian reports:
In the amended lawsuit, attorney James Goetz identifies numerous statues, including laws he says prevent gay couples from receiving financial protections given to police officers and spouses and from designating their partners as beneficiaries for worker's compensation.
Other laws Goetz cites exclude gay couples from financial protections for surviving spouses, authority over end-of-life decisions, financial protections due to illness or disability and protections from the dissolution of their relationships.
In December 2012, the Montana Supreme Court denied the ACLU's original appeal challenging every statue excluding committed same-sex couples form protections granted to straight couples. The Justices did say, however, that the ACLU could move forward with statute-specific efforts to secure equal treatment for same-sex couples in the state.