Main | Wednesday, October 15, 2014

MONTANA: ACLU Files For Summary Judgment In Marriage Equality Case

Via ACLU Montana:
In one of the last remaining steps for Montana to become a marriage equality state, the ACLU of Montana today filed a motion for the U.S. District Court of Montana to rule in favor of four same-sex couples suing for marriage.

“We don’t think there are any material facts in dispute, and so the case can be decided without a trial” says ACLU of Montana Legal Director Jim Taylor. “The ban on same sex marriage in the Montana Constitution is the same as the bans that were ruled unconstitutional in Idaho, and Nevada. The four couples in our case are situated the same as the couples who won in the Idaho and Nevada cases. We are raising the same issues that were raised in the Idaho and Nevada cases, and we are optimistic that the decisions of the Ninth Circuit in those cases will convince the District Court to rule in our favor.”

The Ninth Circuit Court ruled in a unanimous opinion last week that Idaho and Nevada’s bans on marriage for same-sex couples are unconstitutional as discrimination based on sexual orientation under the federal Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution. Montana is part of Ninth Circuit and federal district courts here use precedents from that circuit to make rulings.
Democratic Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is a supporter of same-sex marriage. GOP Attorney General Tim Fox is not. In July, Fox asked the court to dismiss the ACLU's case. Of the nine states under the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit, only Montana and Arizona remain in play. (Tipped by JMG reader Mike)

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