Recognition of same-sex unions in Montana

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Legal recognition of
same-sex relationships
Marriage
Recognized
  1. Can be registered also in Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten
  2. When performed in Mexican states that have legalized same-sex marriage

Commencement dates:
  1. To be determined
  2. June 1, 2014 for statewide
LGBT portal

The state of Montana does not recognize same-sex unions.

History[edit]

Same-sex marriage was constitutionally banned in 2004. The Initiative passed via public referendum on November 2, 2004 with 67% of voters supporting and 33% opposing the measure.

In 2009, a domestic partnership bill was proposed. The domestic partnership bill would have provided for basic rights such as hospital visitation access for one's partner and joint property ownership. The bill was swiftly killed in the legislature.[1][2]

In July 2010, seven same-sex couples in Montana filed a lawsuit against the state. The suit contends that even with the ban on same-sex marriage, the state constitution's guarantees of privacy, dignity, and the pursuit of life's basic necessities and its guarantees of equal protection and due process require the state to offer same-sex couples the same rights and protections it offers to different-sex couples through marriage.[3] A state District Court heard arguments in January 2011 in the case, Donaldson v. State of Montana.[4] The city of Bozeman backed their suit.[5] The Court ruled against the plaintiffs on April 19, 2011,[6] and the plaintiffs, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) appealed that decision to the Montana Supreme Court on August 4, arguing that the marriage amendment does not preclude providing rights other than the name "marriage" to same-sex couples.[7] On December 17, 2012, that court in a 4-3 decision denied the plaintiffs request to find Montana's entire "statutory scheme" unconstitutional, but invited them to renew their suit in District Court by specifying the statutes they are challenging.[8]

Public opinion[edit]

A November 2011 Public Policy Polling survey found that 37% of Montana voters supported the legalization of same-sex marriage, while 51% opposed it and 12% were not sure. A separate question on the same survey found that 62% of respondents supported legal recognition for same-sex couples, with 32% supporting same-sex marriage, 30% supporting civil unions, 35% opposing all legal recognition and 3% not sure.[9]

A May 2012 Public Policy Polling survey found that 41% of Montana voters supported the legalization of same-sex marriage. 48% were opposed, while 11% were not sure. A separate question on the survey found that 64% of respondents supported legal recognition for same-sex couples, with 37% supporting same-sex marriage, 27% supporting civil unions, 32% opposing all legal recognition and 4% not sure.[10]

A February 2013 Public Policy Polling survey found that 43% of Montana voters thought that same-sex marriage should be legal, while 49% thought it should be illegal and 8% were not sure. A separate question on the same survey found that 64% of respondents supported legal recognition of same-sex couples, with 38% supporting same-sex marriage, 26% supporting civil unions, 33% opposing all legal recognition and 2% not sure.[11]

A June 2013 Public Policy Polling survey found that 42% of Montana voters thought that same-sex marriage should be legal, while 48% thought it should be illegal and 10% were not sure. A separate question on the same survey found that 71% of respondents supported legal recognition of same-sex couples, with 39% supporting same-sex marriage, 32% supporting civil unions, 27% opposing all legal recognition and 2% not sure.[12]

An October 2013 MSU Billings poll found that 46.6% of Montanans support legalizing same-sex marriage, while 42.6% oppose and 10.8% are undecided.[13] It is the first poll in Montana that has found greater support than opposition for same-sex marriage.[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ HOUSE BILL NO. 590
  2. ^ HB 590
  3. ^ Garcia, Michelle (2010-07-22). "Gay Montana Couples Sue State". Advocate.com. Retrieved 2010-07-23. 
  4. ^ Billings Gazette: "Gay couples argue for same rights as wedded people," January 25, 2011, accessed April 14, 2011
  5. ^ KTVM: "Bozeman Commission Backs Same-Sex Couples," September 27, 2010, accessed April 14, 2011
  6. ^ Independent Record (Helena): Matt Gouras, "Judge rules against gay couples seeking rights," April 21, 2011, accessed April 21, 2011
  7. ^ KTVM.com: Lauren Maschmedt, "ACLU Takes Same-Sex Case To State Supreme Court," August 4, 2011, accessed August 4, 2011
  8. ^ Geidner, Chris (December 17, 2012). "Montana Supreme Court Rejects Broad Equal Benefits Claim By Gay Couples". Buzz Feed. Retrieved December 17, 2012. 
  9. ^ Schweitzer could win Sen. nom in ’14 but maybe not MT in ‘16
  10. ^ "Schweitzer's Future". Public Policy Polling. Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  11. ^ Schweitzer could put Montana in play for 2016 presidential contest
  12. ^ Even in Montana, Dems prefer Clinton
  13. ^ The MSU-Billings Poll - October 2013
  14. ^ "MSUB Poll Surprising Results". KULR 8 News. October 25, 2013.