27 Jul The ACLU is at it again! Marriage challenged in Montana
The ACLU filed a lawsuit on July 22 seeking to force the state of Montana to provide legal status to same-sex couples in spite of the state’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. The Montana marriage amendment was passed in 2004 with 67 percent of voters supporting the initiative.
Maggie Gallagher, Chairman of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), states that in the case of Montana, the American Civil Liberties Union has a new legal strategy they seem to be trying out. “They are targeting states that have limited marriage amendments and seek out ‘friendly’ judges to rule in their favor—regardless of whether the people support their efforts or not.”
According to JURIST:
“The complaint argues that, in not providing a legal status to committed same-sex relationships, the state has violated the plaintiffs’ rights under the Montana Constitution. The lawsuit does not argue for same-sex marriage, which is banned under the state constitution, but argues that the court should order the state to provide same-sex couples with civil unions. The ACLU argues that the state is discriminating against the plaintiffs based on their sexual orientation and that this situation unconstitutionally burdens the plaintiffs’ rights to privacy, dignity and the pursuit of life’s basic necessities, in addition to violating their state due process rights.”
The complaint goes on to state that the State is “perpetuating a social stigma and prejudice long suffered by lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals in Montana, that they and their relationships are inferior to heterosexual individuals and heterosexual relationships.” The complaint explains that the Plaintiffs suffer “distinct dignitary harms.”
It seems that perceived “distinct dignitary harms” is not much of a case to challenge a state constitutional amendment, but details like that have never slowed down the ACLU and other same-sex advocates in their quest to use the courts to steam roll the country into accepting same-sex marriage.