A federal judge on Wednesday struck
down Montana's ban on gay marriage as unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge Brian Morris did
not stay his ruling.
In his 18-page ruling, Morris said that
the decade-old constitutional amendment limiting marriage to couples
of the opposite sex violated the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S.
“Defendants fail to put forth any
persuasive argument that the discriminatory means employed by these
laws relate substantially to the achievement of any important
government objective,” Morris
“No family wants to deprive its
precious children of the chance to marry the loves of their lives.
Montana no longer can deprive Plaintiffs and other same-sex couples
of the chance to marry their loves.”
“This Court recognizes that not
everyone will celebrate this outcome,” Morris added. “Yet the
United States Constitution exists to protect disfavored minorities
from the will of the majority.”
Plaintiff couples in the case are Angie
and Tonya Rolando of Great Falls, Shauna and Nicole Goubeaux of
Bilings, Ben Milano and Chase Weinhandl of Bozeman and Sue Hawthorne
and Adel Johnson of Helena. The Goubeauxs are raising 1-year-old
Aden, while Tonya and Angie, who share a last name but are not
married, have two children from previous marriages.
(Opinion provided by Equality