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ACLU challenges Montana’s same-sex marriage ban; governor backs challenge

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Montana state sealThe ACLU of Montana filed a federal challenge to the state’s same-sex marriage ban today on behalf of four same-sex couples. Montana has a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, and the state refuses to recognize same-sex marriages performed outside of the state. The new lawsuit challenges both aspects of the ban:

Angie and Tonya Rolando of Great Falls are the lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed today in federal court in Great Falls. The Rolandos are in a committed same-sex relationship and share a last name, but they are not married.

In 2010 Tonya legally changed her last name to Angie’s last name, Rolando, to reflect the commitment the two share. The couple said they want to get married to have that love and commitment legally recognized, but are legally barred from doing so in Montana. The couple said beyond the legal protections marriage would provide, they also believe marriage equality is a fundamental human right.

“My every day is her,” Angie Rolando said of her partner, Tonya. “I can’t think of a part of my life without her connected to it.”

ACLU of Montana is representing the Rolandos and three other same sex couples — Shauna and Nicole Goubeaux of Billings, Ben Milano and Chase Weinhandl of Bozeman, and Sue Hawthorne and Adel Johnson of Helena — as they sue the state for the right to get married or to have marriages from other states legally recognized in Montana.

Montana Governor Steve Bullock backs the challenge to the ban. He released a statement supporting the couples:

HELENA – Governor Bullock released the following statement concerning the legal action filed today in Federal Court challenging Montana’s prohibition against marriage equality: “Montanans cherish our freedom and recognize the individual dignity of every one of us. The time has come for our state to recognize and celebrate – not discriminate against – two people who love one another, are committed to each other, and want to spend their lives together. I look forward to a future where all Montanans have the opportunity to marry the person they love, just as Lisa and I did almost 15 years ago. We are on the path to greater understanding and equality, and we will all be better for it.” The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for Montana, Great Falls Division, is brought by Angela Rolando and Tonya Rolando; Chase Weinhandl and Benjamin Milano; Susan Hawthorne and Adel Johnson; and Shauna Goubeaux and Nicole Goubeaux.

Challenges to same-sex marriage bans have been filed in every state except North Dakota and South Dakota.

The case is Rolando v. Fox. You can read the complaint here.

UPDATE: John Becker at Bilerico reports that a lawsuit is expected to be filed in South Dakota soon, and that the same law firm is considering one in North Dakota as well.

Thanks to Kathleen Perrin for these filings


  • 1. Big Rick  |  May 21, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    It's great that Montana Governor Steve Bullock is on the side of the plaintiffs. However, he is not one of the named defendants. It will be interesting to see if AG Tim Fox or one of the other defendants will try to defend the ban. They'll fail, of course, but it would be quicker if they just conceded now.

  • 2. AndyinCA  |  May 21, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    “My every day is her,” Angie Rolando

    We have amazing plaintiffs on our side. I hope this get resolved soon!

  • 3. Mike in Baltimore  |  May 21, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    The state of Montana has always puzzled me.

    The state was the first to send a woman to Congress (Jeanette Rankin, first elected in 1916), even before some (most?) states even allowed women to vote; and

    That representative was the ONLY person to vote against US entry into WW I and WW II.

    With that history, WHY is Montana near the tail end of states with law suits filed against laws outlawing ME?

  • 4. Ragavendran  |  May 21, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    I want to strangle this guy, Monte Neil Stewart:

  • 5. sfbob  |  May 21, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Stewart wants to return us to a simpler time when men and women each had their own roles to play within a marriage. Unfortunately for him (and fortunately for the rest of us), those roles no longer exist, either in law or in fact.

  • 6. Ragavendran  |  May 21, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    UPDATE: Fifth Circuit Justice Graves just denied, in a one-line order, the motion to expedite the De Leon appeal. On April 14, Plaintiffs asked the Court to expedite their appeal, noting only in their filing that the Defendants opposed it. The Defendants were given until April 28 to respond, but they never responded and missed their chance to explain why they oppose the motion to expedite the appeal. But it seems that just the fact that Defendants oppose is enough for the Fifth Circuit to agree with them. If NOM wants to blindly allege something as "collusion", what would this be called?

  • 7. sfbob  |  May 21, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    It's an odd place. My partner's family lives in Montana so we visit regularly. People are friendly and they tend to mind their own business. There is a strong libertarian streak going on there which cuts both ways (anti-messing-with-folks'-personal-lives, very much anti-tax and pro-gun-ownership). There is also a certain amount of xenophobia so their tolerance for differences is limited, not to mention the LDS Church is expanding in Montana,in population as well as in influence.

  • 8. DrHeimlich  |  May 21, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Maybe it's for the best. Even if the case were expedited and the judgment affirmed, Texas couples wouldn't get to marry until the Supreme Court weighed in anyway. So, given that there's more chance for the Fifth Circuit (more than any other appeals court) to REVERSE the judgment, let them just drag their feet. As the old adage goes, "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

  • 9. davep  |  May 21, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    If the case were about 'outlawing man/woman marriages', his brief would make sense…

    But that's not the issue, so no, his little rant is meaningless jibberish.

  • 10. Andrew  |  May 21, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    That was a long time ago – there's no reason why an electorate's votes 98 years ago should be the same as a different electorate's vote now, just because those different electorates are found in the same geographic area. Ex. – in 1916, Minnesota have never voted for a Democrat for President, and would not do so for the first time for another 16 years. Everyone who ever voted for Jeanette Rankin is long dead.

  • 11. AndyinCA  |  May 21, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    ugh I wish I hadn't read it. It makes me want to puke. He practically savors the use of the word "genderless" – over and over again, to refer to same-sex marriage. It's like referring to interracial marriage as "raceless marriage"

  • 12. Rik  |  May 21, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    haha.. methinks this does not bode well for our luck in the 5th… not that that is shocking

  • 13. Mike in Baltimore  |  May 21, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    You might want to recheck your math ("Everyone who ever voted for Jeanette Rankin is long dead"). Or did you neglect to read where I posted that she ALSO voted against US entry into WW II?

    Anyone who voted for Ms. Rankin in 1940 would have been born on or before November 5, 1919 (until July 1, 1971, people had to be 21 to vote in Presidential elections). That would have been only about 7.5 years prior to when my mother was born (June 1927). My mother is still alive, still kicking, and planning on voting (in person) in this November's election.

  • 14. Chad  |  May 21, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    they probably delayed on purpose. they know they have to rule in our favor. so by putting it off 3 or 4 other circuits will have ruled for ME by then. it gives them cover.

  • 15. Margo Schulter  |  May 21, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    The one thing about the Monte Stewart filing, apart from the idea that SmithKline scrutiny is somehow different from intermediate scrutiny, is that “genderless marriage” and his favored alternative of the “valorization of the roles of mother and father” show that gender roles and stereotypes apply here, and thus intermediate scrutiny on that basis as well.

    It’s a point that some of the district courts are missing, despite the logic of Loving v. Virginia that an “equally applied” criterion such as “you may not marry a person of a different race,” or here “you may not marry a person of the same sex,” are in fact race-based or sex-based categories. Judge Floyd (tea-leaf warning!) did express this reasoning in the Tenth Circuit oral arguments, but other judges feel that the role of racism in Loving somehow makes it different.

    However, arguments based on “gender diversity” or gender role assumptions do provide an independent basis for intermediate scrutiny, which Monte Stewart is, of course, quite mistaken in proposing that the Nevada statute could withstand.

  • 16. Josh  |  May 21, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Maybe even putting it off long enough for the USSC to decide the issue.

  • 17. Rose  |  May 21, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    There are MANY amazing couples out there and sometimes when the "PLAINTIFFS" are pick to represent our side, they are pick based on appearance instead of just who they are……one DOESN'T want to see to "BUTCH" of a Lesbian couple or to "FEMININE" of a Gay couple……the stereotypes just might offend the anti-gays and cost us, so the plaintiffs are carefully screened……and though I can understand this, it's still NOT fair in my opinion!!!

  • 18. Rose  |  May 21, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    I personally CAN'T stand the misuse of the word "GENDERLESS". My wife and I are NOT genderless, we both happen to be women. This is Stewart's way of mocking our rights and our marriages thinking this will win him points and it WON'T!!!

    Again, NO ONE is advocating to end the man-woman martial right or requirement, all that is being asked is that the martial requirement NOT be solely restricted to just 1 man and 1 woman!!!

    When will this idiot learn that the mention of procreation or to hint at the importance of opposite-sex parents has NOTHING to do with one's right to marry!!!

    These folks either need to try a different tactic or simply wave the white flag, seeing as they really have NOTHING in the first place!!!

  • 19. StraightDave  |  May 21, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    I actually love Monte's ravings. By being such a fool, he proves he has nothing even remotely sane to back up his claims. He invites the judges to smack him down cold, which they will. (chair over the head, anyone?)

    1) "Justice Alito so demonstrated in United States v. Windsor"

    uhhhh…. Alito didn't say anything in Windsor. What words he did scribble down were not any part of the court's Windsor opinion. They were just his private gripes with no weight.

    2) "…until the law … outlaws all official support for the man-woman marriage institution"

    ….not even *after* hell freezes over, will that occur.

    This dude is the best thing to come along for quite a while. It's not like Brian Brown sitting in a corner whining. He's in open court dancing his jig as if he's trying to con some half-sober trailer trash. That can only help us immensely with the quality of federal judges I see floating around these days. It's like debating Sarah Palin and Herman Cain. Enjoy it while we can, folks!

  • 20. Corey from Maryland  |  May 21, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    Just 39% is left. No one is pointing this out. This is amazing! Only 39% of the country has not been impacted by a decision essentially depriving the LGBTQI community from marriage if desired. Sure, AR, ID, MI, VA, TX and UT is held up in the courts but this is 61% of the country. This really squeezes NOM, FRC and the like down to the bare bones. The well is running dry but no time to let up until it is 100%!

  • 21. Rik  |  May 21, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    I wonder, would it not be possible to have a circuit (or three :-) ) rule in our favor and then have SCOTUS deny cert? I know there would technically be a circuit split at that point, but maybe enough has changed in jurisprudence since that decision that it gives them cover to deny cert? I know it would be longer for full equality throughout the country, but the circuits would fall quickly and that would buy SCOTUS some time to gather public opinion before they ultimately have to rule. I just wonder if that might be a possible path they choose to take

  • 22. Warren  |  May 21, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    I heard a report the other day that said, 44% of the population legally marry either gender.

    KY, UT, OK, *OH, VA,, TN, **TX, MI, ***AR, ID, OR and PA all have favorable DISTRICT COURT or State Court rulings for same sex marriages since the DOMA ruling; However, stays to delay marriages have been issued pending appeals.

    *OH has two favorable rulings. The first win was for a dead man who was married out of state. The court ordered the state to note that the decease was a married man on the death certificate. The second win is for out of state couples who are legally married. Six Ohio same-sex couples on April 30, 2014, filed a federal lawsuit challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage, joining advocates in several states seeking to make gay nuptials legal through the courts.

    Similar to Ohio's ruling, judges in Kentucky and Tennessee have ordered state officials to recognize out-of-state gay marriages.

    **In a move that follows suit with a federal ruling issued in February, a state district judge has deemed Texas' restrictions on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

    ***AR is a state court ruling.

    Utah has been ordered to recognize the marriages that took place after the Federal District ruling and before the SCOTUS issued its stay on the marriages.

  • 23. SeattleRobin  |  May 21, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    I believe I said I wanted to throttle him the other day myself. Maybe the magistrate ignored the point about outlawing man-woman marriage because it's patently ridiculous.

  • 24. Margo Schulter  |  May 22, 2014 at 1:20 am

    Sorry, at 15. I meant Judge Holmes of the Tenth Circuit during the Kitchen argument, not Judge Floyd! (Thanks for the peerless Ragavendran’s transcript that helped me quickly confirm that.)

  • 25. Pat  |  May 22, 2014 at 2:24 am

    So what does this mean? That they will not bother issuing a briefing schedule for a few more months? (briefing schedule wasn't set yet, right?)

  • 26. Frisky1  |  May 22, 2014 at 2:34 am

    Rosa Parks was picked because she was light skinned, articulate, and generally well liked among the white establishment. She was the secretary of the NAACP and her action was staged with the entire force of the movement behind her.

    The woman who actually didn't go to the back of the bus, without the benefit of MLK watching as it happened, was Claudette Colvin, who was a darker skinned 15 year old, who ended up pregnant, possibly by rape, and shunned by her own community (Although people were refusing to move to the back of the bus on and off for years.) it was decided that she wasn't sympathetic enough to a white jury to be the test case. Hence, she is largely forgotten, although easily googled including her book and NPR interview.

  • 27. Guest  |  May 22, 2014 at 4:15 am

    I hope the UT decision bodes well for the recognition of my MI marriage before the 6th Circuit stayed Friedman's ruling…

  • 28. Retired_Lawyer  |  May 22, 2014 at 4:32 am

    Ragavendran, Don't let people like Monte Neil Stewart get under your skin. He is not a very effective lawyer. He has been peddling this created-out-of-thin-air genderless marriage claptrap for years, without persuading any judge. In this particular instance, he has vented a little bit, while having to admit that yet another case, Latta v. Otter (in his own state , Idaho, yet) is against his position. I had occasion yesterday to re-read Varnum v. Brien, 763 N.W. 2d 862 (Iowa 2009), and sure enough, Monte Neil Stewart, was there on the losing side of that case, five years ago, representing amici curiae United Families International, Family Watch International [a Timex, maybe], and the Family Leader Foundation. I would be concerned if the anti-gay forces had a really good law firm on their side. So far they don't.

  • 29. Chuck from PA  |  May 22, 2014 at 5:34 am

    In fighting for hearts and minds, spokespeople who show the world that we are all basically the same, human and deserving of equal rights, help us to advance every GLBT person's interests. Careful selection of plaintiffs can help move our cause more expeditiously. It might not be the most idealistic approach, but it is the more practical approach. And I'd bet that all my butch lesbian friends and effeminate gay friends would be glad to have their marriages on a faster track if cases are brought by couples who look more like Jake Gyllenhaal and Dominic Cooper than contestants on RuPaul's Drag Race. Similarly being represented by a beautiful couple of "lipstick" lesbians serves our interests quite well.

  • 30. Michael Grabow  |  May 22, 2014 at 6:47 am

    Maybe I just like to find silver linings…I know they can do as they please, but if several more state's bans are overturned along with possibly the 4th and 10th circuit affirming decisions by the time this case is heard, it would make it that much more difficult for the 5th to overturn the lower courts ruling.

  • 31. Michael Grabow  |  May 22, 2014 at 6:50 am

    Indiana as well!

  • 32. Michael Grabow  |  May 22, 2014 at 6:51 am

    Oklahoma as well!

  • 33. Michael Grabow  |  May 22, 2014 at 6:51 am

    This is my thinking too.

  • 34. sfbob  |  May 22, 2014 at 6:55 am

    If you look at it in terms of public opinion we are far, far ahead in that area relative to how things stood when Loving vs Virginia was handed down. At the time, in 1967, while a majority of the states had abandoned their anti-miscegenation laws, something like 90% of the public was opposed to interracial marriage. Things are somewhat the opposite with respect to marriage equality today. Even though only a minority of states have marriage equality, the latest Gallup poll showed 55% in favor and only 37% opposed. The public clearly has moved on even if the law fails to reflect that reality.

  • 35. JayJonson  |  May 22, 2014 at 7:07 am

    Interesting that you should mention that. In his review of Jo Becker's book on Prop 8 and Dale Carpenter's on Lawrence at, Claude Summers contrasts the plaintiffs in those cases. On the one hand, the plaintiffs in the Prop 8 case were carefully picked attractive couples who could be the face of the struggle for marriage equality. AFER's very savvy pr team put them in the spotlight at every opportunity. In contrast, the plaintiffs in Lawrence were problematic: both had criminal records and lacked many of the middle-class virtues. (In addition, they were not even guilty of the crime with which they were charged!) Lambda Legal spent a great deal of time and energy keeping the OUT of the spotlight. I agree that it isn't fair. Arguably, John Geddes Lawrence and Tyron Garner were far more heroic than the Prop 8 plaintiffs since they were willing to be outed in homophobic Houston in 1998. Carpenter points out that they were willing to become plaintiffs only because they had very little to lose. (Though in fact Lawrence did fear that he might lose his job.)

  • 36. JayJonson  |  May 22, 2014 at 7:14 am

    The Fifth Circuit is a disgrace.

  • 37. Michael Grabow  |  May 22, 2014 at 7:29 am

    And on top of the postivie polling, the ME states being in the minority means nothing when you consider that they make up 43.5% of the population.

  • 38. Ragavendran  |  May 22, 2014 at 8:03 am

    A briefing schedule hasn't been set, but should be issued soon by a clerk. I guess they were waiting to see if it would be expedited or not. If the Fifth Circuit wants to abide by its own rules, however, this appeal should still have a faster-than-normal briefing schedule, as it is a preliminary injunction appeal. Fifth Circuit Rule 47.7 provides:

    The following categories of cases are given preference in processing and disposition: (1) appeals in criminal cases, (2) habeas corpus petitions and motions attacking a federal sentence, (3) proceedings involving recalcitrant witnesses before federal courts or grand juries, (4) actions for temporary or preliminary injunctive relief, and (5) any other action if good cause therefor is shown.

  • 39. Sue in Montana  |  May 22, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    Gee, my governor has decided not to defend Montana's constitution. It is time for a recall, and I
    will be starting it. Traditional Marraige: Montana law, God's law.

  • 40. sfbob  |  May 22, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    We live in nation governed by civil law rather than "God's law." The latter is in any event subject to a variety of understandings among various faiths. As it happens, my particular religion, Reform Judaism, sanctifies same-sex marriages as do numerous other religious denominations. This is why we have civil law: so that no particular interpretation of religious doctrine is given preference over another one, and those who do not embrace any religion at all are not subject to the rules of someone else's religion.

    The ultimate arbiter of civil law in the US and in any political subdivision thereof is the US constitution; if your state's constitution contains provisions which conflict with those of the US constitution then your governor has a duty to defend the latter rather than the former.

  • 41. ColleenJuniper  |  May 22, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Constitution of Montana — Article III — GENERAL GOVERNMENT

    Section 3. Oath of office. Members of the legislature and all executive, ministerial and judicial officers, shall take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation, before they enter upon the duties of their offices: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, protect and defend the constitution of the United States, and the constitution of the state of Montana, and that I will discharge the duties of my office with fidelity (so help me God)." No other oath, declaration, or test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust.

  • 42. Sue in Montana  |  May 22, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Key word being "Reform" Judaism. Judaism does not need to be reformed, it is in the
    Old Testament. Why don't you just be honest and say "I think the bible is a crock, and I
    don't believe in God"? I would respect you more.

  • 43. Sue in Montana  |  May 22, 2014 at 4:24 pm


    In November 2004, Montana voters enacted Constitutional Initiative 96 ("CI-96") an amendment to the State Constitution defining marriage as a union strictly between a man and a woman. 1 In so doing, proponents of the bill successfully preempted a potential state constitutional challenge to Montana's statutory prohibition on same-sex marriage. 2 Although CI-96, also known as the "Marriage Amendment," makes a potential state constitutional challenge to the prohibition on same-sex marriage more difficult, it does not prevent such a challenge on federal grounds. 3

  • 44. Sue in Montana  |  May 22, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    But it doesn't prevent a recall of Governor Bullock who took an oath to uphold it.

  • 45. sfbob  |  May 22, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    Reform Judaism is by far the largest branch of American Judaism. Nice way to go about insulting half the nation's Jewish population.

    Here's the short version: if your interpretation of the Bible does not permit entering a same-sex marriage, then by all means do not enter into one. As for how other interpret the bible or any other similar text and as for what others choose to do based on that, why is it any of your business and why should precisely YOUR views be reflected in laws intended to apply equally to the religious of all faiths and to those who are entirely secular?

  • 46. Bruno71  |  May 22, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    So you're saying you don't respect his organized religion? That's good to know. It says a lot about you.

  • 47. Sue in Montana  |  May 22, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Oh, also, homosexual marriage is not a right given in the constitution, so states rights override the homosexual anti-traditional marriage locust movement sweeping the country. Damn if I will let it happen here, not on my watch. And to think,
    I was just content to lay around and drink a beer in the sun, this BS has gotten me SO motivated. I HATE bullies.

  • 48. Bruno71  |  May 22, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    And I hate bigots.

  • 49. sfbob  |  May 22, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    "traditional" marriage according to the bible includes multple wives and concubines. Is that what your understanding is? It's there in texts that, however they my vary otherwise and regardless of which languages they are translated into, appear to be in close agreement with each other and are pretty easy to understand.

    "Homosexual marriage" is not a right given in the constitution but neither is heterosexual marriage." In fact the US constitution doesn't refer to marriage at all. The right to marry the person of one's choice however has been affirmed as fundamental over and over again by every court in the US. No qualifiers are needed, not "homosexual" not "heterosexual not "intraracial" or "interracial." Just "marriage."

  • 50. Sue in Montana  |  May 22, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Did God get the memo?

  • 51. davep  |  May 22, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Girl, you are WAY behind the curve when it comes to spewing these 'arguments'. They have all been easily debunked already, over and over again, here, in the courts, and elsewhere. You have no argument.

    You don't like the idea of same sex couples getting legally married. And you want to point to your religious beliefs are your justification. Nope, not going to fly. You have no argument.

    By the way, marriage IS a right, and it provides access to numerous other rights and legal protections, and our Constitution DOES promise something called Equal Protection. You can't make laws that exist for the purpose of subjecting a certain group of citizens to unequal legal treatment and harm them by denying them equal protection, unless there is a legitimate reason to do so. And laws that deny civil marriage to same sex couples fail to serve any legitimate purpose that a civil law out to serve. They are blatantly unconstitutional. That's why they are being overturned in state after state after state. Your Governor is doing his job by not wasting your states resources defending an unconstitutional law.

  • 52. sfbob  |  May 22, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Perhaps you should forward it to him. Or her. Or them.

  • 53. davep  |  May 22, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    Yup, your state added an amendment to your state Constitution that is in direct violation of the FEDERAL Constitution. And your unconstitutional and pointlessly discriminatory amendment will be overturned.

  • 54. Sue in Montana  |  May 22, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    This is so fun…….organized religion….hmmmmmm. If you believe in God, then you must believe it to be the Word of God. When God says, in the bible. that marriage is between a man and a woman, how exactly am I to interpret that?
    Is organized religion a code word for "well yeah, but uh……no"?

  • 55. sfbob  |  May 22, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    You seem perfectly capable of determining what the word of god is for you while you don't grant that capacity to others. That's interesting.

    Where, in the bible does god specify who may and, more importantly who MAY NOT marry? And note well here: I did not say "lay with." I said "marry."

  • 56. Bruno71  |  May 22, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    "If you believe in God, then you must believe it to be the Word of God." According to you. Not everyone follows YOUR interpretation or YOUR religion, or follows the bible in the same way you do. Do you eat shellfish, by the way?

  • 57. Sue in Montana  |  May 22, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    Bigot…..a word that means "damn, you don't agree with me, so I will call you a name". Sorry it the truth hurts.

  • 58. davep  |  May 22, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    You don't even understand the difference between:

    1. SECULAR CIVIL MARRIAGE – like going to City Hall and getting a civil marriage license, which is what makes you LEGALLY married, and has nothing to do with any religious ceremony or religious belief, and

    2. A symbolic religious wedding ceremony – which can be important to the participants for personal reasons, but has nothing to do with secular civil marriage and does not convey the rights and legal protections of real, legal, civil marriage.

    You are trying to argue about matters of secular civil law and constitutional principles of equal protection with a religious argument.

    You might as well be trying to solve a math equation through interpretive dance.

    You have no idea what you are talking about.

  • 59. Zack12  |  May 22, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    According to the Bible, women should be seen and not heard.
    As a man, I haven't given you permission to speak or type so run along now.

  • 60. Bruno71  |  May 22, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    It's not a "name," but your interpretation of that word as it applies to yourself leads me to believe the truth DOES hurt.

    Oh, and you shouldn't swear, should you? Does "God" like that?

  • 61. Bruno71  |  May 22, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Have her husband come here and verify she has permission. And maybe his other wives can be approved at the same time.

  • 62. Bruno71  |  May 22, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Most likely through a 9th Circuit ruling on another state's case.

  • 63. ColleenJuniper  |  May 22, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Look, you don't have to live your life any differently. Can't you just let some of your neighbors have the opportunity to make their way through life without having to be afraid their kids will be unprotected when they die, or that they won't be able to visit their spouse in the hospital, or they won't be able to buy a house because they can't apply for a loan based on their own and their partner's combined income?

    No one needs you to give your blessing or approval. But you could maybe just allow that some people are not the same as you and have the right to exist as full citizens.

  • 64. Steven H  |  May 22, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    States rights is irrelevant in this context, since Montana isn't a real state; it's a territory that real states (like mine) owned outright. Montana's recent statehood was contingent upon its servile allegiance to the 14th Amendment. You made a promise that you will keep.

    Only grownup states get to claim "states rights," and even their claims are tenuous, at best; it's ridiculous to hear that argument from a youngun like Montana!

  • 65. Retired_Lawyer  |  May 22, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Far be it from me to break up a good argument, but the Federal case will not be affected one way or the other by Gov. Bullock's opinion. Recall him or leave him alone: it won't make any difference in the disposition of the case: that is up to the parties and the Judge.

  • 66. davep  |  May 22, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    Aw poop. I was just getting started.

  • 67. Bruno71  |  May 22, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    Shhh. We want her ilk to waste their time on something irrelevant.

  • 68. Ragavendran  |  May 22, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Maybe set her up with TK – assuming TK is a guy. I'm sure they'll get along fine!

  • 69. Sue in Montana  |  May 22, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    oh gee, like the word damned isn't in the bible. Can you make this a bit more difficult for me please?

  • 70. Sue in Montana  |  May 22, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    The truth will never be "debunked".

  • 71. Bruno71  |  May 22, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Do you eat shellfish? Pork?

  • 72. sfbob  |  May 22, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Even better if TK isn't a guy. Perhaps it's just what they need. :)

  • 73. StraightDave  |  May 22, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    And I was just about to say……well, I might as well anyway:

    From my safe little bubble in Massachusetts, it has seemed awfully quiet around the country the past 6 months, despite all the goings-on. Is it just me or has this deafening silence from all the marriage laws crashing down been the norm in most other places? Other than the expected whining from NOM, LDS, RCC, I hear no great uproar anywhere. Pandering GOP politicians are scarce. Even the celebrations seem more muted than in years past.

    Have we passed the point where nobody really cares anymore, they're burned out, are just graciously accepting the inevitable, or actually finally realize the sky isn't going to fall? Whatever…. It is awfully nice and no longer seems quite like Civil War II. We're certainly not done yet, and there will be some inevitable bumps, but 2014 feels very different to me.

  • 74. Sue in Montana  |  May 22, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    no what? I don't have the time or inclination to answer every one of ya'lls misguided comment. I am going to write an editorial on why the people of Montana should start a recall movement.
    Good luck to all of you in your pursuits, but funny thing is….I think truth and light shall prevail(check Revelations)
    Good day.

  • 75. Bruno71  |  May 22, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Let us know when it's published. I look forward to the numerous spelling and grammatical errors. Don't let the door hitcha!

  • 76. davep  |  May 22, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    You would first have to acknowledge the truth, Sue. And you're nowhere near doing that yet.

    The TRUTH is that marriage is a CIVIL matter. It existed as civil marriage long before any religion decided to get involved by performing symbolic religious ceremonies to celebrate these civil marriages. For many centuries after Christianity began, the church felt it had no business being involved in the purely secular business of marriages at all.

    Religion didn't create marriage, it doesn't own it, and it doesn't control the secular civil laws that DO regulate civil marriage. And those civil laws must comply with the principles of our federal Constitution, NOT anyone's religious beliefs. Let that sink in. Welcome to America, Sue.

  • 77. sfbob  |  May 22, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Once you've gone back and read the original texts in ancient Hebrew and ancient Greek you can tell us what this "truth" is. Otherwise you're relying on other people's interpretations and translations, all of which may be subject to error.

  • 78. davep  |  May 22, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Sure. Answer this simple question:

    All civil laws and state amendments must serve a valid purpose. They can't exist just to single out a disfavored group to harm them, or just to allow one group to express disapproval of another group, or to simply impose discrimination for its own sake. Those are not valid purposes for laws or state amendments.

    So – what valid purpose is served by a law or amendment that denies the rights and legal protections of civil marriage to same sex couples? Name it.

    And good luck, because none of the numerous teams of highly experienced lawyers tasked with defending these measures has ever been able to do so. That's why those laws are being overturned again and again. They inflict harmful discrimination and serve no legitimate beneficial purpose in doing so.

  • 79. StraightDave  |  May 22, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    …A woman walks into a bar.
    Turns out it was the wrooooonnng bar :)

  • 80. davep  |  May 22, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Sue, you CAN'T answer them. You have no argument to show how laws that deny civil marriage to same sex couples could possibly comply with the U.S. Constitution and be allowed to remain in effect.

    And as was already pointed out to you, your state's unconstitutional amendment will be overturned regardless of whether your Governor wastes a pile of state money trying to defend it. Threatening to recall him is completely pointless.

  • 81. Deeelaaach  |  May 23, 2014 at 2:18 am

    Maybe they're already together. Maybe Sue in Montana is another one of TKinSC's sock puppets. Which, if true, would be another one of the site guidelines not being upheld.

  • 82. Retired_Lawyer  |  May 23, 2014 at 6:13 am

    Truth and Light are likely to prevail. That is the motto of Yale (Lux et Veritas), where Hillary Clinton went to law school.

  • 83. JayJonson  |  May 23, 2014 at 6:45 am

    ANd why would anyone care whether you respect them? (Sorry for feeding this stupid troll. I can't help myself.)

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