Donaldson and Guggenheim v. Montana
Six committed same-sex couples have sued the state of Montana for failing to offer legal protections to same-sex couples and their families in violation of the Montana Constitution’s rights of privacy, dignity and the pursuit of life’s basic necessities and its guarantees of equal protection and due process. The goal of this lawsuit is to see that same-sex couples are able to protect their families with the same kind of legal protections that the State offers to different-sex couples through marriage.
Because there is a constitutional amendment in Montana barring marriage for same-sex couples, this lawsuit is not seeking marriage. The couples in the suit are seeking the protection of state-recognized domestic partnerships.
STATUS: The Montana Supreme Court has granted, in part, our appeal to secure domestic partnership protections. Though the court denied the plaintiffs’ initial appeal as too broad, the justices allowed the ACLU to move forward with more narrowly tailored efforts to secure equal treatment for same-sex couples in the state.