Montana

Montana legal documents designed to protect your family no matter your relationship status

Montana

montanaMontana

Rainbow Law has a document package designed to protect same-sex partners in Montana. We offer 9 unique Affordable Document Packages, Individual Legal Documents and FREE Advance Directives to help protect your rights and the rights of your family. To order a legal document package that complies with Montana law, hover your mouse over the “Buy A Package” link in the top menu and click on the package that best suits your needs in the drop-down list. If you’re not sure what package is right for you, click this link and we’ll help you figure out what you need.

Although the US Supreme Court has held that the federal government cannot discriminate against gay and lesbian couples legally married and living in a state that recognizes that marriage, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) couples living in Montana are not legally recognized as spouses even if they were married in a marriage equality state or country.

Montana same-sex partners and family members may experience discrimination in many different ways. Some of them, like snubbing by your family of origin or by complete strangers in a social setting, can’t be dealt with legally; they require a set of adaptive behaviors, including education, humor, and a thick skin. But typical anti-discrimination laws do cover several areas.

Here is a run-down on Montana law affecting the LGBTQ community:

1 Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships: 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.

A state District Court heard arguments in January 2011 in the case of Donaldson v. State of Montana on behalf of several same-sex couples who want the court to order the state to establish some legal status other than marriage that will enable them to control and share decisions about their families’ health care, inheritance, burial, and other issues. The city of Bozeman backed their suit. The Court ruled against the plaintiffs on April 19, 2011, 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. 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. The plaintiffs renewed the suit on July 16, 2013, with an amended complaint citing many specific state statutes.

2 Adoption Law: Montana permits adoption by individuals. There are no explicit prohibitions on adoption by same-sex couples or on second-parent adoption by a person of the same sex as the first parent. Neither have court rulings provided guidance on those questions.

3 Anti-Discrimination Law: No provision of Montana law addresses discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation or gender identity. The city of Missoula adopted an anti-discrimination statute covering both sexual orientation and gender identity in 2010. The city of Missoula adopted an anti-discrimination statute covering both sexual orientation and gender identity in 2010. In 2012, the city of Helena did so too.

4 Sodomy Law: Montana revised its criminal code in 1973 and retained its anti-sodomy statute. An attempt to repeal the state’s sodomy law failed in 1991. The Montana Supreme Court held in Gryczan v. State (1997) that the state law prohibiting same-gender sexual contact between consenting adults was unconstitutional. An attempt to repeal the statute failed in 2011. On April 18, 2013, Governor Steve Bullock signed legislation decriminalizing sodomy.

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