New & Noteworthy:

Montana

Montana is the 41st U.S. state, admitted to the Union on Nov. 8, 1889. Its most populous city is Billings, and the state capitol is located in Helena.

LGBT Rights in Montana: A constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions was approved by voters in November 2004. No provision of Montana law addresses discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation or gender identity. Montana's hate crimes statute does not cover violence based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Montana permits adoption by individuals, and 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.

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Ninth Circuit sets schedule for Montana AG’s appeal of gay marriage ruling

Saturday, November 22, 2014
Attorney General Tim Fox (R-Mont.)
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Opening arguments from Montana's attorney general are due Feb. 27 in his appeal of a federal court order that struck down the state's same-sex marriage ban. Attorney General Tim Fox has said it's his sworn duty to uphold Montana's Constitution, which voters amended in 2004 ...

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Some Mont. clerks won’t issue same-sex marriage licenses for religious reasons

Friday, November 21, 2014
Ted Ribey with the Clerk of District Court's office in Yellowstone County attaches a seal to the wedding license of Jill Houk and Randi Paul, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014, in Billings, Mont. At least 5 other clerks in the county are refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
BILLINGS, Mont. -- A few county clerks in Montana's Yellowstone County are refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, citing their religious opposition to same-sex marriage.

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Montana same-sex couples exchange vows after gay marriage ban tossed

Thursday, November 20, 2014
Ben Bahnsen, left, puts a wedding ring on husband, Patrick Donnelly, as Unitarian minister Nina Grey officiates their marriage on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014, at the Gallatin County Law and Justice Center in Bozeman, Mont.
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Gay couples are lining up for marriage licenses at county courthouses across Montana on Thursday, a day after a federal judge tossed out the state's ban on same-sex marriage. At least two counties - Missoula and Park - started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Wednesday, while court clerks elsewhere geared up to do so Thursday.

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Federal judge strikes down Montana same-sex marriage ban

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
J. Stephen Conn
GREAT FALLS, Mont. -- A federal judge in Montana has struck down that state's same-sex marriage ban. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Brian Morris comes in a challenge filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana on behalf of four same-sex couples who sued to overturn the ban.

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Judge in Montana to rule on same-sex marriage ban without formal hearing

Friday, November 14, 2014
Montana
GREAT FALLS, Mont. -- A federal judge has vacated a hearing scheduled for next week in Great Falls to hear arguments in a lawsuit challenging Montana's ban on same-sex marriage.

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Three states continue to deny same-sex marriage despite appellate court rulings

Thursday, October 23, 2014
In this July 1, 2013 file photo, Rick Nelson Flor, right, holds a flower bouquet as he stands next to his partner Robert O'Rourke before their wedding ceremony in West Hollywood, Calif.
WASHINGTON -- Three states are continuing their legal fight against same-sex marriage, despite rulings from federal appeals courts that oversee those states that concluded gay and lesbian couples have the right to marry. Even as officials in other states have abandoned defense of gay marriage bans, Kansas, Montana and South Carolina...

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Judge sets November hearing in challenge to Montana gay marriage ban

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Montana
HELENA, Mont. -- A judge has set a Nov. 20 hearing in Great Falls for arguments in a lawsuit challenging Montana's ban on gay marriage. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris scheduled the hearing Monday after four gay couples filed a motion for summary judgment that asks the judge to decide the case without a trial.

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Federal judge asked to rule on Montana’s same-sex marriage ban

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Jimmy Emerson
HELENA, Mont. -- Four couples challenging Montana's ban on same-sex marriages have asked a federal judge to decide the issue without going to trial. The couples, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, filed the request Wednesday.

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ACLU: Montana’s same-sex marriage ban will be struck down

Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Montana
HELENA, Mont. -- A state ACLU official says a decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to strike down Idaho's ban on gay marriage likely means Montana's voter-approved ban also will be declared unconstitutional. Montana ACLU Legal Director Jim Taylor says Montana's ban is nearly identical to...

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Parishioners divided over church’s demand that gay couple get divorced

Monday, September 22, 2014
Paul Huff and Tom Wojtowick
GREAT FALLS, Mont. — A Roman Catholic bishop says a central Montana parish is about evenly divided over a new priest's decision to prohibit a gay couple from receiving Communion unless they divorce, live separately and write a statement affirming that a marriage is between a man and a woman.

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