New & Noteworthy:


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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Judge sets November hearing in challenge to Montana gay marriage ban

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
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 [...]

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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
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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Church denies Communion to married, same-sex couple; suggests they divorce

Friday, September 19, 2014
St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, Lewistown, Mont.
BILLINGS, Mont. -- A gay couple has been told they can no longer receive Communion or participate in church ministry after a new priest at a Roman Catholic church in central Montana learned they had been married in a civil ceremony more than a year ago. The decision set off [...]

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Dillon, Mont., rejects motion to consider non-discrimination ordinance

Thursday, September 4, 2014
DILLON, Mont. -- The city council in Dillon, Mont., on Wednesday voted not to move forward on a proposed ordinance to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The council voted 6-2 against a motion to consider the ordinance, but instead asked the the city attorney to draft a [...]

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Bozeman, Mont., residents sue over LGBT non-discrimination ordinance

Friday, August 29, 2014
BOZEMAN, Mont. -- Five Bozeman residents are suing the city, the mayor and city commissioners arguing the city did not have the legal authority to enact an ordinance that prohibits discrimination based on a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. The complaint, filed in District Court, asks the court to [...]

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Billings, Mont., rejects LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance

Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Billings, Mont.
BILLINGS, Mont. -- The Billings City Council has rejected an ordinance to ban discrimination based on a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. The Billings Gazette reports the council’s decision came early Tuesday, with Mayor Tom Hanel casting the deciding vote. [...]

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Marriage News Watch: State lawyers ignore public support for marriage equality

Monday, July 28, 2014
The rules have changed yet again this week in Colorado, with new rulings on marriage from multiple courts. New polls show growing support for equality in western states, but multiple Attorneys General have filed new briefs to stop gay and lesbian couples from marrying. And another Republican member of Congress [...]

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Montana AG asks federal court to uphold same-sex marriage ban

Thursday, July 17, 2014
Attorney General Tim Fox (R-Mont.)
HELENA, Mont. -- Montana's attorney general asked a federal court Thursday to uphold the state's constitutional same-sex marriage ban in response to a lawsuit that seeks to overturn it. Republican Attorney General Tim Fox said in documents filed in federal court in Great Falls that the people of Montana spoke [...]

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