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ACLU sues state of Montana over benefits for gay couples

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Missoulian
|
July 16, 2013

HELENA – A civil rights organization filed a new lawsuit against the state Monday on behalf of seven gay couples in an attempt to win for them the same benefits that married couples receive in Montana.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana filed its amended complaint after the state Supreme Court rejected its first lawsuit in December for being too broad and not identifying specific laws that are discriminatory.

In the amended lawsuit, attorney James Goetz identifies numerous statutes, including laws he says prevent gay couples from receiving financial protections given to police officers and spouses and from designating their partners as beneficiaries for worker’s compensation.

Other laws Goetz cites exclude gay couples from financial protections for surviving spouses, authority over end-of-life decisions, financial protections due to illness or disability and protections from the dissolution of their relationships.