Montana is now the 34th state to legalize same-sex marriage, the decision came down to one federal district judge in Great Falls. Justice Brian Morris ruled in favor of four same-sex couples who filed a lawsuit against the state of Montana in May. Morris agreed with the couples’ claim that Montana law defining marriage as “between a man and a woman,” violated the Equal Protection Clause under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
“These couples recreate in the beautiful outdoors that Montana offers. They cheer for their favorite teams at sporting events. They practice their faiths freely as guaranteed by our Constitution,” Morris wrote in the decision.
The ruling means same-sex couples can now enjoy the same tax benefits, medical and adoption rights granted to other married Montanans.
“I’m glad that the place I choose to call home is actually willing to accept my brand of love now,” said former UM student Hampton White, who said he plans to marry his boyfriend of almost two years. White said he wants a planned wedding so he won’t get married anytime soon, but “it’s nice to have the ability.”