A lawsuit was filed today, May 21 in Federal Court in Great Falls seeking to end the Montana Constitution's description of marriage as between one man and one woman by judicial decree. As of 2004, the state's constitution has read that "Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state."

The lawsuit, Rolando v. The State of Montana seeks to remove not only the constitutional description, but all legal descriptions of marriage constituting only one man and one woman, because, the lawsuit claims, they run contrary to the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The lawsuit includes three couples already in same-sex marriages affirmed by other states (Washington, Hawaii, and Iowa) as well as Angela and Tonya Rolando who are not yet married, but hope to be wed in the state of Montana.

Governor Steve Bullock has already weighed-in on the lawsuit in support of the plaintiffs saying:

“Montanans cherish our freedom and recognize the individual dignity of every one of us. The time has come for our state to recognize and celebrate – not discriminate against – two people who love one another, are committed to each other, and want to spend their lives together.

I look forward to a future where all Montanans have the opportunity to marry the person they love, just as Lisa and I did almost 15 years ago. We are on the path to greater understanding and equality, and we will all be better for it.”

Attorney General Tim Fox will be tasked with defending the State Constitution's position in his role as Attorney General.

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