Montana leaders, public react to same-sex marriage lawsuit


BOZEMAN, Mont. - Reaction from politicians seems split along party lines, with Democrats supporting the move. We broke down reaction from Montana leaders.

Gov. Steve Bullock released a statement on Wednesday, in favor of those filing the lawsuit. He says, "I look forward to a future where all Montanans have the opportunity to marry the person they love."

Democrat Montana Sen. Jon Tester also spoke in support. He says, "Denying some couples the right to marry denies them happiness and equal protection."

Democrat Sen. John Walsh posted this on his official Facebook page that, "no government should stand between two adults are committed to each other."

Republican Rep. Steve Daines doesn't appear to endorse the lawsuit or same-sex marriage. His office released this statement, "We respect the decision made by the people of Montana." That refers to the voter-approved 2004 constitutional initiative defining only marriages between one man and one woman would be valid and recognized by the state.

We also took a poll from people walking along Main St. in downtown Bozeman. After an hour of speaking to people it's clear, reaction is mixed.

"If someone wants to marry someone of the same sex, then they can go ahead and do it, if its not you and your don't believe in it, then don't do it," said Rachel Roberts.

"Those who want it are going to push it, and those of us who don't believe in it either should stand up and say something or it's just going to happen," said Paul Schuleke.

"I think the larger area of Montana is ready, but get the smaller areas that probably still aren't ready," said Candice Kerr.

We wanted to know what is next. The next move is up to the defendants of the lawsuit -- Montana Attorney General Tim Fox, Department of Revenue Director Michael Kadas, and Fay McWilliams, the Clerk of Court in Cascade County.

We put a call into Attorney General Tim Fox's office. They replied in an e-mail saying,

"In 2004, the people of Montana overwhelmingly passed a Constitutional amendment, which says "only marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state." Attorney General Fox will continue to defend Montana's marriage amendment vigorously."

This article was corrected to add an an exact quote from the Montana Attorney General's Office.