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January 07, 2005

Another victory for gay rights activists

In a majority 4-to-3 decision, the Montana Supreme Court has ruled that the state’s universities must provide their gay employees with insurance coverage for their domestic partners. The judges said the ruling had nothing to do with the rights of gay couples to marry. But a dissenting judge criticised his colleagues as ‘radically altering common law marriage in Montana’, reports The New York Times. Gay rights advocates said the decision was an important victory on the narrower point. ‘It is the first time that any state high court has ruled that a state has a constitutional obligation to provide domestic partner healthcare benefits,’ said James Esseks, the litigation director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Lesbian and G ay Rights and AIDS Projects, which represented the two lesbian couples who brought the suit challenging the state's policy.
Full report in The New York Times


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