Same-Sex Couples Get Marriage Licenses in Bozeman
Same-sex couples and supporters filled the second floor of the Gallatin County Law and Justice Center on Thursday morning after a federal judge struck down the state's gay marriage ban.
Wednesday’s decision made Montana the 34th state to give same-sex couples the freedom to marry.
Just after 8 a.m., the hallway on the second floor of the justice center began filling as people lined up outside the clerk of courts office to get marriage licenses. Members of PFLAG (Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays) handed out flowers to those in line.
Outside the building, Chicks with Sticks, a bucket drum corps from Bozeman, played celebratory music.
State leaders weighed in on the issue after the news broke Wednesday.
“Montana just became the 34th state to give same-sex couples the freedom to marry - about time!” Sen. Jon Tester wrote on Facebook.
“Throughout my 36 years of service in the military, as Lt. Governor, and now as U.S. Senator, I've been proud to fight for our freedoms. Today’s overdue court ruling reflects our Montana values of individual freedom, fairness and equality. I believe every Montanan – our sons, daughters, friends and family – should live free of discrimination,” Sen. John Walsh posted to his official Facebook account.
Gov. Steve Bullock issued a statement in support of the decision.
"I have instructed my administration to quickly take all appropriate steps to ensure that we are recognizing and affording the same rights and responsibilities to legally married same-sex couples that all married Montanans have long enjoyed."
Meanwhile, Rep. Steve Daines said he was disappointed in the decision, adding that he believes marriage is a union between a man and woman.
Montana Attorney General Tim Fox said Wednesday he would appeal the decision.