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Missoula City Council passes domestic partnership registry resolution

By Kevin Maki, KECI Reporter, kmaki@keci.com
Published On: Jun 26 2013 07:23:42 PM MDT
MISSOULA Mont. -

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues are often in the spotlight in Missoula.

Three years ago, the city passed an equality ordinance protecting people on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Now the city is moving forward with another ordinance legitimizing same sex  unions.

The domestic partnership registry would recognize same sex partnerships and even opposite sex partnerships of unmarried couples.

The registry would be voluntary.

Couples would register with the city and receive an ID card.

Then, if there was for instance, an accident of one partner, that ID card would give the other partner full status in an emergency.

Sponsor Caitlin Copple said it's really a symbolic move for the city of Missoula to say even though Montana doesn't recognize you, we think you are as good as anyone else and we're going to set up this registry to do that.

Copple hopes the next step will lead Montanans to overturn the state's ban on same sex marriage through ballot initiative.

It's been a good day for same sex couples.

Ray Davis has been living with his partner for 5 years.

"It's good news," said Davis, "but it certainly isn't a victory as far as my personal decision to get married as a Montanan."

But the young Missoula man said "I think we're one step closer which is great."

Many Missoulians however don't think it's good news at all.

Among religious leaders there's disagreement and major concerns with the high court decision.

At Missoula Allilance Church, the pastor said the Bible is clear on marriage.

"I would really want to see marriage as its defined by God and the Bible as one man, one woman," said Pastor Dan Nagel. "I would encourage people to follow that."

But the pastor also said "our job is to love God, not to point fingers at other people on how they should live."