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Same-sex couples contest Montana law

By Eric Turcio, Reporter, eturcio@ktvm.com
Published On: Jul 16 2013 05:48:15 PM MDT
Updated On: Jul 16 2013 08:40:05 PM MDT
Same-sex couples contest Montana law
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Same sex couples continue to fight for partner benefits in Montana.

The American Civil Liberties Union is fighting to get benefits extended to same-sex couples. Those benefits include financial protections, worker's compensation and end-of-life decisions.

In 2012, the State Supreme Court denied their blanket appeal of all statutes. Some same-sex couples said they will move forward, challenging specific benefits.

NBC Montana caught up with one of the seven couples involved in the case, who told us they deserve equal rights. Mike Long and Rich Parker have been together for 11 years and tell us they want equal benefits.

They tell us basic rights such as the ability to make end-of-life decisions or collect worker's compensation are important to have as a committed couple.

Both Long and Parker say it has not been an easy road, but they feel they are making progress.

"Just prove to people that we're human, we're Americans, we're taxpayers and we're not detrimental to the culture of the United States, by any means," said Parker.

NBC Montana also sat down with their son, Kevin Long, who says he supports his dads and is proud of their efforts to make a change.

"They're setting a good example for everybody -- maybe even encouraging others to come out, but also fight for what they want, what they deserve," said Kevin Long.

Long and Parker tell us they know it could take a while before Montana courts might make any changes to the current statues.