Montana Definition of Marriage, CI-96 (2004)
The Montana Definition of Marriage Amendment, also known as CI-96, was on the November 2, 2004 ballot in Montana as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure provided that only a marriage between a man and a woman may be valid if performed in Montana, or recognized if performed in another state.
On November 19, 2014, Judge Brian Morris of the US District Court for Montana struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage. Morris did not place a stay on his decision, therefor legalizing same-sex marriage immediately. In his ruling, Morris argued:
|“||These families, like all of us, want their children to adventure into the world without fear of violence; to achieve all that their talent and perseverance allows without fear of discrimination; and to love themselves so that they can love others. No family wants to deprive its precious children of the chance to marry the loves of their lives. Montana no longer can deprive Plaintiffs and other same-sex couples of the chance to marry their loves.||”|
—Judge Brian Morris
Gov. Steve Bullock (D) issued a statement in support of the ruling. He said, "Today's decision ensures we are closer to fulfilling our promise of freedom, dignity, and equality for all Montanans. It is a day to celebrate our progress, while recognizing the qualities that bind us as Montanans: a desire to make a good life for ourselves and our families, while providing greater opportunities to the next generation." US Senators Jon Tester (D) and John Walsh (D) also applauded the court's decision.
|Montana CI-96 (2004)|
|Overturned Case:Rolando v. Fox 4:2014cv00040|
Election results via: Montana Secretary of State
Text of measure
The text of the measure can be read here.
The initiative was introduced by Rep. Jeff Laszloffy (R) and supported by Senator Duane Grimes (R) and Terry Murphy (R-39). They argued that the new amendment would put the definition of marriage in the hands of the people, rather than the courts. They also argued that the acceptance of homosexual marriage, "[e]very public school in Montana would be required to teach children that same-sex marriage and homosexuality are perfectly normal." According to Laszloffy, Grimes and Murphy, this would cause Montanans to "lose the freedom to teach [their] children as [they] wish."
They also argued that if the initiative failed, small business employers could someday be required to provide expanded health coverage, retirement and fringe benefits to same sex "spouses" of employees, which could hurt Montana's economy and jobs. They also argued that churches would be "legally pressured" to perform same-sex weddings and that same-sex marriage is a "vast, untested, social experiment."
CI-96 was opposed by Rep. Tom Facey (D-48), Karl Olson, Joan Hurdle, and Jennifer S. Hendricks. They argued that CI-96 denies basic rights to upstanding citizens of Montana and would ban churches and their clergy from legally solemnizing same-sex partnerships, infringing on the diverse religious beliefs of Montanans.
They also argued that the amendment would do nothing to actually strengthen marriages or the family unit in montana; "What CI-96 does do is diminish the freedom to be 'let alone' that Montanans have historically treasured."
Financing the campaign
The "yes" campaign spent about $10,700, while the "no" campaign spent about $51,500.
The major donors to the pro-campaign were:
- Montana Family Foundation, $6,765.
- Focus on the Family, $2,194.
The major donors to the anti-campaign were:
- Pride, Inc., $15,067.
- National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, $10,000.
Voters in 30 states have approved legislatively-referred constitutional amendments or initiated constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex marriages at the ballot box. The first constitutional prohibition was in 1998, and the latest one occurred in May 2012. Most of these amendments define marriage along the lines of a "union of one male and one female."
The following constitutional bans were approved by voters, but later overturned by courts:
- Alaska Marriage Amendment, Measure 2 (1998)
- Nevada Marriage Amendment, Question 2 (2002)
- Montana Marriage Verification, Measure CI-96 (2004)
- Oklahoma Marriage Question 711 (2004)
- Oregon Marriage Measure 36 (2004)
- Utah Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Amendment 3 (2004)
- Kansas Marriage Amendment (2005)
- Alabama Sanctity of Marriage, Constitutional Amendment 774 (June 2006)
- Colorado Definition of Marriage, Initiative 43 (2006)
- Idaho Marriage Definition, HJR 2 (2006)
- South Carolina Amendment 1, the Marriage Act (2006)
- Virginia Question 1, Marriage Amendment (2006)
- Wisconsin Marriage Amendment, Question 1 (2006)
- Arizona Marriage Protection, Proposition 102 (2008)
- California Proposition 8, the "Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry" Initiative (2008)
- Florida Definition of Marriage, Amendment 2 (2008)
- North Carolina Same-Sex Marriage, Amendment 1 (May 2012)
Cases overturning the following bans have been appealed to higher courts and are currently stayed:
- Nebraska Marriage Definition Amendment, Initiative 416 (2000)
- Missouri Marriage Definition, Amendment 2 (August 2004)
- Note: Same-sex marriage is legal in St. Louis County and the state recognizes same-sex marriages.
- Mississippi Marriage Definition, Amendment 1 (2004)
- Arkansas Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Proposed Constitutional Amendment 3 (2004)
- South Dakota Marriage Amendment (2006)
- Texas Definition of Marriage Act, Proposition 2 (2005)
The following constitutional bans were approved by voters and have been upheld or not overturned by courts:
- Louisiana Marriage Amendment, Question 1 (September 2004)
- Georgia Marriage Amendment, Question 1 (2004)
- Kentucky Marriage Amendment (2004)
- Michigan Marriage Amendment, Proposal 2 (2004)
- North Dakota Definition of Marriage, Constitutional Measure 1 (2004)
- Ohio Issue 1, the Marriage Amendment (2004)
- Tennessee Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Amendment 1 (2006)
The following constitutional bans were defeated by voters:
- Note: Arizonans defeated a measure in 2006, but approved one in 2008, which has been overturned.
- Montana 2004 ballot measures
- 2004 ballot measures
- List of Montana ballot measures
- History of Initiative & Referendum in Montana
- Montana Constitutional Amendments
- Montana Initiative and Referendum
- Constitutional Initiative No. 96
- Montana Secretary of State, "Historical Constitutional Initiatives and Constitutional Amendments," accessed August 5, 2014
- Montana Secretary of State, "Archive Publications," accessed August 5, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- KULR 8, "Judge Lifts Montana Same-Sex Marriage Ban," November 19, 2014
- Montana Secretary of State, "2004 Montana Voter Information Pamphlet," accessed August 5, 2014
- Follow the Money database for Montana CI-96
State of Montana
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