University of Montana student Hunter Pauli, who is heterosexual, recently tried to marry his straight male roommate, Jacob, at the Missoula County Courthouse in Montana.
U.S. District Judge Brian Morris lifted a ruling against gay marriage on Nov. 19, but when Pauli and his roommate tried to get married the next day they were turned down because the law is still on the books.
According to USA Today, the anti-gay marriage amendment in Montana’s constitution says, “Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as marriage in this state.”
Even though the amendment was overturned by the judge, his ruling is expected to be appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, noted Reuters.
In an article that Pauli wrote in the University of Montana student newspaper, Montana Kaimin, he states:
Our marriage attempt stalled almost immediately. The secretary kept his professional composure as what looked like a straight, albeit young couple requested a marriage certificate, but couldn't hide his surprise when I handed him Jacob and I's IDs.
He saw both and listed us as male, his observation the first line of defense enforcing marriage inequality in Montana. He explained that as the law read now, only applications between opposite-sex partners could be processed, but that we could still have a form.
Sources: USA Today, Montana Kaimin, Reuters / Image Credit: Elvert Barnes