MT judge rules against gay couples seeking rights MT judge rules against gay couples seeking rights - Yahoo! News HELENA, Mont. A Montana judge on Thursday rejected a lawsuit that sought to extend to gay couples the same legal protections as married couples, saying in his decision that he can't grant the benefits partly because of the state's voter-approved constitutional definition of marriage as between a man and a woman. Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on behalf of the gay couples, arguing that the guarantees in the Montana Constitution of equal protection, privacy and dignity should require the state to afford the legal rights to the gay couples. The ACLU said it plans to appeal the case to the Montana Supreme Court. The gay couples weren't asking for the right in the lawsuit to marry, which the Montana Constitutional defines as between a man and a woman. Rather they wanted to be able to make burial, health care and other decisions, while enjoying such benefits as jointly filing taxes. The attorney general's office has countered in court that Montana can't extend spousal benefits to gay couples because those benefits are limited to married couples by definition since Montana voters in 2004 approved the marriage amendment.