BOZEMAN, Mont. -

The ACLU is fighting back after being dismissed in a lawsuit over rights for same-sex couples, and this time the Montana Supreme Court will hear their case.

Last year the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the state on behalf of six gay couples- two of whom are from Bozeman. The organization argued that the Montana constitution guarantees gay and lesbian couples the same rights as married couples.

The couples wanted to be able to make decisions on issues like health care and inheritance, and the ability to file joint tax returns.

But a district judge rejected the lawsuit and dismissed the case, citing the 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment, defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

However the ACLU cited numbers from the latest census that showed a 54-percent jump in same-sex couples in Montana, bringing the number to 2,295.

One of the couples from Bozeman involved in the suit said they are happy to see the case move forward.

"I was happy to hear that we were going to appeal because I still think that we have a valid case" said Mike Long. "We would like to continue with it until we have a resolution."

Long's partner, Rich Parker, added that the couple hopes the state Supreme Court will grant legal rights for their family.

"We have faith" Parker said, "that the state government will give us the protection that we request."