Bozeman City Commissioners voted Monday night to officially back seven same-sex couples in their lawsuit against the State of Montana.
The lawsuit filed by the couples and the American Civil Liberties Union, claims the couples' rights are violated, because they are not granted equal rights in their partnerships.
The couples said they do not have the same rights as different sex couples when it comes to health issues, or property rights.
Commissioners approved Resolution 4291 unanimously. The issue was brought forth by Mayor Jeff Krauss who said the City of Bozeman already has language in place that guarantees equality among everyone.
Those rights even extend to those whom the City does business with in terms of contracts, Krauss said.
Richard Parker and Mike Long are one of the couples suing for equal rights. They said they think the official backing by the city will help them in their lawsuit. "It would be a major step in the battle toward fairness," Long said.
Several supporters of the issue lined the lawn of City Hall Monday night. The group held signs, and encouraged others to be accepting of same-sex couples.
However, some opponents of the Resolution did voice their opinion at the meetings. Most opponents said the real motive behind the lawsuit was to eventually gain same-sex marriage in Montana.
Others discussed religion, and called homosexuality an "immoral act."
"The ACLU and homosexuals have declared war on the traditional American family by their own admission statements," Gloria Hardin, an opponent of gay couples said.
Commissioners urged the public to be open and accepting of all people, and told the crowd on hand that is why they wanted Bozeman to be known as a welcoming place.
"It is the philosophy of respect and showing that understanding, that we are trying to be one as a community. We are trying to show that respect," Commissioner Chris Mehl said.
Commissioners said they will send copies of the Resolution to Montana's officials at the state level. They said they hoped the state would follow suit, and grant the couples equal rights.