From Miles City to Columbia Falls, Great Falls to Red Lodge, pastors, chaplains, rabbis and priests across Montana took a public stand for fairness yesterday by submitting an amicus brief to the Montana Supreme Court in support of the plaintiffs in the domestic partnerships lawsuit Donaldson and Guggenheim v. State of Montana.

Clergy lead their congregations through good times and bad, they have a deep and personal understanding of the pain of couples whose relationships cannot be legally recognized. They know that lack of domestic partnership recognition has very real and harmful consequences for families.

In their brief, these religious leaders explain that the state's failure to recognize gay and lesbian relationships harms loving, committed couples because it leaves them vulnerable to being treated as legal strangers during times of illness, emergency or death and violates their constitutional rights to privacy, dignity, and the pursuit of safety, health and happiness.

Clergy and people of faith have an important role to play in promoting fairness for all Montanans, including gays and lesbians.