A recently released poll shows that a majority of Montanans support fairness in the form of domestic partnerships for same-sex couples.

In fact, the Montanans who support same-sex domestic partnerships with the same rights and responsibilities as marriage outpaces opposition by 13 percent.

That's good news for couples like Kellie and Denise (above), who have three children (two at home) in Laurel. Kellie and Denise know what happens when opposite sex couples can't get legal protection in Montana. When Kellie's father died, Denise could not get the bereavement leave her employer gives to opposite-sex married couples in the same situation. Now the couple is one of six plaintiff couples suing the state for domestic partnerships.

The recent poll, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research for the ACLU of Montana, found that 53 percent of voters in Montana favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to enter into domestic partnerships. Only 40 percent polled opposed such domestic partnerships.

This increased acceptance comes at a time when the number of same-sex couples reporting their households to the U.S. Census Bureau is growing rapidly -- jumping 54 percent from the 2000 Census to the 2010 Census.