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‘I don’t want anyone to go through what I went through’

Gay couples seek more rights
NICK WOLCOTT/CHRONICLE
Mary Leslie and Stacey Haugland are plaintiffs in an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against the state of Montana seeking more rights for gay couples.

It took Mary Leslie more than a decade to speak publicly about the tragic accident that robbed her not only of her partner of eight years, but her financial security as well.

On Christmas Day of 1996, Erika Pankow was killed in work-related accident at the Big Sky Ski Resort. Though they shared a condo, checking account and life together, Leslie was one of the last to know of Pankow's parents' decision to remove her remains from Lone Peak, the mountain on which she died.

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