As a result of a state district judge’s decision to uphold same-sex marriages, the Los Alamos County clerk’s office today became the eight in New Mexico to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, Albuquerque Journal reports: Janet Newton and Maria Tibodeau were denied a marriage license last week and they filed a lawsuit that led to a ruling by District Court Judge Sheri Raphaelson that same-sex couples are entitled to be married in New Mexico Los Alamos County Clerk Sharon Stover went to court Wednesday to defend her decision, but the judge ruled against the clerk.
So is marriage equality legal now in New Mexico? Basically, Slate says:
But even as the battle lines are drawn, the conclusion seems increasingly foregone. More county clerks are likely to join the pro-marriage column soon, as the effort coalesces into a bona fide movement, and even some Republican legislators have refused to enter the fray. Moreover, no matter who wins the early skirmishes, the case is ultimately headed to the state supreme court. There, the justices will have to contend with the state’s constitutional command that no citizen shall be denied “equal protection of the law”–language identical to that found in the federal constitution. And given that the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act just months ago for “violat[ing] basic due process and equal protection principles,” marriage foes in New Mexico will face an uphill battle.
As in the rest of the US, it’s only a matter of time. But it may be a matter of a lot less time in New Mexico.