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New Mexico LGBT rights and marriage equality


USA, New Mexico: State Supreme Court Rules for Marriage Equality

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

New Mexico MapThis just in – new Mexico is the next state to embrace marriage equality, thanks to the state Supreme Court.

Think Progress reports:

The New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously ruled Thursday that same-sex marriage is legal across the state, cementing it as the 17th state to offer full marriage equality to same-sex couples. The state had been a bit of an oddity, in that it had no specific prohibition nor allowance written into law, leaving marriage equality an open question. The Court noted that although some of the marriage laws stipulate gender-specific language, preventing same-sex couples would deprive them of their rights:

We conclude that although none of New Mexico’s marriage statutes specifically prohibit same-gender marriages, when read as a whole, the statutes have the effect of precluding same-gender couples from marrying and benefiting from the rights, protections, and responsibilities that flow from a civil marriage. Same-gender couples who wish to enter into a civil marriage with another person of their choice and to the exclusion of all others are similarly situated to opposite-gender couples who want to do the same, yet they are treated differently.

Amazing and wonderful news just in time for the Holidays. New Mexico is now the 17th state with full marriage equality.

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USA: The Next Five Marriage Equality States

Friday, November 29th, 2013

Gay Wedding - HandsWhich US states are most likely to win marriage equality next?

Rolling Stone Magazine handicaps them.

On November 20th, Illinois governor Pat Quinn signed legislation making the state the 16th to legalize same-sex unions. The marriage bill’s ratification came just a week after Hawaii passed its own equality measure, capping off a year that saw same-sex unions go into effect in seven states. With that kind of momentum, many are wondering which states are most likely to join the club next. Of the 34 states that do not yet have same-sex marriage, these are the five most likely battlegrounds coming up in the next five years – and the odds for each one:

1. New Mexico – Odds: 3 to 2

Same-sex marriage is already legal in New Mexico, depending on where you live – it’s the only state in the country that doesn’t mention gender in its definition of marriage, meaning that same-sex unions are neither explicitly banned nor allowed. Because of this, county clerks have taken up the issue to decide for themselves, and eight counties currently allow same-sex couples to apply for marriage licenses.

The five are New Mexico, Oregon, Michigan, Virginia, and Nevada. Which states would you add to that list, and why?

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Traveling at the Speed of Love: Winning the Race for Equality

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Five years ago last week, on Election Day 2008, California’s electorate passed Prop 8, marking perhaps the most notable low point in the marriage equality movement as a minority was stripped of a previously recognized constitutional right. As of this week five years ago, only two states – Massachusetts and Connecticut – fully recognized the marriages of same-sex couples.

How far we’ve come since then. And how fast.

Read the full story on the MEUSA News Blog…

USA, New Mexico: Plaintiff in Marriage Equality Case Passes Away

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

New Mexico MapOne of the plaintiffs in the case for marriage equality in New Mexico passed away from cancer on Friday.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Jennifer Neuman-Roper, one of the plaintiffs in the ACLU lawsuit seeking marriage equality in New Mexico, died on Friday of advanced cancer. She was 44. Roper, who in August married Angelique Neuman, her partner of more than 20 years, played a pivotal role in struggle to win the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in New Mexico. Because Neuman-Roper suffered from Stage 4 glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer, the couple asked a judge in Santa Fe to allow them to marry case before her illness rendered her incapable. With only months to live, the couple feared the issue of same-sex marriage would not be resolved before Neuman-Roper’s death.

Although she died before the ruling was handed down (which is still pending), she and her partner were able to legally marry in Santa Fe before her death, thanks to a judge’s order. One more good example of why we can’t afford to wait for equality.

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Marriage Equality Policy and Legal Updates – November 4-10

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Marriage Equality USA closely monitors marriage equality polls, ballots, laws, and lawsuits nationwide, and updates its website with changes in these areas on a near-daily basis. Every Monday we update you with policy and legal updates covering the preceding week.

You may always find the most up-to-date information, including changes that have taken place between these weekly posts, on the Current Policy & Legal Status page on the MEUSA website.

See this week’s updates on the MEUSA news blog…

USA, New Mexico: Alliance Defending Freedom Petitions Supreme Court in Photographer’s Case

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

US Supreme CourtThe case of a New Mexico photographer who refused to photograph a gay couple’s wedding may now go to the US Supreme Court.

Joe.My.God reports:

The anti-gay Alliance Defending Freedom today petitioned the US Supreme Court to hear the appeal of New Mexico’s Elane Photography, the most-cited case in the boogeyman war against same-sex marriage despite the fact that New Mexico does not presently have legalized same-sex marriage. Via SCOTUSblog:

On the premise that taking photos is a form of story-telling — recall the old idea about how many words a picture is worth — an Albuquerque studio on Friday asked the Supreme Court to protect its owners from having to send the message that the uniting of same-sex couples in marriage-like ceremonies is acceptable. The new case of Elane Photography v. Willock does not ask the Court to rule on any right of gays and lesbians to marry, but it does seek a decision on how far a state may go to protect same-sex couples from discrimination in the marketplace.

As Joe points out, New Mexico doesn’t yet have marriage equality. It’s one thing to allow a church to decide who it will marry. It’s quite another to allow a business to do the same – would we be ok if the photographer had turned away an interracial couple instead, because she didn’t believe the races should mix?

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USA, New Mexico: Both Sides Think Supreme Court Will Approve Marriage Equality

Friday, October 25th, 2013

New Mexico MapBoth supporters and opponents of marriage equality think the state spring court is likely to approve it when it makes its ruling.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports:

“I think the die was cast before we came in here,” State Sen. Bill Sharer, R-Farmington, told a reporter during a break at the hearing. Sharer is part of a group of current and former Republican lawmakers who have filed lawsuits trying to stop county clerks around the state from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. But, he added, “whatever happens here [in the Supreme Court] won’t be the last word. It’s not over until the people have spoken.”

Santa Fe couple Rose Griego and Kim Kiel — who are plaintiffs in the case before the high court Wednesday — both expressed optimism after the hearing. “I’m super excited,” Griego said. “It’s historic, and I’m so happy that this is going to help a lot of people.” Kiel agreed. “I feel really good that the outcome will be positive.” Griego and Kiel got married in Santa Fe in August after a judge ordered County Clerk Geraldine Salazar to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The Advocate has some of the highlights from Wednesday’s hearing.

Attorney Maureen Sanders, who is representing the six same-sex couples who initially filed the suit, argued that it was unconstitutional to deny gay and lesbian New Mexicans the right to marry their partner. Sanders also countered the opposition’s argument that marriage is intended primarily as a vehicle for procreation, a worn-out and tired trope repeatedly offered as legal justification for discrimination by those who oppose marriage equality. Sanders said that marriage is “a relationship between two individuals, whether or not they want to have children,” reports the The New Civil Rights Movement. Sanders also pointed out that there is no “litmus test” for procreation, and asking couples before they’re allowed to marry if they will have children is not only unprecedented but would violate that couple’s right to privacy.

It’s all over but the waiting.

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USA, New Mexico: State Supreme Court Hears Marriage Equality Case

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

New Mexico MapThe New Mexico Supreme Court yesterday held a hearing on marriage equality, specifically whether the law in New Mexico bans it. The court has stepped in to resolve the issue because a number of County clerks have started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The New Civil Rights Movement reports:

Arguments from the anti-gay side were predictably obtuse and irrelevant. The flawed and debunked anti-gay “parenting” study by Mark Regnerus was used to argue that marriage should be reserved for heterosexual couples. Other anti-gay arguments included “husband and wife means husband and wife,” tradition, the institution of marriage must be protected and therefore gays shouldn’t be allowed to marry, and marriage was designed to channel mankind’s procreative powers — a situation that gay and lesbian couples don’t have to worry about.

Other preposterous claims were made, including that LGBT people have extraordinary political power and therefore don’t need the courts to intervene, and that either the people or the legislature should decide the issue of marriage. Ironically, when the court took a short break, one attorney not realizing the cameras were still live, quipped that if the legislature passed marriage equality, the issue would till return to the state Supreme Court.

Typical hypocrisy on the part of the anti-gay Right. Now we wait – some sources think we’ll have a ruling within a couple weeks.

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USA, New Mexico: Marriage Equality Hearing at Supreme Court About to Begin

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

New Mexico MapArguments over the marriage equality issue in New Mexico are set to begin at 9 AM Mountain time, and are being webcast. reports:

New Mexico’s Supreme Court will hear arguments on Wednesday regardinga petition filed by 33 New Mexico County Clerks asking the court to issue a statewide binding resolution on the legality of same-sex marriage in the state. The request came in September following weeks in which eight New Mexico counties began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples based on the state’s gender-neutral marriage laws, beginning with Doña Ana County on August 21… The arguments will be webcast for the first time in the state’s history. KOAT will stream the arguments on their website. KUNM will also simulcast the arguments.

The court has already said it will not rule today on the issue. We don’t how long it will take for ruling to come out – days, weeks, months?

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USA, New Mexico: State Supreme Court Will Not Rule Immediately on Marriage Equality Case

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

New Mexico MapQuashing rumors that it might bring marriage equality to New Mexico this week, the state Supreme Court says it will take some time to rule on the marriage equality case.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

New Mexico’s highest court says it won’t issue an immediate decision in a case that could decide whether gay marriage is legal statewide. The state Supreme Court will hear two hours of arguments from lawyers in the case on Wednesday. The court clerk told lawyers last week that the court won’t make a decision on the day of the hearing but will take the case under consideration.

So what are we talking here? A week, a month, a year? Any guesses?

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