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New Mexico

N.M. GOP lawmakers oppose same-sex marriage in court filing

Monday, September 23, 2013

SANTA FE, N.M. — Republican legislators are urging New Mexico’s highest court to declare that state law prohibits same-sex marriage.

Nearly two dozen current and former GOP lawmakers made the legal pitch to the state Supreme Court in a “friend-of-the-court” brief filed in advance of a hearing later this month in a case that could resolve whether gay marriage is legal in New Mexico.

New MexicoThe American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico and other supporters of gay marriage also submitted written arguments Monday, providing a preview of the legal debate that will play out in front of the five-member court at its Oct. 23 hearing.

At issue for the high court is an Albuquerque judge’s ruling last month that it’s unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

New Mexico law doesn’t explicitly authorize or prohibit gay marriage. However, the GOP lawmakers said the law bans same-sex marriage because state statutes contai n a marriage license application with sections for male and female applications and there are other provisions in law that refer to “husband” and “wife.

The Republican lawmakers, represented by a conservative Christian law group called the Alliance Defending Freedom, said anti-discrimination and equal protection guarantees in the state constitution do not provide a legal right to marriage for same-sex couples.

The lawmakers said that “the judiciary should exercise caution when asked to divine fundamental and important constitutional rights not expressly provided in the Constitution’s text.”

The gay marriage issue has moved to the political front burner in New Mexico since August when Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins decided independently to allow marriage licenses for same-sex couples. At least seven other county clerks have followed, some because of rulings in lawsuits brought by same-sex couples.

The gay marriage issue made its way to the Supreme C ourt after the state’s 33 counties and county clerks statewide asked the five justices to clarify whether local officials are required to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

County clerks historically have relied on the marriage license application in state law in denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

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Ellins, in written arguments to the Supreme Court, pointed out that the state’s Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination by businesses and others on the basis of sexual orientation.

“This court now has the opportunity to establish marital equality in New Mexico, and lay a cornerstone of its legacy in the history of redressing discrimination based on sexual orientation,” a lawyer for Ellins wrote.

Sixteen University of New Mexico law professors also urged the court to declare same-sex marriage legal.

“The limitation imposed on same-sex couples seeking to exercise their right to marry discriminates against members of a group with a history of marginalization and exclusion,” the law professors said.

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22 more reader comments:

  1. BIGOTS!!!!!!

    Posted on Monday, September 23, 2013 at 5:52pm
  2. bullshit!!

    Posted on Monday, September 23, 2013 at 5:55pm
  3. No shit!

    Posted on Monday, September 23, 2013 at 5:58pm
  4. Pure hate…

    Posted on Monday, September 23, 2013 at 6:01pm
  5. Ignorant assholes!

    Posted on Monday, September 23, 2013 at 6:03pm
  6. *YAWN* Anything new going on?

    Posted on Monday, September 23, 2013 at 6:05pm
  7. Those repubs will just not stop…..damn bigits…

    Posted on Monday, September 23, 2013 at 6:05pm
  8. Its the 21st century we’re queer and we’re here to stay get over it we dont judge them because they are straight….yeesh grow up an get over it

    Posted on Monday, September 23, 2013 at 6:21pm
  9. All you need is love!

    Posted on Monday, September 23, 2013 at 6:28pm
  10. Of course. It is what the GOP does best. Fight progress and civil equality for all Americans.

    Posted on Monday, September 23, 2013 at 7:20pm
  11. By thinking LGBT humans are abnormal, sinful or wrong you are criticizing and opposing Jesus Christ!

    Posted on Monday, September 23, 2013 at 7:37pm
  12. So sad and tragic that happiness is no longer a right, but reserves for the privileged and straight. I’m very ashamed. This shouldn’t be an issue. Equality for all, no exceptions!!

    Posted on Monday, September 23, 2013 at 8:10pm
  13. u either cannot read or grasp federal rulings – multiple fed courts have ordered the same sex marriage licenses

    Posted on Monday, September 23, 2013 at 8:24pm
  14. Is this america or russia?

    Posted on Monday, September 23, 2013 at 8:41pm
  15. blah blah. GOP=Stupid party

    Posted on Monday, September 23, 2013 at 8:53pm
  16. And this is a surprise how ?

    Posted on Monday, September 23, 2013 at 9:11pm
  17. And then there is the log cabin republicans.
    In my eyes that would be like the Koch brothers feeding the poor!

    Posted on Monday, September 23, 2013 at 10:32pm
  18. TP’s still sucking their thumbs.

    Posted on Monday, September 23, 2013 at 11:11pm
  19. LOL…..and this is supposed to SURPRISE us?…..i think NOT….they are CLOSWED-MINDED GOP’s

    Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 12:09am
  20. Nothing better to do than this??

    Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 7:35am
  21. Oh come on, give it up already. We are here, we are queer, and we are not going away!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 2:58pm
  22. ha! what a joke!

    Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 3:44pm