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New Mexico

N.M. governor says she won’t push for constitutional ban on same-sex marriage

Tuesday, January 7, 2014
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SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico governor Susana Martinez said Monday that she won’t push for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in New Mexico in the upcoming legislative session.

Gov. Susana Martinez (R-N.M.)

Gov. Susana Martinez (R-N.M.)

Martinez has previously said she believed state voters should decide the issue by way of a ballot question, but at a news conference Monday signaled that a state Supreme Court ruling last month that legalized same-sex marriage should be the final word, reported the Santa Fe New Mexican.

“I think what I said before was that yes, the people should have decided on it, but the Supreme Court has decided,” the Martinez said, when asked by a reporter about the issue. “And it’s now the law of the land.”

Asked whether that meant she wouldn’t push for the Legislature to pass a measure like Sen. Bill Sharer’s Senate Joint Resolution 6, Martinez responded, “It’s the law of the land. The Supreme Court has spoken.”

The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled last month that it violates the state constitution to deny same-sex couples the right to marry.

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New Mexico’s marriage laws are “gender neutral” and don’t explicitly prohibit or authorize issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Immediately following the decision, county clerks across the state began issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

Sharer, a Republican from Farmington, N.M., said he will ask the Legislature to put to voters a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in an effort to overturn the court’s decision, but the Democratic-controlled Legislature repeatedly has turned down such proposals.

Following last month’s ruling, Martinez urged New Mexicans to “respect one another in their discourse” and turn their focus to other issues facing the state.

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