ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Attorney General Gary King said Thursday he cannot issue an opinion on whether same-sex marriage is legal in New Mexico because there are lawsuits pending.
King was asked earlier this year to issue a nonbinding opinion on the issue.
At a news conference in Albuquerque Thursday, King said he won’t weigh in while lawsuits by two same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses in Albuquerque are pending.
He also urged counties to use caution in issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couple.
The Santa Fe City Council recently passed a resolution recognizing same-sex marriage as legal in the state.
The resolution followed the advise of Santa Fe’s city attorney Geno Zamora, who noted that New Mexico marriage laws are are gender-neutral, do not define marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman, and that a statutory list of prohibited marriages does not list same-sex couples.
Zamora said that to discriminate against same-sex couples would violate the New Mexico Constitution, which requires equality under the law regardless of sex.
Previously, dozens of licenses were issued to same-sex couples in 2004 by a Sandoval County clerk, but then-Attorney General Patricia Madrid declared the licenses invalid.