Friday, July 5, 2013

New Mexico: New Campaign for Equal Marriage

The laws of the U.S. state of New Mexico do not explicitly allow or prohibit marriage for same-sex couples. For several years, marriage supporters have worked toward legislation to approve the freedom to marry across the state.

In the 2007 legislative session, New Mexico introduced both a marriage bill and a domestic partnership bill. Although the marriage bill did not move, the domestic partnership bill passed the House and passed two Senate Committees before the 2007 legislative session ended, and it was introduced again in 2008 and 2010.

In January 2011, New Mexico Attorney General Gary King issued an opinion on whether New Mexico law allows the state to respect legal out-of-state marriages between same-sex couples. 

Now, several civil rights groups aim for New Mexico Supreme Court to legalise equal marriage. The campaign aims to use a legal action know as a writ of mandamus, which would have the New Mexico Supreme Court resolve the issue of same-sex marriage without having to wait for lower courts to rule first.

The ACLU of New Mexico, ACLU national, NCLR, Sutin Law Firm, and Albuquerque attorneys Maureen Sanders, Kate Girard, and Lynn Perls filed an earlier lawsuit seeking the freedom to marry on behalf of same-sex couples in the Second Judicial District Court on March 21, 2013. If the New Mexico Supreme Court declines to hear the writ petition, that lawsuit will proceed and will determine whether same-sex couples have a constitutionally protected right to marry in the state.

Groups actively working on equal marriage in New Mexico are:

Equality New Mexico

ACLU of New Mexico

National Center for Lesbian Rights

Freedom to Marry

Just New Mexico

HRC - Human Rights Campaign

New Mexico Supreme Court Justices

1 comment:

  1. Although New Mexico is a solid Democratic State, with a legislature that is controlled by the Democratic party, the popular Governor, Susan Martinez, is a Republican and very much opposed to marriage equality. A court ruling -is the only way to go, but since the New Mexico State Constitution does not specifically define marriage, a court ruling could easily pass.

    New Jersey is in the same situation with popular Republican Governor Chris Christie. However, the Democrats may have 2/3 majorities to override his veto. All it would take is a few Republicans in this liberal state to side with the Democrats for marriage equality to pass. It just might happen this summer.