As icebergs begin to melt

Timothy Kincaid

June 7th, 2013

We are winning. Sometimes we see huge signs and hear fanfare and know that we’ve accomplished another victory. And sometimes the signs of our success are small and subtle and even a bit amusing.

Consider, for example Susana Martinez, Governor of New Mexico.

Martinez, a Republican, has pretty consistently stated that she supports “one man, one woman” marriage. She has expressed support for a constitutional amendment banning equality and has done nothing in her state for same-sex couples.

But yesterday Attorney General Gary King held a press conference in which he stated that while the state law does not allow same-sex marriage, it was likely an unconstitutional law. He did not issue a formal opinion. (Albuquerque Journal)

King said he did not issue a formal legal opinion on same-sex marriage to prevent conflict with the pending lawsuits. Instead, he advised county clerks around the state to continue to restrict marriage licenses only to opposite-sex couples until a court overturns New Mexico law or the Legislature weighs in.

Today Martinez said something sort of odd. (kob)

Gov. Susana Martinez says Attorney General Gary King was right in not issuing a formal opinion on whether same-sex marriage is legal in New Mexico and her office will not get involved in any challenges.

Martinez told the Associated Press on Friday that she also believed the courts decide if same-sex marriage is legal in the state.

This is not an endorsement. This is not exactly a positive statement. But it is a far cry from a call for constitutional bans. It’s stating that when the Attorney General goes before the court to say that he does not believe the law to be constitutional, her office will not contradict him.

It’s a drip. Just a drip. But that’s how icebergs melt.


June 8th, 2013

Although I don’t know much about her, Martinez doesn’t strike me as being as much of a grand-stander as some of her GOP fellows, and seems to be fairly pragmatic. It seems like a case of “This is coming whether I like it or not, and I have more important things to worry about.”

Richard Rush

June 8th, 2013

Remember, as icebergs begin to melt, they are still very dangerous in a way that the glaciers, from which they broke off, are not. The apparent recent increase in worldwide violence against gay people seems to testify to that.

Timothy Kincaid

June 8th, 2013

Richard, are you perhaps suggesting that icebergs are slippery when wet?


June 8th, 2013

Martinez vetoed a bill that included the domestic partners of gay soldiers in allowing the easier transfer of professional licenses from one state to another. She is hardly pro-gay.

Maybe she realized that the Republican establishment hates her as much as she hates gays.

Richard Rush

June 8th, 2013

“Richard, are you perhaps suggesting that icebergs are slippery when wet?”

Well, that too, Timothy, now that you mention it. But of course I was thinking of the catastrophic consequences when a ship makes contact with an iceberg in the middle of the night – something like a man coming out of a gay bar alone at 2:00 AM, and then walking down a “deserted” street . . .

J. Peron

June 8th, 2013

Also remember that former NM governor Gary Johnson, who was elected as a Republican, has been supporting gay marriage for a couple of years now.


June 8th, 2013

Hard to see any melting ice here.

In NM this legislative session, the pro-ssm position was in favor of a plebiscite (since Martinez was sure to veto any bill passed by the legislature). Doing nothing–the position Martinez has expressed–was the default anti-marriage position.

Throughout her career, Martinez has always taken the most realistic possible anti-marriage position. Having opposed on supposedly procedural grounds a pro-marriage constitutional amendment a few months ago, she couldn’t realistically turn around and demand an anti-marriage constitutional amendment now.

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