The Supreme Court of New Mexico has ruled on the decision of some county clerks to offer marriage licenses: (KOB)
The state Supreme Court declared state marriage laws unconstitutional and upheld New Mexico county clerks’ decisions to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The state Supreme Court will now define “civil marriage” as the voluntary union of two persons to the exclusion of all others. In addition, all rights, protections, and responsibilities that result from the marital relationship shall apply equally to both same-gender and opposite-gender married couples.
We’ll bring you more, as more comes in.
UPDATE: From the Ruling
Prohibiting same-gender marriages is not substantially related to the governmental interests advanced by the parties opposing same-gender marriage or to the purposes we have identified. Therefore, barring individuals from marrying and depriving them of the rights, protections, and responsibilities of civil marriage solely because of their sexual orientation violates the Equal Protection Clause under Article II, Section 18 of the New Mexico Constitution. We hold that the State of New Mexico is constitutionally required to allow same-gender couples to marry and must extend to them the rights, protections, and responsibilities that derive from civil marriage under New Mexico law.
UPDATE 2 More:
Because same-gender couples (whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, hereinafter “LGBT”) are a discrete group which has been subjected to a history of discrimination and violence, and which has inadequate political power to protect itself from such treatment, the classification at issue must withstand intermediate scrutiny to be constitutional. Accordingly, New Mexico may neither constitutionally deny same-gender couples the right to marry nor deprive them of the rights, protections, and responsibilities of marriage laws, unless the proponents of the legislation—the opponents of same-gender marriage—prove that the discrimination caused by the legislation is “substantially related to an important government interest.”
And here we find that in New Mexico, discrimination against gay people must be held to “intermediate scrutiny”, a higher level that generally assumes that discrimination against gay people is at least somewhat likely to be unconstitutional.
I don’t yet see an effective date, so I assume this is law immediately.
The Ruling was unanimous.
It’s been a good year for marriage. In 2013, the number doubled from 8 states plus the District of Columbia to the new total: 17 states plus DC.