New Mexico gay marriage: State Judge rules for marriage; GOP being evil

Latest developments in the ongoing marriage equality fight in New Mexico, which I wrote about earlier this week:

  • Doña Ana county is still issuing marriage licenses (and registering marriages when solemnized), with over 90 couples now participating. Some are driving or flying in from Texas at this point.
  • Two dozen NM state legislators — Republicans all, of course, led by State Senator William Sharer, R-Farmington — said last night that they plan to file a court challenge, possibly as soon as Friday afternoon to try to win an injunction and force Doña Ana county to stop all gay marriages and order all counties not to issue any additional same sex marriage licenses.
Leaking wall, photo  © Mike Pennington and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons License.

Leaking wall, photo © Mike Pennington and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons License.

  • In a breaking development, NM District Judge Sarah Singleton has just issued an order directing Santa Fe county clerk’s office to begin issuing same sex marriage licenses immediately or appear in court by September 26 to explain why they refuse to comply.

Judge Singleton’s ruling is based on a case before her court, filed by two Santa Fe men who have challenged New Mexico’s de facto ban on same sex marriage recognition. (A ban, which as I have explained many times in comments and this post here, appears in every way to be on extremely shaky legal footing, but nevertheless remains official state government policy.)

// //


I plan to continue watching the situation and will update this post if or when the anti-gay GOP state legislators make their move.

Update 4:25pm MDT: As of 1:30pm MDT, the Santa Fe county clerk’s office decided to obey Judge Singleton’s order and has begun issuing marriage licenses. So I guess that answers that question, with respect to whether they were going to challenge the ruling. The NM GOP legislators appear as yet not to have filed for their attempted injunction to stop the marriages.

Update 5:35 MDT: The GOP legislators, who now are reported to be 29 members, have said in this linked story to be “reviewing their options” in light of Friday’s developments. Meanwhile, the Santa Fe county clerk’s office has reported having already issued some licenses and performing “a few” civil marriages.

Update 1:30a MDT: The lesbian couple who had filed for an emergency order to allow them to get married have done so. Angelique Neuman and Jen Roper met 22 years ago in college and have been together ever since. They adopted three children, bought a house together. Roper, unfortunately, has brain cancer and is undergoing chemo — and it’s not known if she’ll survive. Travel to another state or even to Doña Ana county was completely out of the question for them.  The linked report says there will be a hearing in District Court on Monday to determine what the state will do about the marriage licenses already issued and solemnized. (Presumably, they may also touch on the question affecting those of us like my wife and I who have a valid, legal out-of-state marriage, too. We’ll see.) Anyway, at least Angelique and Jen managed to achieve their dream.

(Side note: Just an fyi, but I hate the term ‘gay marriage,’ and prefer the terms marriage equality and same sex marriage, but we need to sprinkle a few mentions of that other term in these posts to satisfy the search engines, as it is the term most people use when looking for stories like this.)

Published professional writer and poet, Becca had a three decade career in technical writing and consulting before selling off most of her possessions in 2006 to go live at an ashram in India for 3 years. She loves literature (especially science fiction), technology and science, progressive politics, cool electronic gadgets, and perfecting Hatch green chile recipes. Fortunately for this last, Becca and her wife currently live in New Mexico. @BeccaMorn

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72 Responses to “New Mexico gay marriage: State Judge rules for marriage; GOP being evil”

  1. mike says:

    how about just marriage

  2. Bill_Perdue says:

    Civil partnering, easy in and out, with solid protections for children, and if the partners are mixed sex, for women. Accompanied by the criminalization of interference by cults like the catholics, mormons and protestants and others in partnering, child rearing, reproductive choice and education.

  3. Bill_Perdue says:

    I’m very clear about the facts.

    1) Clinton signed DOMA because he’s a Dixiecrat bigot and becasue like all Democrat politicians he’s right wing.

    2) He promoted and championed it and Democrats as well as Republicans overwhelmingly voted or it. DOMA passed 85-14 in the Senate and 342-67 in the House. It was signed immediately by Clinton who then boasted about it on redneck radio.

    3) “Protecting religious freedom. It’s the foundation of our nation.When the Justice Department went after a church to gather the parishioners’ tithing money, the government was stopped cold because President Clinton overturned the government’s policy and protected us. It’s not the only time he’s defended our values…President Clinton wants a complete ban on late term abortions except when the mother’s life is in danger or faces severe health risks, such as the inability to have another child.The President signed the Defense of Marriage Act, supports curfews and school uniforms to teach our children discipline.President Clinton has fought for our values and America is better for it. Paid for by Clinton/Gore 96”

    4) CBS News chief political consultant Marc Ambinder said: “One reason the Rick Warren thing is a big deal is because, after Bill Clinton, the gay community is unusually sensitive to getting the shorter angle of presidential triangulation. It is hard to overstate the optimism and excitement that gays and lesbians felt in 1992. But the optimism deflated spectacularly after “Don’t Ask, Don’t tell” and the Defense of Marriage Act, not to mention President Clinton’s sneaky 1996 ad boasting about DOMA, which aired only on Christian radio. Clinton was willing to say the word “gay” in public and appear in black tie at the Human Rights Campaign dinner, but, in the eyes of the gay political community, his commitment to gay rights vanished both
    times it counted most.” I think that Ambinder quote first appeared here on AmericaBlog

    5) Counting on Democrats like Clinton, Obama and the rest is like being in that cult that dances with rattlers. You never know when you’re going to get bitten.

  4. Badgerite says:

    Seriously, how do they do that? How do legislators ( or people for that matter ) stand in the way of something that shouts family values and consider themselves to be acting in a moral fashion?

  5. rmthunter says:

    It’s only a “prehistoric relic” if you accept the definition being pushed by the “traditionalists” — which, perhaps not so incidentally, reduces human beings to the level of domestic animals — breeding stock. Looking at it from a non-sectarian and more anthropological point of view, that’s like saying funerals are a prehistoric relic. (And we actually have better evidence for prehistoric funerals than marriages.)

    It’s a life stage event. Try this one: “Marriage is the recognition by the community of the establishment of a new household.” (I wish I could claim credit, but I lifted it from Joseph W. Campbell.) That one fits a lot better through history and across cultures. (Except for those very few cultures — two, I think — that don’t recognize any form of marriage.) It includes children, but they’re not required. It implies a range of rights, property and otherwise — the couple is one household, a unit. Priests are optional, as they have been throughout most of history. And it embodies one key concept: recognition by the community. After all, that’s the core of the whole marriage war — that’s what a marriage license is.

    And I’m puzzled — what are the more effective forms of partnering?

  6. sJames6621 says:

    Putin ran the KGB. What else would you expect but nuts communism and its aftermath

  7. sJames6621 says:

    Go to places like iceland and Israel. You wont find an significantly overweigt person.

    the corporocracy is killing us with sugar based drinks and fat based pre cooked garbage.

  8. sJames6621 says:

    too bad its not the blood of the anti progress repub. Or maybe it is their mental sewerage

  9. sJames6621 says:

    MA was the first state with marriage and has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country

    The bible belt thumpes – some of those states – have the highest divorce rates in the country

    it all comes down to secular education vs anti gay rantings in some churches

    BTW MA also has one of the lowest rates of unemployment. Boston, where I’m rrom, its biggest industry is college education> MIT< Harvard, Northeastern, BU, BC Tufts, Radclif, Wellesly college, Lesley college Harvard med school and Tufts med school etc etc.

    some of the bible belt states the churches have so crushed secular education tha the people cant read or write

  10. sJames6621 says:

    see my commen t above on why conservatives should be glad gays want to support the insittuion of marriage

  11. sJames6621 says:

    same with the old love the sinner hate the sin, for which the subliminal message often is seen as “hate the sinner”

  12. sJames6621 says:

    I would actually consider it but all 3 of my kids and grandkids live here in MD, and they all have great jobs so , out of question

  13. sJames6621 says:

    BTW We’ve been to beautiful Santa fe – its filled with all kinds of art type stores etc

    Guess which demographic group seems to be very interested in art and similar things – the gay people.

  14. sJames6621 says:

    Love is love regardless of gender I wish the conservatves would realize gays want to support the insittuion of marriage while str8s are tearing it apart wtth their 50%+ ddivorce rate

    And the other big problem is that 39% of american children are growing up in singal parent familes for many reasons. Shame on the conservatives.

  15. sJames6621 says:

    I keep forgetting that and I’m one of the movers and shakers who made it happen here in MD

  16. sJames6621 says:

    Clinton signed doma because that unmoral majority philanderer Gingrich refused to give him a budget and threatened to shut down the gov. so its all Gingrches fault After the first two years of clintons presdency, the Grich and repubs controlled the hosue of representatives

    BTW Gingrich and his morality – he’s on his 3rd wife, cheated on #1 and #2

    Pls try to check up on your facts bill. The only thing we can crap on about clinton is he didnt ahve the gonads to stare down the Grich

  17. AdamK says:

    You’d probably get half the value, but the judge would have to be persuaded to split up the actual collection. So stay married, and dance to the music.

  18. BeccaM says:

    Indeed. It’s one of the reasons my wife and I moved here. (Although she herself lived in NM for over 20 years before I met her.)

  19. Anthony says:

    As a native Nuevo Mexicano I think New Mexico is pretty sane compared to its neighbors, Texas and Arizona

  20. FLL says:

    I meant just on general principle. Just desserts and everything.

  21. zorbear says:

    How could that work? I mean, it’s well documented that the GOP doesn’t have a sense of humor…

  22. Brandon Kalyan says:

    Thank you for the reply sweet Becca, I will have to have a strong word with Mr.John, or at the least bat my eyelashes to persuade him of my convictions =]

  23. Stev84 says:

    The Russian government is trying to spin their demographic crisis as a birth rate problem. And say that they can’t have gays because people need to pop out babies. But while the birth rate is lower than it was under the Soviets, it’s not lower than in many developed countries.

    However, Russia has a huge death problem. It’s death rate is ca. 13 per 1000 people. In the the US and Europe it’s about 8-10 per 1000. If they managed to lower their death rate to comparable levels (and excluding emigration) their population would be sustainable.

  24. Bill_Perdue says:

    Marriage is a prehistoric relic and arguably the least effective form of partnering.

    I’ve always liked shacking up but not marriage even as I militantly support the rights of our brothers and sisters to get their tax advantages. the rights to inherit, to be one anothers legal guardians in dire circumstances and etc.

  25. Bill_Perdue says:

    Which is why marriage equality is probably the best term for the struggle in the US with half of the Democrats federal DOMA intact and all of the Republicans state DOMA’s, 31 of them, also intact.

  26. Bill_Perdue says:

    The Republicans are almost as evil as the Democrats who gave us NDAA, DOMA, NAFTA and the deregulation laws that caused the current, Clinton, depression with it’s massive long term unemployment and poverty.

  27. Just_AC says:

    Hey, I like turtles! (well, not THAT way)


  28. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    I can just imagine the test for that. I guess they could do what the U.S. Armed Forces did – check for a gag reflex.

  29. zorbear says:

    Oh great — now they’ll be checking…

  30. jlgreenlee says:

    Unfortunately, as with “homosexual lifestyle” and “gay agenda,” these negative terms become so pervasive, that even ordinary run-of-the-mill gay folks unwittingly use them, particularly in Google searches. As a blogger, if you want to draw eyeballs to your post, you need to use the most likely key words. On my (puny, tiny, personal) blog, I usually include “gay marriage,” “same-sex marriage” and “marriage equality” either in the post, the headline, or the tags, to cover my bases.
    And as far as these things go, I don’t think “gay marriage” carries quite the negative connotation, nor the innacuracy of “gay agenda” or “homosexual lifestyle.” Could be wrong though. Maybe I should relegate the term to strictly the tags.

  31. Miguelito says:

    New Mexico: Land of Enchantment, indeed!

  32. jlgreenlee says:

    Or just “marriage.”

  33. BeccaM says:

    It’s a pretty darned nice state, even if a tad weird at times.

  34. BeccaM says:

    Your point is well taken, but if you want to make that suggestion, you probably should take it up with John Aravosis, my boss in this. It’s his blog, his rules, so I need to follow them unless you’re able to persuade him otherwise.

  35. Nathanael says:

    Just looked up some NM law. So, the proposal by the Republicans to file a court case stands no chance whatsoever; the law in NM is very clear. The fact that NM has a constitutional guarantee of equal rights on the basis of sex is determinative.
    So in order to prohibit same-sex marriage, they’d have to pass a state constitutional amendment. Turns out NM is a state where it’s relatively easy to do that, but they’d still need a majority in both houses of the legislature, the governor’s signature (which they would get, because Martinez sucks), and then a ratification vote by a majority of NM voters. The polls are so close to 50-50 that I would not want to see it go to a popular vote yet. Accordingly, it’s rather important that the anti-marriage-equality folks do not pass such a bill through the legislature; but I’m pretty sure they can’t, because Democrats have supermajorities in both houses.

    Still worth working to kick out those 29 state legislators, though; it’ll make the situation more stable.

  36. Hue-Man says:

    Russia and Japan are in particularly dire circumstances. If you’ve not welcomed immigrants in the 20th century and your population starts dropping in the 2020-2040 period, you have NO options – telling 60 year old women that they have to produce 6 babies in the next 5 years is not going to work. After decades of xenophobia, it’s unimaginable that ordinary Japanese or Russians would accept millions of new immigrants from South Asia (India, Bangladesh, Pakistan) or China and Philippines.

    Canada has had massive immigration by developed world standards (with Australia) over the past 40 years and this same level – 250,000/year or 2.5 million in U.S. population terms – will continue for the next two or three decades as more Boomers retire. Although there are occasional points of friction, all Canadian political parties are onside, even to the extent that the Conservative Party has spent the last decade aggressively courting new Canadian voters.

    (I don’t want to turn this into a GOP-bash since the issue is the decline of Russia’s population. To finish off my point, though, I’m baffled by the TeaParty right who seem not to understand that immigrants are likely to be a key factor in the USA’s success in the next 30 years in much the same way they (we – my father’s grandparents emigrated from the U.S. a century ago!) have been a key factor for at least the last 150 years.)

  37. Monoceros Forth says:

    That was my first thought but then I figured maybe it was a sardonic comment on how fewer and fewer Americans are getting married at all. And those red states love their divorces, too…

  38. nicho says:

    Well it was a very strange comment. Came across as mocking.

  39. slappymagoo says:

    I think most of the weddings I’ve gone to were gay no matter who was getting married. After all, the only time you’ll hear “I Will Survive” is either at a wedding reception or a gay club.

  40. Monoceros Forth says:

    I know I do. That way, when the inevitable divorce comes, I can get half my husband’s vinyl collection. (He can keep all the video game cartridges though.)

  41. BeccaM says:

    Gays and lesbians are the only people in America who, as consenting, unrelated adults who happen to be of the same gender, want to marry but are prevented by law from doing so in 60% of the country (by state population).

    That’s why it matters.

  42. xihetafolex says:

    мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kAgk

    The santorumites, palindrones and bachmaniacs would consider the phrase “Marriage for All” as gays demanding polyamorous group marriages.

  43. jamesnimmo says:

    I also hate the term “gay marriage” and much prefer “same gender marriage.”

  44. Monoceros Forth says:

    Seems like if Russia is really freaking out about declining population growth they ought to stop worrying about GLBT “propaganda” and more about good old-fashioned public health measures.

  45. Hue-Man says:

    I had no reason to check the fact-checkers at WaPo but here’s the wiki list of alcohol by country which shows Russia at 15.76 liters pure alcohol – the table is for the population of age 15+ so we don’t have to worry about tipsy toddlers. Almost zero wine, lots of spirits and about half in beer. U.S. and Canada in the 9.5 to 10 liters range.

    The shocker to me was 1/4 shorter life expectancy for men; in order to die in their early 60s, they succumb over time in two really horrible ways – cancer and other diseases of the lungs and/or cancer, cirrhosis, and other diseases of the liver (plus serious neurological effects).

  46. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Gender neutral marriage? How about just plain marriage?

  47. Monoceros Forth says:

    I just had to crunch numbers on the “more than four gallons of pure alcohol a year” tidbit. Rounding up four gallons to 16 liters of ethyl alcohol and assuming a concentration of 40% or 80-proof, it works out to a figure of slightly over one “fifth” (750 mL) of spirits per week. Crunch the numbers for wine (assuming 12% alcohol) and you get a figure of about half a bottle per day. That’s, well…not unimaginable–about two glasses a wine a day–but it’s still pretty steep.

  48. Indigo says:

    There’s something wonderful about New Mexico.

  49. Brandon Kalyan says:

    Dear Bacca Morn, although I understands the basic logic for marketing and being SEO friendly, I honestly wish to share my thoughts that I believe AmericaBlog and every other queer allied media should take the continuous forefront to continue to correct the wording of the phase “gay marriage”, I appreciate your side note of terminology, It is an important this stigma must be unraveled. I learnt the importance of that lesson here: I hope others will too.

  50. Moderator3 says:

    I looked at JonJohn’s other posts. He does not seem to be a homophobe. In fact, his posts would indicate he is gay.

  51. nicho says:

    Wow. This is an “open thread,” not an “idiot homophobe thread.”

  52. Bruce says:

    Great post got a really good laugh thanks you

  53. JonJohn says:

    Are gay people the only people who want to marry in the U.S.? Seems that way.

  54. BeccaM says:

    Unfortunately, no.

  55. FLL says:

    State legislatures make a difference. If there are 29 Republican state legislators in New Mexico who are trying to stop marriage equality in court, I think it’s reasonable to reward them next year by keeping those 29 New Mexico state legislators from being reelected.

  56. Dddavid says:

    Isn’t just putting it in the tags enough?

  57. Dddavid says:

    I love the leaking wall photo! It’s perfect for this story.

  58. Markus Harker says:

    The term should be gender neutral marriage, because the bans on same sex marriage also ban anyone who is interesex and refuses to have all of the medical procedures needed to create a fake sexual identity from marrying. They have to declare a gender whether they want one or not. Many states also ban anyone who has had a sex change operation from marrying anyone who is the sex that they used to be, ie a man who becomes a woman can not marry a man, because they don’t recognize a legal sex changes, even with medical documentation.All tax paying citizens should be the same under the law, no matter what gender they are or if they choose not to identify with a gender. They should still have to right to love and marry whom they please. Gender neutral law would allow that, as well as allow people of the same gender to marry.

  59. AttilatheBlond says:

    Agree with you re hating the term ‘gay marriage’. Either we can all get married, or none of us can. If some can be denied their rights, any of us can so be denied.

  60. Hue-Man says:

    “Last year, life expectancy here [Russia[ was 66.5 years, according to estimates by the CIA World Factbook — 60.1 for men and 73.2 for women — compared with 78.5 years in the United States and 79.8 in the European Union.”

    “Russians bear a staggering load of risk factors for disease, with 60 percent of men smoking and each citizen consuming, on average, more than four gallons of pure alcohol a year. Half the population is overweight.”

    “Health officials say perhaps 300,000 die from causes linked to alcohol, though its effect on mortality is more debated.”

  61. BeccaM says:

    I seem to recall anti-alcohol campaigns in Russia (and the Soviet Union before that) dating back to the 80s because their leaders felt that rampant alcoholism and drunkenness was damaging productivity and their society at large.

    By and large, the Russian populace has ignored these campaigns.

  62. nicho says:

    Now, isn’t this interesting. The Kremlin is boycotting Russian vodka too.

    Actually, they’re cracking down on alcohol sales in general. They don’t want people buying so much alcohol.

  63. nicho says:

    Makes sense to me. It’s all about SEO — search engine optimization. Gotta do it.

  64. nicho says:

    Note to GOP: When you bend down to tie your wedgies and you smell the peanuts and see the confetti, you know that the big parade has passed you by.

  65. BeccaM says:

    Me too. But when I came on-board to blog here, John explained there were certain things I had to put into posts like this — including those exact words — or else the search engines won’t find us. Nor the people plugging ‘gay marriage news’ into Google or whatever.

    So I put it in a few spots and the title, plus a tag, and use ‘marriage equality’ and ‘same sex marriage’ the majority of the time. I won’t put that disclaimer above into every post, but since I’m still new, I thought I’d let folks know what I was doing and why.

  66. BeccaM says:

    Update folks: The Santa Fe county clerk decided earlier this afternoon to obey Judge Singleton’s order. And as I write this, as far as I can tell, the GOPers have not yet filed to try to stop it; my guess is they’ll take the weekend to prep their odious “gays are icky and don’t deserve to be happy” paperwork.

  67. VJBinCT says:

    not to mention dogs and turtles.

  68. mike says:

    I hate the term gay marriage also

  69. nicho says:

    I have always preferred same-sex marriage, mostly because there’s no requirement that you actually be gay. They don’t check.

  70. Thom Allen says:

    The santorumites, palindrones and bachmaniacs would consider the phrase “Marriage for All” as gays demanding polyamorous group marriages.

  71. Ninong says:

    The French gay-rights people had a good slogan for their campaign: Mariage pour tous! (Marriage for all.)

    P.S. — The American mainstream media and straight people all refer to it as gay marriage.

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