Breaking: New Mexico becomes 17th gay marriage state

It’s a happy day here in the State of Enchantment — New Mexico — unless one is a homophobe or religious fundamentalist. In a long-anticipated New Mexico State Supreme Court ruling, the state’s highest court decided unanimously that gay and lesbian couples have a right to civil marriage.

The ruling reportedly goes into effect immediately — making the marriages of gay couples legal statewide.

From the ruling itself:

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.

Street art shows Superman proposing to Batman, on June 12, 2013 in Tours, France. New art trend appears in France where gay marriage became legal on May 18, 2013. solkanar /

Street art shows Superman proposing to Batman, on June 12, 2013 in Tours, France. New art trend appears in France where gay marriage became legal on May 18, 2013. solkanar /

Some of you may remember how this all began some months ago, back in late August, when Doña Ana County clerk Lynn Ellins decided New Mexicans had waited long enough and began issuing licenses in defiance of currently accepted state practice.

This led to a flurry of cases where several other counties were ordered by the courts to issue same sex marriage licenses, resulting in nearly 60% of New Mexico’s population enjoying (possibly temporary) gay marriage rights.

Then, in response to an urgent plea on the part of all of New Mexico’s county clerks, in October the NM Supreme Court consented to hear a case asking for clarification: Does the state recognize same sex marriages or doesn’t it?

Today, December 19th 2013, we have our answer: Yes, it does. And the Justices further ruled that this is to take effect immediately in all 33 New Mexico Counties. Full text of the ruling is HERE.

And New Mexico becomes the 17th state in the United States to have full same sex marriage equality rights.

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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80 Responses to “Breaking: New Mexico becomes 17th gay marriage state”

  1. rmthunter says:

    Thank you.

  2. karmanot says:

    Excellent comment!

  3. karmanot says:

    I anticipate a movement to reintroduce plastic covers for furniture.

  4. karmanot says:

    Same here. We have Jewish friends and it includes everybody.

  5. karmanot says:

    There are lots for sale on Kolob.

  6. rmthunter says:

    A couple of points: you’re dealing with a group of people whose “morality,” such as it is, is entirely based on the 3,000 year old tribal taboos of a group of Middle Eastern nomads. I really don’t think that they understand that any genuine morality is organic and comes from our basic nature as social animals.

    Also, these are the people who led to my discovery of what has become one of my favorite English words: “mendacious.” It simply means “dishonest,” but it rolls off the tongue so nicely. And they all are really dishonest people.

    Third, and possibly last, they see rights and freedoms as a zero-sum game: they really do believe that if someone else gets equal rights, their own rights are diminished.

    And — hmm — OK, third-and-a-half — no, they don’t respect our system of government. Their whole world view is conditioned on authority, specifically the unchallengeable authority of their god, filtered through those who presume to speak for him. Our whole society is based on challenging authority and compromising to reach a solution. (Needless to say, in their view, compromise is impossible.)

    I think the most important thing about that citation is that is states plainly what I’ve been assuming as the whole rationale behind the Bill of RIghts being included in the Constitution: fundamental rights are not subject to popular vote.

    And slightly OT, but not much I just saw the news about the decision throwing out Utah’s same-sex marriage ban.

  7. Smitty PA says:

    Haha, yes I do, thank you :)

  8. bertinanth764 says:

    My Uncle Levi recently
    got a stunning blue Toyota Matrix only from working off a macbook… try this B­i­g­2­9­.­ℂ­o­m

  9. BeccaM says:

    I know — I saw that.

    As ever, the haters and bigots always assume that THEIR rights and privileges would never be put up for a vote. And to my thinking, it’s further evidence these people have no respect for America’s Constitution and system of government, why it was designed that way in the first place.

  10. rmthunter says:

    It’s from a 1943 decision (W. Virginia State Bd. of Educ. v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624, 638 (1943)) and should become a key precedent, along with Romer, against all those state constitutional amendments.

    Note to Brian Brown: Will of the people? Guess again.

  11. BeccaM says:

    I agree. It’s very encouraging, too, to see that right there in the ruling.

  12. BeccaM says:

    To be fair, that graphic dates back to around April or May, I think — before the DOMA and PropH8 rulings from the Supes. And before New Jersey, Illinois, Hawaii, and New Mexico all went for marriage equality.

    Plus they seem to think that if a state has a Domestic Partnership or Civil Unions law, their hetero-only definition of marriage is ‘protected’ — when in fact, DOMA’s Section 3 overturn provides legal impetus to prove that these other arrangements are most definitely not equal.

    So as far as additional low-hanging fruit goes, I think the remaining CU and DP states are next on the list, starting with Oregon.

  13. Butch1 says:

    True. This February makes 33 years, so one has to say we’re persistent and not going away. ;-)

  14. fletcher says:

    Maybe that “Christian” got Christmas mixed up with Boxing Day.

  15. rmthunter says:

    Brian Brown has to spin everything in the most positive light (for NOM) possible to keep the money coming in. If he admits he’s a loser, his six-figure salary dries up.

    It’s also known as “lying through your teeth.”

  16. rmthunter says:

    Unfortunately, the country’s bisected by a “retrograde axis” from the Dakotas south to Texas. An Equality Corridor’s going to take some doing.

  17. rmthunter says:

    This, to me, is one of the most important parts of the court’s opinion. (on pp. 6-7)

    “The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects
    from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the
    reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal
    principles to be applied by the courts. One’s right to life, liberty,
    and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and
    assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote;
    they depend on the outcome of no elections.”

  18. Daddy Bear says:

    By sharing your love, you’ve already won…

  19. Butch1 says:

    This doesn’t surprise me at all. They have done nothing but dispense disinformation since their beginning; why start now? ;-

    Perhaps you should send them an updated photograph so their viewers can see the actual data. Would they let it get through? Doubt it. Dare them to show it, they always love a dare when these pseudo christian groups are called liars.

  20. Butch1 says:

    This is so exciting; I never for the life of me, thought this would happen in my life-time.

  21. Butch1 says:

    You bet! “It’s been a long time comin’ . . .”
    I know we tried and joined with the first 3000 couples and married in Oregon when we traveled from Washington only to have some bigoted judge annul them all with the swipe of his pen. We had to fight for Domestic Partnerships first and then the final icing on the cake, marriages in the state of Washington. It was well worth the fight. The foes will never give up until the very last state allows marriage or the Supreme Court has grown tired of their sadism about this and finally rules in our favor. Either way, we are going to win with or without them.

  22. SKAN ONE says:

    I think once we have more than half the states we will be able to have it turned into a federal law

  23. BeccaM says:

    Yep. There’s an up-to-date map of state-by-state marriage equality status in the U.S. here:

    What I find interesting is how there are four sizeable (by land area) clumps now: The west coast (four states — two with gay marriage, two with civil unions), Colorado & New Mexico, the upper midwest (three marriage, one DP), and most of New England, except for Pennsylvania. Plus Hawaii now, of course.

    And here’s the wikipedia map now:

  24. BeccaM says:

    Thanks Butch (and everyone else here). :-)

  25. BeccaM says:

    The Regnerus and Marks studies are evidence of what you suggest — an attempt to portray gays and lesbians as an active danger to others, particularly the most vulnerable.

    The war is far from over, but we’re slowly winning. The biggest mistake of all is when people become complacent.

  26. Butch1 says:

    Congratulations, Becca!

  27. BeccaM says:

    I just say ‘Happy Yule’… or even sometimes “Happy Saturnalia.”

  28. BeccaM says:

    My fingers are crossed for you.

  29. BeccaM says:

    BTW, I’m working on a much longer post on the NM ruling, hopefully for tomorrow. We’ll see.

  30. Butch1 says:

    When that happens we will have the complete “Left Coast” of the United States. ;-)

  31. Butch1 says:

    Congratulations, New Mexico!

  32. pappyvet says:

    One more done.

  33. pappyvet says:

    Do not lose heart. Do you know how the Ant ate the Elephant? One bite at a time.
    I look forward to a few woots with you my friend.

  34. vickif says:

    I’ve been saying “Happy Holidays” for many years now and it’s just this year that people say I should be saying “Merry Christmas.” I just shrug and go on my way. So far nobody has chased me and said I have to say ‘Merry Christmas.” I’m stubborn so I would just look at them and walk away.

  35. vickif says:

    I’m so happy for you both. Have the best holiday ever. My son and his husband are legal in 17 states now, may more states follow.

  36. Smitty PA says:

    Fun tidbit… the arch conservative editor of my rural red NW PA newspaper went after Corbett again today for pandering to the LGBT community in Philly for re-election while his lawyers are defending the Commonwealth’s ban on same sex marriage.

  37. BeccaM says:

    I remember one trip to Albuquerque to visit friends some years back, after we’d been living in California for a long time.

    We decided one day to go visit Sandia Crest. It was a bad idea.

    I was doing fine at the roughly mile-high altitude of the city, but hadn’t had nearly enough time to acclimate to be able to handle the 11k feet of the Crest. Nausea, shortness of breath, deep burning aches in all my long muscles — it was horrible, and it all went away as soon as we dropped back below around 8k feet or so.

    Nowadays though, having lived here since ’09, I don’t even think about it and we’ve gone hiking up there many times at the 10k+ level.

  38. BeccaM says:

    Well, Martinez — a GOP tool if ever there was one — is our governor here in New Mexico.

    Sometimes that’s why justice has to happen in the courts.

  39. emjayay says:

    Well, they will try to come up with something but I don’t think anything will stick. But certainly the stridency of reactionaries currently is because they are being pushed to the edge by social change, and the black appearing guy in the nation’s daddy role was a bit too much. He had to be illegitimate because he was a symbol and reality of what had happened and an opening to a lot more of it. After all the made up stuff about him not flying, then the impeachment talk started.

  40. emjayay says:

    I got to stuff one of those things I printed out about not contributing to homophobic groups in their bucket the other day.

  41. emjayay says:

    When I was first living at Mesa Verde NP (7-8000 feet elevation), I steamed some brocolli and kept wondering why it was taking so long. Then I figured it out. And I lived at at 4600 feet elevation when I was in high school. I sort of forgot.

    Several tourists drop dead in an average year there because of heart attacks.

  42. Smitty PA says:

    It’s always the same reaction… I read another state has legalized marriage equality and there’s a moment of cartwheels and woots. Then I remember Corbett is still my governor until January 2015 and get cynical again.

  43. emjayay says:

    And no one is escaping, you know, slavery.

  44. nicho says:

    The only difference is that it won’t be underground.

  45. 2patricius2 says:

    I wish he were on a planet in a galaxy far, far away.

  46. 2patricius2 says:

    :-) No, not in Phoenix. In Belleville, IL, across the river from St. Louis. I did read that article. I never know when I say the more inclusive “Happy Holidays” to someone, whether they will take offense or not. I haven’t yet started telling people: “May all your holidays be gay.”

  47. pappyvet says:

    I am so thankful for this decision. That we are defined not by our hard work , caring and devoted attitudes toward life and our fellow inhabitants of this world but by who we fall in love with is a human failing. It is a tragedy that slowly but surely we are grappling with. Many have paid and are still paying for our simple right to be accepted as part of the human experience. Each one of these positive decisions gives me pause to reflect and renewed strength for tomorrow.

  48. Daddy Bear says:

    Our modern “underground railroad”? What does that say about how far we’ve come since the Civil War?


  49. Whitewitch says:

    Yeah….only a few more and we will be half-way there!!!!

  50. ArthurH says:

    I hope you weren’t in Phoenix when you said that. Last week Channel 15 News reported that some woman punched a Salvation Army bell-ringer for shouting “Happy Holidays!” The punch came after the woman questioned the bell-ringer, “Don’t you believe in God? It’s Merry Christmas.” Wal-Mart’s security people declined to press charges against the woman, saying the camera that caught the action was at an odd angle. And then the Salvation Army, which in Arizona is whining that donations are off 15%, fired the bell-ringer. So much for the Christian “Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men.”

  51. BeccaM says:

    Aye — ENDA and marriage equality rights for ALL Americans, not just those lucky enough to be living in non-bigoted states.

  52. BeccaM says:

    Thanks. :-) Yesterday we went grocery shopping and I insisted we buy a nice bottle of wine (Clos du Bois) and some Brie, Havarti, and crackers to celebrate come Saturday night. Looks like we’ll have double the reasons to celebrate.

  53. nicho says:

    The next milestone will an “Equality Corridor,” by which couples can cross the country totally in states that recognize marriage equality.

  54. FLL says:

    Brian Brown must be writing his blog on Planet NOM, in a galaxy far, far away.

  55. BeccaM says:

    And yes — personally, my money is on Oregon next, probably with Nevada and Colorado following before long.

  56. BeccaM says:

    Would you believe that NOM’s Facebook-posted marriage map still looks like this?

  57. BeccaM says:

    Bread and cake making are also a bear… But one gets used to it. We’re at about 7k feet, and within a few weeks, it’s not noticeable at all. Except for the fact water boils at 198F.

  58. FLL says:

    The folks at NOM habitually underestimate the coming tide of marriage equality. Last month, NOM made the pronouncement that all of the “low-hanging fruit” was gone for the marriage equality side, and that marriage equality would stall at 16 states. Liars. There were actually nine more states that could be described as low-hanging fruit, and New Mexico was the first. The other eight are Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina. Marriage equality will likely stall at just about 25 states, at which point it wind up at the U.S. Supreme Court for round two. Never believe NOM’s estimates; it’s all wishful thinking on their part.

  59. PeteWa says:

    Congrats on 15 years, and here’s to many more happy years together!

  60. PeteWa says:

    Happy news!

  61. Monoceros Forth says:

    Only too true. If all else fails there’s the Oral Roberts method, i.e. claiming that the Lord is going to take you away unless you pay a huge ransom.

    I’m going to make an idle prediction that, as legal barriers to equal rights for GLBT citizens continue to fall, there’ll be a renewed push to define same-sex attraction as a pathology of some sort. I see an analogy here to how the creationist movement learned how partly to disguise itself behind a spurious “theory of intelligent design” that superficially at least isn’t a mere appeal to simple-minded Biblical literalism. Similarly, as fewer and fewer people derive inspiration and spiritual strength from the Great News that every time two guys kiss God kills a kitten, I expect that the anti-GLBT bigots will strive to polish up their pseudo-scientific justifications for hating on queers. There might be a push to “teach the controversy” in school materials.

  62. Bomer says:

    Congratulations to you and your wife and happy early anniversary! ^_^

  63. Bomer says:

    Yay! Congratulations New Mexico!

  64. heimaey says:

    Yay. Not that I will go to New Mexico. I don’t like high altitudes – you can’t breathe and you can never get a really hot cup of coffee.

  65. kingstonbears says:

    This Saturday we will raise a glass in celebration of your marriage. Renewed congrats to you both. Hugs.

  66. Russ says:

    Now, if only Oregon would get on this train…

  67. BeccaM says:

    Thanks, Fixer!

    I’ve been skimming through the ruling, and it’s a powerful one, too. I may write a follow-up post when I get the time, to pull out the highlights.

  68. The_Fixer says:

    Wow! A unanimous decision? That’s particularly cool.

    Congratulations to you, Becca for finally being “legal”, and for all of the other New Mexicans(?) who’ve been waiting for this day!

  69. jomicur says:

    Wasn’t it just last week that the AFA was claiming that our side had lost momentum and no more states would be recognizing marriage equality? Gee, how surprising that they were absolutely, 100% dead wrong!

    Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

  70. The_Fixer says:

    Never been a problem. If it isn’t same-sex marriage, it’s the war on baby Jesus, the war on Christmas, secularism, Islam, the phase of the moon, the End Times, whatever. They’re pretty good at inventing things that will bring them money.

    Of course they can always collect money earmarked for overturning the various court decisions (you know, the “legislating from the bench – let the people have their say thing). I’m sure the first draft of the fundraising letter has already been written for that.

  71. BeccaM says:

    One of the least surprising announcements ever… lol

  72. nicho says:

    Yes, the dam has burst. Now the anti-gay bigots will have to find some other way to suck money out of the pockets of their followers.

  73. nicho says:

    I’m very happy for him. I know the relief I felt when I no longer had to live a lie. People come at it at different times for different reasons, but it’s a wonderful feeling when you can just be yourself.

  74. AnitaMann says:

    Good. Oregon, you’re up next!

  75. Bill_Perdue says:

    We’re going to win this one.

    Our ongoing victories stem from the obstinate militancy of our LGBT movements in our fight for marriage equality.

    We won in spite of all the murders and beatings we’ve seen since the Democrats (to the wild and wide eyed applause of Republicans, whose idea it was) pushed through DOMA in 1996 (20-25 murders a year and many more beatings).

    We won in spite of the pig headed bigotry of every major politician in Washington, some of whom recently rebranded in their unending quest for money and votes.

    And we’re going to continue winning even if a Clinton or another Bush gets elected in 2016 and even if the Republicans keep the House and grab the Senate.

    On to ENDA, or better yet, an inclusive, robust civil rights amendment covering housing, public services and employment right.

  76. Monoceros Forth says:

    So when Superman gave Batman a kryptonite ring to be used on him as a last resort in case Supes went rogue, that was actually a marriage proposal?

  77. BeccaM says:

    My wife and I are having our 15th “not legally recognized, but real anyway” wedding anniversary this Saturday, on the Solstice. This is just about the best present we could’ve received.

    And now our California legal-legal marriage from last August is legal and recognized here, too.

    We’re both walking around with stunned, happy smiles. Not that the decision was unexpected — the state Supreme Court certainly seemed to be leaning in this direction all along. Just that it’s really real now — and next year, there’ll be no question as to how we should file our taxes. lol

  78. basenjilover says:

    Happy Holidays, indeed! Brian Botiano just came out and will be part of Olympic delegation.

  79. 2patricius2 says:

    Happy Holidays!!!!!!!

  80. dcinsider says:

    This is fun to watch!

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