Same-sex marriage becomes legal in New Mexico following court decision
December 23, 2013
New Mexico has become the 17th state to legalize same-sex marriage.
New Mexico marriage law neither explicitly prohibited nor permitted same-sex marriage. However, the state supreme court ruled on December 19 that “when read as a whole, the statutes have the effect of precluding same-gender couples from marrying and benefiting from the rights, protections, and responsibilities that flow from a civil marriage,” and that the state must permit same-sex marriages.
“It is inappropriate to define the governmental interest as maintaining only opposite-gender marriages, just as it was inappropriate to define the governmental interest as maintaining same-race marriages,” the ruling continued. “Same-gender couples ... 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 bishops of New Mexico recognize the New Mexico Supreme Court as the interpreter of the State Constitution,” the state’s bishops said in a brief statement following the decision. “The Catholic Church respects and loves the gay and lesbian members of our community. We will continue to promote Catholic teaching of the Biblical definition of marriage to be that of one man and one woman.”
- Full text of court decision
- Statement on Today’s New Mexico Supreme Court’s Ruling Regarding Same-Sex Marriage (Archdiocese of Santa Fe)
- New Mexico Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage (AP)
- New Mexico bishops react to issuing of marriage licenses to same-sex couples (CWN, 8/30)