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SANTA FE, N.M. – Just a week before the U.S. Supreme Court is set to take up the question of same-sex marriage, New Mexico’s capital city is declaring same-sex marriage legal in New Mexico and they’ve issued a legal memo and resolution supporting it.
At a news conference today, Mayor David Coss and Councilor Patti Bushee were joined by City Attorney Geno Zamora to release a legal memo by Zamora outlining the case that marriage equality is already legal under New Mexico law and announcing a city resolution declaring such and encouraging same-sex couples to apply for licenses from county clerks.
ProgressNow New Mexico, a non-profit progressive advocacy group supporting marriage equality, joined to congratulate the city and launched a public campaign to support the city by asking supporters to sign onto the resolution as citizen co-sponsors.
The legal memo notes that:
• New Mexico’s laws do not define marriage as between a man and a woman, the definitions are gender-neutral,
• A statutory list of prohibited marriages does not list same-sex couples;
• Same-sex marriages from other states are already recognized by New Mexico law;
• To discriminate against same-sex couples would violate the New Mexico Constitution which requires equality under the law regardless of sex.
A copy of the resolution and legal memo are available from ProgressNowNM online.
The City Council resolution will be introduced at the next city council meeting on March 27.
“It’s about time someone made a legal argument for equality in New Mexico,” said Pat Davis of ProgressNow New Mexico.
“Just this month, a Republican Senator publicly came out for his son’s right to marry, Hillary Clinton endorsed full equality and the Supreme Court is prepared to hear landmark arguments on DOMA and marriage. It’s time New Mexico join the ranks of the progressive states and stand up for loving, committed couples who want nothing more than to be treated the same as they already treat their neighbors.”
Marriage battles made news earlier this year when ProgressNow New Mexico launched campaigns to highlight Republicans in the State Senate who refused to permit a memorial to welcome LGBT New Mexicans to the state capitol and opponents defeated a ballot question permitting voters to vote on a Constitutional amendment explicitly supporting full marriage rights. More than 6,800 New Mexicans signed petitions with ProgressNowNM supporting the chance to vote on recognizing same-sex marriage in New Mexico.