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New Mexico Supreme Court rules gay marriage constitutional

The New Mexico Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage constitutional in a Thursday ruling.

From the 31-page opinion:

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.

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.

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin chimed in this morning, issuing the following statement:

“The court is entirely correct that denying lesbian and gay couples the same rights as everyone else is fundamentally unjust,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Regardless of where you live, all people should have the ability to marry the person they love, and now the legislature must not do anything to turn back the clock in the Land of Enchantment.”

More information will be posted as it becomes avaialble.