Eight New Mexico counties have extended the freedom to marry to same-sex couples
September 05, 2013
Yesterday, Los Alamos County in New Mexico became the eighth county in the state to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. On Tuesday, Grant County became the seventh county to extend marriage protections to same-sex couples.
These two additional counties join three others in New Mexico (Bernalillo County, Santa Fe County, and Taos County) that have been ordered by district court judges to end marriage discrimination. County clerks in three other counties (Doña Ana County, San Miguel County, and Valencia County) have followed the lead of these rulings by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in their own counties. These steps forward in New Mexico bring renewed urgency to why we need the freedom to marry uniformly across the state - and, ultimately, why we need the freedom to marry nationwide.
The Los Alamos decision came after a same-sex couple, Janet Newton and Maria Thibodeau, applied for and were denied a marriage license in their home county. District Court Judge Sheri Raphaelson ruled that same-sex couples have the freedom to marry in New Mexico.
Dozens of couples have married since the rulings over the past few weeks, including Jen Roper and Angelique Neuman, who were at the heart of the case to win marriage in Santa Fe County. Neuman is suffering from terminal brain cancer, and she and Roper, who have been together for 21 years, petitioned the judge with an emergency request asking the judge to allow them to marry. Read their moving story HERE.
Now, it's time for the freedom to marry once and for all across the state of New Mexico. Officials in the state must provide clarity on the question of whether same-sex couples in every county in the state can marry so that there is a decisive, definitive end to marriage discrimination in the state. The New Mexico Attorney General Gary King has already stated multiple times that any attempts to bar same-sex couples from marrying in New Mexico is unconstitutional, and now a state-wide decision is essential.
Freedom to Marry is proud to partner with Equality New Mexico on a public education campaign to build support for marriage across the state of New Mexico as legal teams continue making the case for equality through litigation in the courts.
We hope that the victories this week lead to a decisive ruling finding what a majority of Americans already know: That there's no good reason to exclude same-sex couples from marriage and that same-sex couples throughout New Mexico should have the freedom to marry.