Marriage Legal Team Responds to Attorney General’s Statement

EQNM is partnered with the ACLU of New Mexico (ACLU-NM) in the Why Marriage Matters New Mexico public education campaign to increase public support for the freedom to marry in New Mexico.  This campaign is a companion effort to the freedom to marry litigation filed in March by a legal team comprised of ACLU National, ACLU-NM, National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), local firm Sutin, Thayer & Brown, and local attorneys Lynn Perls and Kate Girard on behalf of two same-gender couples who were denied marriage licenses in Bernalillo County.

Below is the response released by the legal team regarding Thursday’s statement from Attorney General King on the subject of marriage equality in New Mexico.  Please direct all inquires regarding this response to Micah McCoy, Communications Manager for ACLU-NM, at mmccoy@aclu-nm.org or 505-266-5915.

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EQNM Frustrated by No Opinion from AG, Believes Issue Must Be Decided in Courts

Today, Attorney General King said that after extensive research he has concluded that his office cannot definitively state that New Mexico law currently permits marriage for same-gender couples. He also said that the practice of excluding same-gender couples from marriage in New Mexico is vulnerable to challenge under the equal protection guarantees of the federal and state constitutions.

“Despite Attorney General King’s refusal to take a definitive stand on the gender neutrality of New Mexico’s marriage laws,” said Equality New Mexico (EQNM) Executive Director Amber Royster, “EQNM still believes that our Constitution already affirms our commitment as New Mexicans to treating others with the same respect, dignity and fairness with which we wish to be treated.  No one should be told they can’t marry the person they love.”

Though expressing personal support for the freedom to marry, Attorney General King maintains that it is a constitutional issue, and therefore the courts are the proper fora for this issue to be decided. In March this year, the ACLU of New Mexico and its legal partners filed a lawsuit asking New Mexico state courts to recognize that the freedom to marry is a protected constitutional right in New Mexico.  As a companion effort to the lawsuit, EQNM and ACLU-NM are partnered in the Why Marriage Matters New Mexico public education campaign to increase support for the freedom to marry in New Mexico.

Said EQNM Executive Director Amber Royster: “Full recognition of LGBT relationships cannot be a piecemeal, county-by-county debate— our acceptance and recognition as valued members of all New Mexican communities must be realized in every corner of our Land of Enchantment.  We call upon the courts to ensure, once and for all, that every LGBT New Mexican will be free to marry the person they love, regardless of gender.  Equality New Mexico will not rest until every loving couple in New Mexico has a chance to stand up and make a public vow of love and commitment, before their family and community.”

SCOTUS Rulings Coming in Late June

DV-Cover-03-15-13D1The United States Supreme Court will be issuing their rulings in the Prop 8 and DOMA cases in late June.  But what does this mean for New Mexico?

In March, before and after the hearings for these cases, EQNM published two Q&A interviews that addressed this very question.

The first was with Kate Kendell, Executive Director of National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), who gave us considerable pre-hearing insight and knowledge regarding the cases themselves, specific considerations in each, and how they could impact our Land of Enchantment.

The second was with Lynn Perls, legal team member in the New Mexico freedom to marry lawsuit, who provided post-hearing analysis, and implications for New Mexico and our Sandoval 64.

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Take A Stand On International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

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Today is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, commemorating the May 17, 1990 decision by the World Health Organization that decategorized homosexuality as a mental disorder, and aiming to raise international awareness of LGBT rights violations and stimulate interest in LGBT rights advocacy.

Over 100 countries around the world will commemorate this day to raise awareness of the atrocities and consequences of homophobia and transphobia on the international LGBT community.

New Mexico is no stranger to this kind of discrimination.

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New Mexico Faith Leaders Announce Support for Marriage for Same Sex Couples

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Today, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico and Equality New Mexico (EQNM) released a statement of support for marriage for same-sex couples signed by 94 interfaith religious leaders in New Mexico. The statement is part of the ACLU of New Mexico and EQNM’s joint public education campaign Why Marriage Matters New Mexico (formerly All Families Matter New Mexico). The signatories include both active and retired faith leaders from around the state, representing a variety of denominations and faith traditions.

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It’s Our 20th Anniversary! A Gift for You…A Gift for Us?

Greetings Friends of EQNM,

Today, May 2, marks Equality New Mexico’s 20th Anniversary as an organization in the Land of Enchantment. We’ve had a few other names over the last two decades, but our spirit and intent has remained steadfast – to promote, advance, and secure full recognition of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights through public education, community support, and political advocacy.

We’ve had our wins and our losses — our journey’s ebb and flow being emblematic of a small but dedicated social justice-oriented nonprofit.  But the fact remains: WE ARE HERE TODAY, and WE WILL BE HERE TOMORROW.

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EQNM Applauds Passage of Santa Fe Resolution Supporting the Freedom to Marry in New Mexico

Equality New Mexico (EQNM) applauds the courageous resolution passed by the Santa Fe City Council supporting the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in New Mexico. The resolution passed by a majority vote of 5-3, with City Councilors Bushee, Trujillo, Wurzburger, Dominguez, and Calvert in favor, Councilor Rivera opposed, and Councilors Ives and Dimas abstaining. Supported by legal opinion from City Attorney Geno Zamora, the resolution asserts that New Mexico state law defining marriage is gender-neutral and lacks any prohibition on same-sex marriage. The resolution was introduced last month by Santa Fe City Mayor Coss and Councilor Patti Bushee.

“Over my many years of public service, I have always acted on the firm belief that everyone should be treated with fairness, dignity, respect, and be afforded the same opportunities to pursue personal happiness,” said Councilor Bushee. “Santa Fe has a rich tradition of diversity, equality, and acceptance. The passage of this resolution in support of the freedom to marry—for all New Mexicans—is in keeping with that rich tradition.”

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