Just shy of two months after it heard arguments in the case, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled today that the state Constitution allows same-sex couples to marry.
Read the ruling here. ---
Notably, it concludes "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.
Celebratory statements are already zipping around the internet. Here's a sample:
ACLU New Mexico Legal DirectorLaura Schauer Ives says, "This truly is a historic and joyful day for New Mexico. As a state, we have always strived to treat all families with dignity and respect, and today's decision allowing loving, committed same sex couples to marry continues that tradition. The more than 1,000 same-sex couples who have already married in New Mexico can now rest certain knowing their marriages will be recognized and respected by our state."
Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin says, "The court is entirely correct that denying lesbian and gay couples the same rights as everyone else is fundamentally unjust. 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."
Santa Fe County was among a number of New Mexico counties to begin issuing marriage licenses to all couples regardless of gender this summer on the advice of a District Court Judge. County clerks were among those who asked the state's highest court to issue a ruling.
UPDATE: Santa Fe Country Clerk Geraldine Salazar tells SFR that as of 11:30 am, 28 same-sex marriage licenses have been issued today, bringing the grand total since August, to 557.
“Everyone’s on board. We’re issuing licenses, as we have been since August 23, and it’s a very exciting moment for all couples that are requesting licenses," she says. "We’re here to help.”