- The state Supreme Court dropped a bomb on the New Mexico political landscape on Thursday.
The court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal in New Mexico. The court rejected the arguments from those who believe marriage should only betwqeen one man and one woman.
- Still, Sen. William Sharer, R-Farmington, will introduce a constitutional amendment to stop same-sex marriages.
- Everyone had a story on it. Locally, the Santa Fe New Mexican.
The court declined to strike down the state’s marriage laws “because doing so would be wholly inconsistent with the historical legislative commitment to fostering stable families through these marriage laws.”Las Cruces Sun-News:
Instead, Chavez wrote that civil marriage “shall be construed to mean 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. Therefore, whether they are contained in [state laws], rules, regulations or the common law, whenever reference is made to marriage, husband, wife, spouse, family, immediate family, dependent, next of kin, widow, widower or any other word, which, in context, denotes a marital relationship, the same shall apply to same-gender couples who choose to marry.”
A number of other Las Cruces pastors have spoken out against issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. One pastor, Doug Cowan of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Las Cruces, expressed disappointment about the ruling Thursday. He said his church holds to traditional and biblical values and has "no intention to stir up hatred against anyone."
"The Bible clearly defines marriage, so it's unfortunate the Supreme Court of New Mexico and others are trying to change what scripture teaches about what marriage is," he said.
The Santa Fe Reporter:
- National outlets, too. The New York Times:
In a written opinion, the court’s five justices agreed that marriage rights for same-sex couples are guaranteed under the equal-protection clause of the New Mexico Constitution, amended in 1972 to state that “equality of rights under law shall not be denied on account of the sex of any person.”Washington Post:
Justices weighed this amendment against the opposition’s argument that prohibiting same-sex marriage was necessary to protect the government’s “overriding interest of responsible procreation and childrearing.”
The justices noted that many states previously banned interracial marriages as well. They said that, in order for the state to ban gay marriage, it would have to show that it had a substantial interest in preserving traditional marriage.And the Associated Press' take that will be in newspapers nationwide.
Supporters of a ban argued that same-sex couples cannot procreate, but the court didn't buy that argument.
- Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins feels vindicated -- but not surprised at the ruling.
- In Santa Fe, two mayoral candidates were particularly happy with the decision -- Patti Bushee, a lesbian, and Javier Gonzalez, who came out earlier this year, celebrated the decision..
- Here are reactions from elected officials and candidates throughout the state.
- Twitter and Facebook reacted to the ruling.
- Crowds throughout the state celebrated the ruling.
- Oh, and the other big Supreme Court ruling that they handed down upheld a law that changes cost of living adjustments for retired state workers on pensions.
- Sen. Tim Keller will introduce his tax expenditure budget as a constitutional amendment. Keller has introduced the legislation for years and it has passed the legislature only to fall victim to the veto pen of the governor (both Bill Richardson and Martinez).
“It’s an accounting of all of our incentives,” Keller said. “It’s passed three times, and it’s always vetoed. So, now, I’m trying to do it via constitutional amendment, and voters could vote on it.”This could be Keller's last shot at such a bill -- he is running for State Auditor.
The bill basically would order the state to do an accounting of all of the tax incentives and loopholes, how they’re used and how many jobs they create.
- The drought is expected to last through the spring. A good start to the winter isn't good enough -- the winter precipitation has stalled in the past few weeks.
- Don't look for many tax cuts out of Santa Fe this legislative session. But discussion of tax reform could be on tap.
- A student is calling on other students to protest the standardized tests by answering "D" on all the questions on the test.
- Bernalillo County Treasurer Manny Ortiz won't quit.
The county commission has already voted “no confidence” in Ortiz, and tried to restrict some of his powers. They will try to clip his wings again on Friday.
- However, Patrick Padilla, the county's investment officer, did quit.
- The FBI wants to root out corruption in rural areas like Columbus and Sunland Park.
Marshall said the state's larger metropolitan areas are better protected against public corruption because bureau offices are often located in them, and because news media outlets in cities are generally more aggressive. Smaller towns are vulnerable to devastating losses and reduction in services, Marshall said, even if the amount of money misspent pales in comparison to that lost to corruption in places like Albuquerque or Santa Fe.
- The former mayor of Clovis says a report on a failed business venture is a "witch hunt."
“I’m done,” Brumfield said. “I don’t care about being mayor again. I did once but not now. This has nothing to do with that. I’m tired of being bullied and pushed around by these people.”
In the letter to Lansford, Knudson on Brumfield’s behalf charges “Clovis spent $25,000 to procure this 21-page contrived, transparent effort to attack the good character of not only Ms. Brumfield, but also (City Manager) Joe Thomas. … It is shameful and disgraceful, that you would not only allow public funds to be expended on a report which essentially acknowledges and confirms its own shortcomings and inaccuracies, but also that a decision was made to release the false findings contained in the letter to the public.”
- A man in Rio Arriba County was arrested for stealing gravel. Of course, because it's Rio Arriba County, the story doesn't end there.
Martinez implicated Española City Councilman Robert Seeds, Rio Arriba County Commissioner Barney Trujillo, Elias Fresquez and county contractor David Jason Vigil in the theft. Fresquez is a part-time County employee and campaign strategist for Trujillo and Seeds.
- Gov. Martinez announced two high-tech research and development initiatives.
- New Mexico's personal income growth was the lowest in the nation in the third quarter.
- The Head Start program on the Navajo Nation is catching up after big troubles in 2010.
- The acting director of the Behavioral Health Services Division and acting CEO of the New Mexico Behavioral Health Collaborative is leaving for a job in Philadelphia.
- Attorney General Gary King announced he is suing to stop a horse slaughter plant in Roswell from opening. King is citing environmental and safety concerns.
- The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government named a new executive director.
- A rule change by the PRC will help the solar energy industry in the state.
- Senate candidate David Clements will visit Los Alamos today.
- Albuquerque Business First runs down their 25 most popular stories of 2013.
- V.B. Price spoke with landscape architect Baker Morrow on this week's edition of Insight New Mexico.
- Carrizozo is getting a microbrewery again. Sierra Blanca Brewing Company left the area for Moriarty for "space and location" reasons. In other words, it was easier to ship stuff from Moriarty than Carrizozo.
- Meanwhile the government shutdown is delaying a gastropub on Albuquerque's Westside.
- Clovis passed an ordinance banning synthetic marijuana.
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.The Weekly Alibi.