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Making Same-Sex Marriage a Reality in New Mexico

PHOTO: Kim Kiel (L) and partner Rose Griego say they're willing to wait for marriage equality in New Mexico. Courtesy of ACLU New Mexico.
PHOTO: Kim Kiel (L) and partner Rose Griego say they're willing to wait for marriage equality in New Mexico. Courtesy of ACLU New Mexico.
March 26, 2013

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - On Wednesday, Santa Fe Mayor David Coss and City Councilor Patti Bushee will introduce a resolution to recognize same-sex marriage as legal, and to encourage county clerks to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses. The timing is particularly good for two couples who walked into the Bernalillo County Clerk's office just last week to apply for marriage licenses.

Kim Kiel, who is half of one of those couples, and a plaintiff in the ACLU New Mexico "freedom to marry" lawsuit, said that after the paperwork was filled out, the man taking the applications gave her and her partner a disappointing answer.

"He handed us a form letter that said he would not be able to issue us a marriage license because we were two women, and the license application was very clear that it needed to be a man and a woman," Kiel reported.

After nine years together, Kiel and Rose Griego believe they could be waiting another two to three years before getting that license. But they also think the Santa Fe resolution, the lawsuit, and a public education campaign known as "All Families Matter" could be working to change that.

Amber Royster is executive director of Equality New Mexico. Her organization is partnering with ACLU New Mexico to build public support for the freedom for all couples to marry in the Land of Enchantment.

"We have to begin making that personal connection," she declared. "The 'All Families Matter' campaign is centered around sharing the stories and messages from that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. EQNM's primary role is in advocacy and education, trying to increase the public support in New Mexico for the freedom to marry."

Kim Kiel said that if more waiting is necessary for marriage equality, she is willing to wait and work toward that goal. According to Kiel, marriage matters.

"Committed gay and lesbian couples want to marry for the same reasons as other couples: love and respect, and mutual support, and being a team with each other," she said.

See the resolution at

Renee Blake, Public News Service - NM