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NM Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Marriage Equality

PHOTO: This week, New Mexico has become the 17th state to allow same-sex couples to marry, following a state Supreme Court decision. Photo courtesy ProgressNow New Mexico.
PHOTO: This week, New Mexico has become the 17th state to allow same-sex couples to marry, following a state Supreme Court decision. Photo courtesy ProgressNow New Mexico.
December 20, 2013

SANTA FE, N.M. - Same-sex couples in New Mexico can now be legally married, following a decision by the state Supreme Court. On Thursday, the court struck down a legal challenge brought by a group of state politicians after some county clerks had started marrying same-sex couples.

Pat Davis, executive director, ProgressNow New Mexico, said state law has always defined marriage as a contract between two people, regardless of gender. He called the ruling a big win for marriage equality in the state and the nation.

"It gives them the validation that they have been fighting for," Davis said, "for more than a decade. It levels the playing field on so many issues and just says that New Mexico is a place that recognizes everybody equally."

Davis said the county clerks who were marrying same-sex couples also filed litigation to try to get a court decision supporting marriage equality. The Supreme Court merged the two cases before rendering its decision, he added.

Davis said he expects the ruling to help advance the cause of marriage equality in other states.

"I think you're going to see a lot people looking at those rules and those laws and this decision, to see how that might affect their issues and their causes as well," Davis said.

Another big factor he noted is that same-sex couples can now enjoy the tax exemptions and other legal benefits of marriage. New Mexico joins 16 other states and the District of Columbia in recognizing same-sex marriages.

The court ruling in Griego v. Oliver is available at www.nmcompcommus.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NM