New Mexico Becomes 17th State to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 19 2013 2:38 PM

New Mexico Becomes 17th State to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

450862093
Patrick Bova (R) and Jim Darby share a kiss at a ceremony where Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed the Illinois marriage equality act into law making the state the 16th to allow such unions on November 20, 2013 in Chicago

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Make that 17. The Albuquerque Journal with the big news out of New Mexico:

The New Mexico Supreme Court on Thursday ruled in favor of same-sex couples, granting them all the same rights of marriage enjoyed by heterosexual couples.
The court’s 31-page opinion states, in part, that: “All rights, protections, and responsibilities that result from the marital relationship shall apply equally to both same-gender and opposite-gender married couples.” New Mexico joins 16 other states, the District of Columbia, and several Native American tribes in recognizing same-sex unions.
After eight of the state’s 33 counties began issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples earlier this year, county officials petitioned the court to provide a state-wide ruling. The court ruled that county clerks must issue marriage licenses to couples regardless of gender, and that licenses issued to same-sex couples prior to the ruling must be recognized. More than 1,400 same-sex couples have been issued marriage licenses in New Mexico since August.
Advertisement

The ruling is a victory for marriage equality advocates who had been unable to secure one of equal magnitude at the legislative level in the Land of Enchantment (now that's a state nickname!). While state statutes don't explicitly weigh in on the issue—neither prohibiting nor authorizing same-sex marriage—county clerks had historically denied marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. As the Associated Press points out, the Democratic-controlled statehouse has repeatedly turned down proposals for domestic partnership laws for same-sex couples, and likewise refused a push to allow voters to decide for themselves whether or not to legalize gay marriage.

***Follow @JoshVoorhees and the rest of the @slatest team on Twitter.***

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Altered State

The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender

What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?

Surprise! The Women Hired to Fix the NFL Think the NFL Is Just Great.

You Shouldn’t Spank Anyone but Your Consensual Sex Partner

Moneybox
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Altered State
Sept. 17 2014 11:51 PM The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
  Life
Outward
Sept. 17 2014 6:53 PM LGBTQ Luminaries Honored With MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 8:25 PM A New Song and Music Video From Angel Olsen, Indie’s Next Big Thing
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 9:00 PM Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 17 2014 11:48 PM Spanking Is Great for Sex Which is why it’s grotesque for parenting.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?