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94 Faith Leaders Announce Support for Marriage Equality in New Mexico

This morning ACLU New Mexico and Equality New Mexico released a statement of support for marriage equality signed by 94 interfaith religious leaders as part of a public education campaign:

NewmexicoWe, the undersigned clergy and religious leaders from across New Mexico, draw upon our moral convictions and our personal faith to support the freedom to marry in our state.

We are leaders of various faith communities, who have lived and ministered closely with thousands of families through all of life’s glory, tragedy, and tedium. Some of these families are headed by same-sex couples. They, like many of us, enjoy the holidays with aunts and cousins, struggle to meet the mortgage, and fret over children who aren’t doing well in school.

These families are our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends and our peers. As people of faith and as New Mexicans, we believe in loving our neighbors, and treating one another as we would like to be treated—with dignity and respect. This means recognizing the love and commitment of lesbian and gay couples through marriage.

Entering into a committed, loving relationship is one of life’s most sacred and holy gifts. Marriage means responsibility and hard work, but it also brings life-changing protections for a family. Those of us who are married often take for granted the fact that we will not be questioned when we go to the hospital to visit our spouse; that no one can step between a mother and her children; that if death comes suddenly and we are unprepared, our spouse or children will not be denied inheritance in those mournful hours. Most heterosexual couples wouldn’t want to be denied these joys and protections that come with marriage, and when they think about it, they wouldn’t want to deny that to anyone else, either.

We recognize that there are a diversity of views in the faith community, and respect the right of religious groups to refuse to officiate or bless marriages for lesbian or gay couples. Indeed, not everyone in our congregations or denominations agrees with this viewpoint. By the same token, we support civil marriage fairness as an issue of religious freedom, for a denial of civil recognition dishonors the religious convictions of those communities and clergy who do officiate, and bless, marriages for same-sex couples.

Our religious principles are grounded in a love and acceptance of all people, and we believe deeply that means embracing marriage between same-sex couples.

New Mexico has a long history of valuing and protecting the humanity and dignity of every person. It is time to extend this tradition to families that include same-sex couples.

A list of the leaders signing the statement can be found here.

Santa Fe recently approved a resolution supporting marriage equality and urging clerks to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

The vote came after a March declaration by Mayor David Coss that same-sex marriage is legal in the state, an opinion backed by the City Attorney. At that time, Coss announced that the resolution voted on last night would be introduced.

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Comments

  1. I am unclear about what exactly needs to happen for marriage equality to come to New Mexico. The mayor of Santa Fe says that current law allows same sex couples to marry. Is there anyone in New Mexico arguing that it doesn't? It seems this could be solved by pulling out the book of laws (or whatever it's called) and publicly reading what it says. I know there's a court case pending there on this, but, if what the mayor is saying is true, why does there even need to be? If the mayor is correct, how does that work? Does the governor just shrug and say go ahead?

    Posted by: Jere | May 8, 2013 1:52:50 PM


  2. Vermont had TWICE as many (182) in a state less than half the size of New Mexico!

    Posted by: KevinVT | May 8, 2013 2:19:06 PM


  3. KevinVT, the United Church of Christ and Unitarians, both of which are strongly pro-marriage, are much stronger in Vermont than in New Mexico. Presbyterians have been the largest pro-marriage force in New Mexico, along with some help from the United Church of Christ and Methodists. Opposition to marriage in VT was largely from the Roman Catholic hierarchy, but not at all by actual Roman Catholic laity. In NM, opposition is coming from both the Roman Catholic hierarchy and the Southern Baptists. Either way, it is great to see that Christians are leading the push for marriage.

    Posted by: DB | May 8, 2013 2:32:10 PM


  4. Maybe that's true, Kevin, but let's get real for a second. All the help from faith leaders is good help because mainstream religion is still pretty much anti-gay and drives people from the church. The message from the religion front is negative virtually all the time on this issue. So it's good to highlight that there is positive as well.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | May 8, 2013 2:53:08 PM


  5. @Jere
    State statutes in NM don't expressly prohibit LGBT marriage ... that's why Mayor Coss and the City Council took the steps they did. Yup, the Governor could just shrug ... but Gov Martinez isn't a supporter of equality. Legislation has been proposed for a constitutional amendment to allow SSM that if passed would be on the ballot for 2014.
    Time to do the on the ground legwork.

    @DB
    I'd hardly call it 'Christians are leading the push for marriage.'
    Thanks to these congregational leaders for their voice of support but they're several decades short of being the leaders.

    Posted by: JONES | May 8, 2013 3:32:52 PM


  6. But, JONES, if state statutes don't expressly prohibit it, doesn't that mean it's legal already? I guess I'm from the "words mean things" school of thought and don't understand why any of this is necessary. The governor may not be a supporter, but state law cannot be denied, can it? Are their specific statutes that affirm the right to inter-racial marriage? Or is it assumed that because inter-racial marriage isn't prohibited, it's legal?

    Posted by: Jere | May 8, 2013 3:42:28 PM


  7. @Jere
    Your rational is exactly the same as the Mayor and City of Santa Fe. That's why they've taken the stance they have. Knowing that the Governor is in opposition perhaps they want it to go thru the court system. Equality New Mexico might have more info.

    I'm not a judge or legal scholar but I'd think that if a marriage license were issued by the city of Santa Fe to a same sex couple it would be legal until the court challenges were resolved. With opposition it would wind it's way thru the court system until it either passes/fails or gets put on hold pending SCOTUS rulings.
    Because of the lack of prohibitive wording in this state statue it might be a good one for the SCOTUS to hear.

    Posted by: JONES | May 8, 2013 4:15:00 PM


  8. It was shocking to see that there were no Roman Catholic Priests or Bishops on that list of equality supporters. LOL!!!

    Posted by: andrew | May 8, 2013 6:57:23 PM


  9. It was shocking to see that there were no Roman Catholic Priests or Bishops on that list of equality supporters. LOL!!!

    Posted by: andrew | May 8, 2013 6:57:23 PM


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