Nearly Two Dozen GOP Lawmakers in New Mexico Urge High Court to Declare Gay Marriage Illegal

A posse of current and former GOP lawmakers led by state Senator William Sharer has filed an amicus brief in New Mexico, urging the state Supreme Court to declare same-sex marriage illegal, the AP reports:

SharerThe Republican lawmakers, represented by a conservative Christian law group called the Alliance Defending Freedom, said anti-discrimination and equal protection guarantees in the state constitution do not provide a legal right to marriage for same-sex couples.

The lawmakers said that "the judiciary should exercise caution when asked to divine fundamental and important constitutional rights not expressly provided in the Constitution's text."

The New Mexico Associaiton of Counties and Clerks filed a petition earlier this month with the high court seeking clarity over the state's marriage law, which is gender-neutral and does not define marriage as being between a man and a woman. Nor does it prohibit same-sex marriage.

NewmexicoEight counties in the state have been issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, sending conservatives into panic mode.

Think Progress's Zack Ford published some details about the brief, which argues that gay people have more political power than women and should not be considered a "sensitive class".

From the brief:

The touchstone of this Court’s analysis is whether “a discrete group . . . warrants a degree of protection from the majoritarian political process.” Yet as demonstrated below, that simply cannot be said of same-sex couples who seek to redefine marriage to include their relationships.

Unlike women or persons with mental disabilities — groups that this Court has previously classified as sensitive — same-sex couples possess political power that vastly exceeds their small percentage of the population. Women account for approximately half of the population, and so do people who experience “a diagnosable mental illness in their lifetimes.”

In contrast, individuals who identify as gay — even though they comprise less than 4 percent of the population — have achieved a disproportionate level of political power and success, particularly on the issue of marriage.

Ford notes that the GOP adopted the same tactics in fighting DOMA at SCOTUS. And well, we know what happened there.


  1. johnny says

    “…Individuals who identify as gay — even though they comprise less than 4 percent of the population — have achieved a disproportionate level of political power and success, particularly on the issue of marriage.”

    And your problem with that is…?

    After all, it’s our lives we’re dealing with here, so why should this concern you, hater?

  2. Steve says

    So when are they going to do something against the tiny, rich elite that rules the country like some pseudo-aristocracy?

  3. Jack M says

    “Republican lawmakers, represented by a conservative Christian law group….” That makes me sick to my stomach.

  4. oncemorewithfeeling says

    “…even though they comprise less than 4 percent of the population…”

    According to who? There’s not one single definitive statistic and, given the nature of sexuality and bigotry, there never can be. Nobody will ever really know.

    But it’s another Republican lie that we’re anything less than 10%. Common sense and universal experience dictate that number, as does simple math: those millions and millions of people who show up for all the parades, marches, concerts, rodeos, etc., etc., etc. are not the same group of people going to everything, year in and year out — in fact they’re not even the majority of gay people. We are everywhere.

    Reject the Republican lies that 1) we’re a tiny minority and 2) that any actual tiny minority doesn’t deserve equality.

  5. Turings Ghost says

    The numbers of GOP wingnuts are not relevant since some of the GOP “posse” are not even voting members in the legislature. It would be nice to put all this in context. There are 112 members in the New Mexico legislature so the posse is a clear minority.
    Speaking of oddities, the Flat Earth Society, with 3,000 members and dedicated to proving the earth is flat, released its first podcast this month. Both groups have an equal chance of success.

  6. bear says

    These guys do realize hat the reason why Women and the Disabled have discrimination against them is BECAUSE of Republican Conservatives, right?

    I mean these republicans CAN’T be THAT STOOPID, right?


  7. Gregory In Seattle says

    What I don’t see in the analysis is: what are the legal and constitutional grounds for a court to declare that same-sex marriage is illegal? Wouldn’t that be EXACTLY the kind of “judicial activism” — creating laws that the legislature has failed to pass — that the right wingers condemn so loudly?

  8. rroberts says

    “Alliance Defending Freedom” … don’tcha just love the names these groups come up with? One might ask ‘whose freedom?’

  9. Rexford says

    One thing I haven’t seen covered is that regardless of how the court rules on what’s going on locally with New Mexico’s county clerks, the state’s code is VERY CLEAR that the state will recognize any legal marriage performed in another country. Statute 40-1-4 [Lawful marriages without the state recognized] reads:

    “All marriages celebrated beyond the limits of this state, which are valid according to the laws of the country wherein they were celebrated or contracted, shall be likewise valid in this state, and shall have the same force as if they had been celebrated in accordance with the laws in force in this state.”

  10. dam846201 says

    Alliance Defending Freedom? Whose freedom? Certainly not mine if they want to outlaw marriage. Today it’s mine, tomorrow, blondes might be on their list, the next day Jews, and then Atheists, agnostics…Where will it end?

  11. TomTallis says

    The Alliance Defending Freedom is the old Alliance Defense fund. They had to change their name after one of their attorneys was convicted of pimping her own daughter out for kiddie porn.

    That whole group is made up of lawyers who couldn’t get anything better, including graduates of various Christian diploma mills. A quick look at their track record in advancing and defending wacko legal theories shows that they’ve had little success, no matter what the venue.