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Gay Marriage Goes Before the Supreme Court in New Mexico: VIDEO


The New Mexico Supreme Court heard arguments on same-sex marriage yesterday.

KRQE has an excellent video report on marriage's day in court. Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

NewmexicoReuters sums up the situation in New Mexico leading up to yesterday's historic hearing:

Currently eight New Mexico counties allow gay couples to marry, and more than 900 couples have filed for same-sex marriage licenses since clerks in those jurisdictions started issuing them in recent months, some voluntarily and some under court order.

At least two New Mexico judges have upheld gay marriage under provisions of the state constitution, including cases that apply to counties encompassing the state's largest city, Albuquerque, and the state capital, Santa Fe.

Meanwhile, a number of Republican state lawmakers have filed a lawsuit challenging the authority of the clerk of Dona Ana County, which includes the state's second-most populous town, Las Cruces, to hand out marriage licenses to gay couples there.

The debate reached a crescendo when all 33 county clerks in the state joined the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Center for Lesbian Rights in petitioning New Mexico's high court to decide the issue on a statewide basis.

KOB reports:

Attorneys on both sides of the issue spoke for an hour each and answered dozens of questions from the justices.

James Campbell, an attorney for those opposing gay marriage in New Mexico, cited studies about children needing a mother and father figure in the household. He said the legal definition of marriage is between a man and a woman.

Maureen Sanders, an attorney for same-sex marriage supporters, said all marriages need to be treated equally. She was also grilled with questions from the justices, one who even said New Mexico is "forced" to recognize out of state same-sex marriages.

SharerOn hand for the proceedings were plaintiffs in a lawsuit demanding the freedom to marry in New Mexico, Senator Bill Sharer, who has called gay men "whores" and "things" and has been leading the conservative charge against same-sex marriage, and Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins (below), the first of eight New Mexico county clerks to begin handing out same-sex marriage licenses.

The New Civil Rights Movement adds, of the arguments:

Arguments from the anti-gay side were predictably obtuse and irrelevant. The flawed and debunked anti-gay “parenting” study by Mark Regnerus was used to argue that marriage should be reserved for heterosexual couples. Other anti-gay arguments included “husband and wife means husband and wife,” tradition, the institution of marriage must be protected and therefore gays shouldn’t be allowed to marry, and marriage was designed to channel mankind’s procreative powers — a situation that gay and lesbian couples don’t have to worry about.

Other preposterous claims were made, including that LGBT people have extraordinary political power and therefore don’t need the courts to intervene, and that either the people or the legislature should decide the issue of marriage. Ironically, when the court took a short break, one attorney not realizing the cameras were still live, quipped that if the legislature passed marriage equality, the issue would till return to the state Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court is not expected to rule immediately and could take a few weeks to issue a ruling.

KRQE has an excellent video report on marriage's day in court.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. LGBT people have extraordinary political power and therefore don’t need the courts to intervene.
    It means that Microsoft and Apple have extraordinary financial resources that they don't need to be protected by law.

    Posted by: simon | Oct 24, 2013 10:31:45 AM

  2. I heard a lot of the arguments. I don't think the anti-gay side has much of a position, at least in terms of merit in banning marriage equality (obviously). At the same time, it was more or less expressed by both sides that the state constitution does not automatically allow same-sex couples marriage and that the equal protection clause within the constitution doesn't exactly mean marriage is a requirement in New Mexico for same-sex couples, because that wasn't in mind when the clause was written. The anti-gay side more or less argued the state's Supreme Court would have to finagle a way to find the state's Supreme Court allowing marriage equality.

    I read a decision may not come until December at the earliest and may not come until next year, so several weeks/months of wait continues for equality in New Mexico. Let's hope for a good result.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Oct 24, 2013 10:51:51 AM

  3. Loving v Virginia extended the equal protection rights of the 14th to include marriage.

    Posted by: unruly | Oct 24, 2013 11:37:19 AM

  4. I expect a decision before Thanksgiving. Because the court put the case on an expedited schedule it's likely we'll have a speedy ruling.

    Posted by: Stefan | Oct 24, 2013 12:12:29 PM

  5. Simon, I like your comments.

    Posted by: john patrick | Oct 24, 2013 12:44:04 PM

  6. late nov/dec will be in our favor but it might not be over after that if the witched latina of the west has her way.

    Posted by: lee | Oct 24, 2013 5:55:53 PM

  7. Who knows what was in the mind of the men who passed the equal protection clause?

    It is the concept that is the issue not the mental state of its authors.

    Posted by: Keith | Oct 24, 2013 10:26:33 PM

  8. No lawyer or anything, but aren't these all exactly the same anti-gay marriage arguements that didn't work in California?

    Posted by: emjayay | Oct 25, 2013 12:43:41 AM

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