New Mexico Supreme Court Rules Unanimously That Gay Couples Can Marry Statewide


The New Mexico Supreme Court has ruled unanimously in favor of marriage equality, making it the 17th state to allow its citizens the freedom to marry. The ruling is effective immediately.

KOB reports: "The state Supreme Court will now define 'civil marriage' as the voluntary union of two persons to the exclusion of all others. In addition, all rights, protections, and responsibilities that result from the marital relationship shall apply equally to both same-gender and opposite-gender married couples."

2nmThe court ruling, via Freedom to Marry:

We conclude that the purpose of New Mexico marriage laws is to bring stability and order to the legal relationship of committed couples by defining their rights and responsibilities as to one another, their children if they choose to raise children together, and their property.

Prohibiting same-gender marriages is not substantially related to the governmental interests advanced by the parties opposing same-gender marriage or to the purposes we have identified. Therefore, barring individuals from marrying and depriving them of the rights, protections, and responsibilities of civil marriage solely because of their sexual orientation violates the Equal Protection Clause under Article II, Section 18 of the New Mexico Constitution.

We hold that the State of New Mexico is constitutionally required to allow same-gender couples to marry and must extend to them the rights, protections, and responsibilities that derive from civil marriage under New Mexico law.

Read the full ruling HERE.


  1. q says

    Congrats to all in New Mexico! Thank you to the State Supremes for their level headed response that should be a model for other states.

    In other news, Brian Brown’s head exploded upon hearing the story.

  2. HadenoughBS says

    FINALLY! My partner of 33 years and I (we reside in Texas) will be traveling to our neighboring state ASAP and get hitched. Thank you, New Mexico, for affording us the chance to become a “legal couple” at long last.

  3. dam846201 says

    Congratulations! I love Albuquerque & my fiance & I are considering a move there instead of Washington state! And Robert…I burst into tears, so, yeah, let’s all get emotional. We’re changing things for the better!

  4. RonCharles says

    Congratulations to New Mexico! ‘Tis truly now the Land of Enchantment!

    This, also, will certainly have an impact on nearby Arizona and Colorado!

  5. Ajijic Den says

    OKAY BUBBA!!! You stole my line. WOO HOO TOO! And just think. This state borders Texas. Bet little Ricky Perry is a bit nervous now! We just returned from San Diego where we wed after 20 years together. Had this happened earlier we might have gone to NM.

  6. ny2.0 says

    Wow, this just came out of nowhere. While all attention was being given to some bigot hick on a reality show, another state recognizes equality. Congrats New Mexico!

  7. says

    If you watched the hearing you just knew that these justices saw through all the BS. They ruled unanimously in favor of marriage equality. Amazing feeling to see that there are justices serving the public like these.
    I offer up a heartfelt ‘Thank You’.

  8. Clayton says

    My husband and I live in a non-equality state, and we’re contemplating a move when I retire in two years. The list of eligible states just got a little longer.

  9. Francis says

    Amazing! Congratulations New Mexico! Marriage equality throughout the state….marriage equality in 17 states! Dominoes aren’t just falling, they’re being bulldozed down.

    1,400 couples have married in the state since this summer, so marriage equality was already effectively legal in the state. Today was the finishing touch. An amazing year this has been. Amazing times.

  10. Salt Lake Couple says

    A lovely early Christmas present! My partner of 34 years and I wed in Santa Fe, in my birth state, on October 2 of this year. Now looking forward to federal uniformity via a Supreme Court decision on similar grounds.

  11. Steve says

    It is so great to hear from people in long term relationships like HADENOUGHBS and SALT LAKE COUPLE. Guys, please keep contributing and sharing your stories. The world needs to hear from you and gay young people need to hear from you.

    There is this sense among some people that a life of Grindr hookups and bars is the “standard” way of being gay. That narrative is false and stories like yours help to open minds.

  12. Lexis says

    Nice to have a marriage equality state in the Southwest. Colorado, Nevada, even Arizona could be lining up …

  13. Howard B says

    So much is changing so fast! I hope those of you who live in Marriage inequality states are emboldened to double down and make marriage equality happen sooner rather than later.

    Before Prop 8 happened in 2008 I spent hundreds of hours and hundreds of dollars volunteering for the No on Prop 8 side. I was crushed when it was narrowly approved. I continued to volunteer and donate to marriage equality efforts but my enthusiasm was limited.

    Little did I realize that 5 years later I would marry the man of my dream in my home town in California. The moral of the story is… never give up.

  14. Fox says

    @Christopher – I believe it’s the 17th state, but if you count the District of Columbia, that makes 18.

  15. DB says

    Congratulations to all New Mexicans! This is my husband’s home state and we know many gay families who live there or originated there. New Mexico has a unique culture and a long history of supporting diversity and civil rights (it was the first western state to legalize inter-racial marriage). We just visited in October during the green chile harvest; we did not feel out of place at all as a male couple with two young kids.

  16. JakeAZ says

    I knew this would happen but did not know it would be this quick!

    We have “marriage equality envy” here in AZ. But someday…

    Besides, there’s a wedding trip to San Francisco (my home) sometime next year.


  17. BZ says

    @Fox: actually NM was the first state. The Sandoval 64 were married on February 20 2004, then the next day the state AG (significantly, not a judge) stopped the county from issuing any more licenses. The validity of those marriages was never determined until 2009, when one of the couples broke up and sought a euling as to whether they were legally married. The judge ruled that they were, and the ruling was never appealed. Today’s ruling establishes that the Sandoval 64 were the FIRST legally valid same-sex marriages in the US, even before Massachusetts.

    We owe it to these couples to remember and honor them in LGBT history. Nobody gave them much notice, even in the gay community. But they represent the hopes and aspirations of all the couples who tried to marry in those early years, only to be ignored and mocked. Here’s to the Sandoval 64, you have earned your due. You’re a symbol of the perseverance of the LGBT community.

  18. Two dads says

    can everyone please share this on their social media pages so that THIS is the LGBT news that gets the most attention!