Albuquerque Hub

New Mexico County Clerks Quit Over Gay Marriage

Albuquerque Gay Marriage

New Mexico this week legalized gay marriage, and as expected not everyone is happy about that. Albuquerque County Clerk Donna Carpenter and Deputy Clerk Janet Collins announced their resignations yesterday morning, declining to comment on their reasoning. County commissioners confirmed, however, that it was in protest of the legalization of gay marriage, Commissioner Bill Cathey claiming that the two said they'd rather "resign than be associated with that."

The county is already working to hire their replacements.

Gay Teen Banned from Mall After Being Target of Homophobic Assault: VIDEO


An Albuquerque, New Mexico mall has banned a gay teen after an attack in which he was the victim, KOB reports:

Shocking cell phone video obtained by KOB Eyewitness News 4 shows a vicious assault on a teenager inside Albuquerque's Coronado Mall.

The victim is a 14-year-old boy who tells KOB he was targeted partially because he's gay. Now, the boy assaulted in the video has actually been banned from the mall for fighting. When you see this video, and hear the story in 14-year-old Issaic's own words, you may be asking yourself why he's being punished at all...

...14-year-old Issaic is violently punched in the back of the head in the middle of Coronado Mall by a 16-year-old acquaintance. Issaic says he had an argument online with a female friend. That's when the other teen started making threats.

"Whenever he wanted to fight me he was calling me a (gay slur) and a queer and everything," he said.



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Two More New Mexico Counties (Now Up to 5) Begin Issuing Marriage Licenses to Gay Couples


New Mexico's marriage equality rush is on, big time.

This morning we reported that Albuquerque's Bernalillo County has joined Santa Fe and Doña Ana Counties in issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, thanks to a judge's order.

And now TWO MORE counties have followed suit, Prop 8 Trial Tracker reports:

San Miguel County in New Mexico joins Valencia County as the latest in the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. San Miguel County Clerk Melanie Rivera has confirmed that she will issue new gender neutral marriage licenses later this week, though couples who don’t want to wait can receive a license today:

Rivera also stated that couples who did not wish to wait could apply and receive a license today. Until the new licenses arrive Rivera will make the changes to the old forms by hand.

Valencia County Clerk Peggy Carabajal has also discussed the change:

Valencia County Clerk Peggy Carabajal said she should have gender-neutral licenses ready by Wednesday. She also said she is willing to alter licenses if people want to get married Tuesday.

The AP adds that more than 100 people were lined up for licenses in Albuquerque on Tuesday morning.

The ACLU of New Mexico is celebrating.

Said ACLU-NM Executive Director Peter Simonson: “This is a great day to be a resident of New Mexico.  Our state is now on the brink of joining the growing list of states who live and honor the values of family, liberty and love.  Every family in this state is made richer by this step toward justice for all.”

Top photo from the 'Inhabitants of Burque' Fascebook page: "Partners stand together for the first legal same sex marriage ceremony in Albuquerque, New Mexico."


Gay Couple Ordered to the Back of the Bus Receives Apology from Shuttle Service


Standard Parking apologized to a gay couple who were told to move to the back of the airport shuttle last month after the driver spotted them holding hands. Ron McCoy and his partner, Chris Bowers had just flown in from Portland, Oregon for Albuquerque New Mexico's Pride Festival last month when the incident took place.

A release from the company reads:

"We sincerely apologize to Mr. Bowers and Mr. McCoy for any disrespectful treatment they received in New Mexico. Standard Parking respects the equal rights of all customers, and we do not condone or tolerate discrimination of any kind against any of our customers or employees, whether relating to sexual orientation, gender, age, race, nationality or religion.

The employee in question was suspended immediately upon our learning of the incident in early July, and we required that he and our entire transportation staff repeat our sensitivity training protocol. This unfortunate incident reinforces our commitment to emphasizing employee sensitivity training throughout our organization. Again, our sincere apologies to Mr. Bowers and Mr. McCoy."

WNKU adds:

Officials from the city and its airport have called the driver's actions unacceptable.

"This does not reflect Albuquerque, New Mexico. And as the mayor I'm upset about it and we want to make sure we get to the bottom of it," Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry told KOB TV 4 yesterday.

Berry has asked the city's human rights office to look into the incident. The state's chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has also expressed interest in the case, according to multiple reports.

Despite the apology, McCoy says he isn't entirely convinced that Standard Parking made the statement in earnest.

"In some ways it makes me feel like what they really regret is the attention they're getting," he told KATU.

Gay Couple Ordered to the Back of the Bus for Holding Hands: VIDEO


Ron McCoy and his partner, Chris Bowers, a gay couple who had just flown in from Portland, Oregon for Albuquerque, New Mexico's Pride Festival last month, received a horrible welcome to the city from a driver on an airport shuttle bus, KRQE reports:

McCoy said he and his partner sat in the front of a shuttle bus, holding hands when a driver discriminated against them.

“I saw him look at us, look down at his hands and he looked so angry,” McCoy said. “He just blurted out at me, he goes, “'Okay, if you're going to do that, you're going to the back of the bus.'"

Shocked and not wanting to cause problems, the couple obeyed. Once the shuttle stopped at its destination, however, the couple asked the driver why he forced them to move.

“I said, ‘I think it was because you didn't like the fact that I was holding my partner's hand.' He goes, ‘See, now you're telling on yourself.’ My partner responds, 'Well, that's discrimination,' and the driver responds, ‘You're telling on yourself again,’” McCoy said.

A woman, originally from Albuquerque, witnessed the confrontation and jumped in. “I told the bus driver that I was completely appalled that anybody would be treated this way,” said Bernadette Aguirre.

“And the driver looks back at us and goes, 'I'll show you what's appalling,' and he points to us,” McCoy said.

Watch KRQE's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Catholic School Forcing Male Transgender Student to Wear Female Robe at Graduation: VIDEO


An Albuquerque, New Mexico Catholic school is demanding that Damian Garcia, a trans student, wear a girl's gown to graduation. Damian was born Brandi Garcia but identifies as a male, had a name change last year, and is known as Damian to students, teachers, and his parents, but the Superintendent of Saint Pius insists he is a girl and must wear a white robe.

Damian's father is angry about the humiliating treatment, KRQE reports:

“I look at him and I call him my son. That's how he wishes to be acknowledged is as a male,” said father Luis Garcia.

The Saint Pius Superintendent tells KRQE News 13, Saint Pius goes by what the student's birth certificate says if there's any question on what gender-color they wear at graduation.

Says Damian: “I just want to walk in my black robe, nice and proud and have that memory to look back on with my family and friends. I would rather not walk than to embarrass myself by wearing a female robe.”


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