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Content about New Mexico

April 7, 2014

Case stemmed from photographers who refused to shoot a same-sex wedding based on religious beliefs

The US Supreme Court announced Monday (7 April) that it will not hear an appeal to a widely-publicized New Mexico involving a photography business that refused to take photos for a same-wedding.

The court, which passed on the case without comment, had been asked to consider the case of Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin had found guilty of violating their state's anti-discrimination law.

March 4, 2014

A group of 20 Republicans from the American West lead by two former US senators are joining court battles over same-sex marriage on the side of the LGBTI community

A group of Republicans is filing friend-of-the-court briefs in appeals battles over state bans on same-sex marriage and has already done so in Utah and Oklahoma after courts struck down their state bans.

The group of gay friendly Republicans are being lead by former Senator Alan K Simpson of Wyoming and former Senator Nancy L Kassebaum of Kansas.

March 2, 2014

'If you get to the facts of this, the law was the subject of a tsunami of poorly informed indignation'

The editor of a conservative political magazine is defending Arizona's controversial 'turn away the gays' bill.

The National Review's Rich Lowry was one of the guests  on today's (2 March) ABC News program This Week.

He argued the debate about SB 1062 was littered with half-truths and the legislation was not anti-gay.

February 27, 2014

Says SB 1062 'has the potential to create more problems that it purports to solve ... It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine'

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer ended days of suspense by announcing she has vetoed the state's controversial 'turn away the gays' law.

Brewer said at an evening press conference Wednesday (26 February) that the proposed legislation 'has the potential to create more problems that it purports to solve.'

The controversial SB 1062 was passed last week by the Republican controlled state Senate a day after it passed in the House chambers.

January 17, 2014

Arizona Senator Steve Yarbrough wants to make it legal for any business to discriminate against people for religious reasons to protect them from having to serve gay people but he admits other groups could be discriminated against as well

Arizona Republican Senator Steve Yarbrough has put forward a bill that would let any business owned by a religious person discriminate against people legally in order to protect them from having to deal with gay people.

Yarbrough says he was inspired to draft the bill after a New Mexico state Supreme Court allowed a gay couple to sue a photographer who refused to photograph their wedding.

However LGBTI people in Arizona already have no legal protection from discrimination under state law.

January 8, 2014

Republican New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez says she has accepted her state’s Supreme Court’s ruling that legalized gay marriage and that it’s ‘the law of the land now’

New Mexico Republican Governor Susana Martinez told a Monday press conference that she had accepted that same-sex marriage was legal in her state and would not attempt to overturn its legalization.

Martinez had wanted the issue to be put to the voters but the state Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples must be allowed to marry on 19 December.

December 23, 2013

Federal judge opens the door to further challenges with his comments that the ban is unconstitutional

A week after gay marriage bans in New Mexico and Utah were struck down, a legal ruling in Ohio on Monday (23 December) may have paved the way for the end of a ban in that state as well.

Judge Timothy Black has ordered that gay marriages be recognized on Ohio death certificates. In his written opinion, he makes clear he believes the state's ban on same-sex unions is unconstitutional.

December 20, 2013

State Supreme Court ruling this week made same-sex marriage legal in state

A ruling this week by the New Mexico Supreme Court means that all 33 counties in the state must begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

That includes Roosevelt County where Donna Carpenter in the county clerk and Janet Collins is her chief deputy.

Rather than have to comply with the law, the two women resigned from their jobs on Friday (20 December), according to state’s largest progressive advocacy organization ProgressNowNM which supported the campaign for marriage.

December 20, 2013

Robert J. Shelby rules the law passed in 2004 by voters is unconstitutional

Utah's ban on same-sex marriage was struck down by a federal judge on Friday (20 December) who has declared it unconstitutional and said there is no 'rational' reason to not allow gays to marry.

US District Judge Robert J. Shelby, in a 53-page ruling, writes that the law passed by voters in 2004 is a violation of due process and equal protection under the 14th amendment of the US Constitution.

December 19, 2013

Unanimous Supreme Court ruling makes New Mexico 17th US state with marriage equality

New Mexico's Supreme Court has made it unanimously clear: same-sex couples in the state can legally marry.

The justices found that barring couples from marrying based on their sexual orientation violates the Equal Protection Clause of the state's 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,' the justices wrote in their opinion.

December 2, 2013

A 14 year-old gay teen has reportedly been banned from the shopping mall where a teen called him queer and beat him to the ground

A gay teen who was attacked inside a mall has been banned for over a year from returning to the shopping complex.

Issaic, whose last name has not been released, was filmed in Coronado Mall in Albuquerque, New Mexico getting hit over the head by a 16 year-old so hard he fell to the ground.

According to Issaic, what started off as an online argument between friends resulted in a physical attack caught on a friend's mobile phone.

November 13, 2013

Jennifer Neuman-Roper won court order to marry longtime partner

One of the plaintiffs in a New Mexico gay marriage case being considered by the state's Supreme Court has died.

Jennifer Neuman-Roper was suffering from an aggressive form of brain cancer and able to get a court's permission to marry her longtime partner in August.

The 44 year old and wife Angelique Neuman-Roper were married in the hospital the very day a judge ordered Santa Fe County clerk to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

November 8, 2013

Insurance companies in New Mexico have been ordered to give same-sex couples who have valid marriage licenses the same discounts in their plans that they give to heterosexual married couples in a further move by that state towards marriage equality

New Mexico has taken a further step towards marriage equality after its state insurance regulator announced Wednesday that insurance companies doing business in the state must offer the same discounts to married same-sex couples that they do opposite sex ones.

Eight of New Mexico’s 33 counties, taking in almost 60 percent of the state’s population, have begun marrying same-sex couples and state Insurance Superintendent John Franchini said couples with valid marriage licenses must receive equal treatment from insurance providers.

October 24, 2013

Lawyer for gay couples asks justices to 'bring certainty to the uncertainty in the state'

The New Mexico Supreme Court was asked on Wednesday (23 October) to bring some clarity to the issue of gay marriage in a state where it is neither prohibited or allowed.

'Today, this court is given the opportunity to give credence to the notion of equality,' lawyer Maureen Sanders told the five justices. 'The court can bring certainty to the uncertainty in the state.'

October 19, 2013

Teacher Tippi McCullough married her partner in New Mexico, only to be told by the principal she should resign or face 'public firing'

A lesbian teacher at an Arkansas Catholic school has been fired after she married her partner of 14 years.

 

Tippi McCullough, a teacher at Mount St Mary's Academy in Littlerock, Arkansas, had travelled to New Mexico to marry her partner, Barb Mariani.

 

However, shortly after the ceremony the school's secretary called, telling McCullough she would be fired were she to get married.

October 19, 2013

Case will determine if state will become 15th in the US to allow same-sex marriage

New Mexico's Supreme Court announced Friday (18 October) that it will hear a case next week that could result in the state becoming the 15th in the US to allow same-sex marriage.

The court could issue an immediate ruling on whether a State District Judge in Albuquerque was legally correct by ruling that it is unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The issue has become quite pressing in recent months when eight of the state's 33 counties began allowing the marriages. More than 1,000 licenses have been issued so far.

September 8, 2013

New Mexico county clerk who gave marriage certificates to gay couples doesn't think taxpayers who disagree with his actions should pay for his legal troubles
 

Lynn Ellins, the clerk in Dona Ana County, New Mexico, has created a defense fund for the suit he faces for issuing same-sex marriage certificates.

Late last month Ellins told the Associated Press he was going to furnish marriage documents to  gay couples because 'any further denial of marriage licenses to these couples violates the United States and New Mexico Constitution and the New Mexico Human Rights Act.'

September 6, 2013

All of New Mexico’s counties have asked the New Mexico Supreme Court to decide whether same-sex marriage is legal in the state after eight county clerks issued over 900 same-sex marriage certificates

Same-sex marriage may be on the verge of being formally legalized in the US state of New Mexico after all 33 New Mexico counties sought a decision on the issue from the state’s Supreme Court after some county clerks began issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

New Mexico’s state laws on marriage do not specify the gender of the persons getting married and lawmakers had been seeking to put the issue to a public vote through a November 2014 ballot amendment but it appears events are outpacing them.

August 31, 2013

Lawsuit argues Dona Ana County clerk exceeded his powers and it's up to New Mexico legislators to change the law for gay marriage

New Mexico Republicans have gone to court to keep local county officials from issuing marriage certificates to gay couples.

The legal challenge focuses on Dona Ana County where, late last week, Clerk Lynn Ellins began to give wedding permits to gay and lesbian couples.

August 23, 2013

Court finds that Elane Photography violated state's Human Rights Act

Elaine Huguenin told a lesbian couple in New Mexico that she could not photograph their 2006 wedding because it would violate her religious beliefs.

On Thursday, the New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Huguenin had violated the state's Human Rights Act.

The court stated that in turning away plaintiff Vanessa Willock and her partner, Elane Photography in Albuquerque had violated the act in the same way as if it had turned away a couple of opposite races.

August 22, 2013

But warns they could become invalid if state Supreme Court later rules that same-sex marriage is not allowed

New Mexico's Attorney General Gary King says he's not going to try and stop county clerk's in the state from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

King believes the state's ban on same-sex marriages in the state is unconstitutional but he warns that the marriages taking place this week may not be valid if the State Supreme Court rules otherwise.

As legal challenges to the marriage ban work their way through the legal system, Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins surprised many this week by granting licenses.

August 13, 2013

'I didn't really care everbody was around. It felt just like the two of us'

It's tradition to share a 'first kiss' or a 'first hug' when a sailor returns from sea but Jerrel Revels had a lot more in mind.

Upon returning from six months aboard the USS New Mexico this week, Revels surprised his partner of nearly a year with a marriage proposal.

The sailor walked onto the pier at the Naval Submarine Base in Groton, Connecticut, on Monday (12 August), got on his knee, and popped the question to Dylan Kirchner.

August 4, 2013

An airport shuttle bus driver in Albuquerque, New Mexico, told a gay couple holding hands ‘if you’re going to do that, you’re going to the back of the bus’

A gay couple was forced to the back of a bus for holding hands in public.

Chris Bowers and his partner Ron McCoy were holding hands seated at the front of an airport shuttle bus in Albuquerque, New Mexico when the bus driver noticed their public display of affection.

McCoy told local news channel KRQE: ‘I saw [the driver] look at us, look down at his hands and he looked so angry.

‘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."'

July 24, 2013

Gary King is a Democrat who plans to run for governor next year

Attorney General Gary King stated to the New Mexico Supreme Court this week that the ban on same-sex marriages in the state is unconstitutional.

King wrote in a legal filing that 'New Mexico's guarantee of equal protection to its citizens demands that same-sex couples be permitted to enjoy the benefits of marriage in the same way and to the same extent as other New Mexico citizens.'

King is a Democrat and plans to run for governor against Republican incumbent Susana Martinez next year.