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New Mexico’s attorney general refuses to defend state’s gay marriage ban in court filing

New Mexico’s attorney general refuses to defend state’s gay marriage ban in court filing

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.

The filing was part of a lawsuit brought by Alexander Hanna and Von Hudso, a Santa Fe couple who were denied a marriage license by Santa Fe County Clerk Geraldine Salazar.

State law does not allow same-sex marriage and would usually be up to King’s office to defend it. Last month, his office said in an analysis that while New Mexico doesn’t allow same-sex marriages, the law is vulnerable to constitutional challenge.

The couple filed their case directly to the state’s high court. Regardless of King’s thoughts on its merits, he believes the court should deny the request for a license because it was improperly filed and has not worked its way through the legal system.