So, it turns out that the marriage laws in New Mexico using gender-neutral terminology, which means that same-sex marriage is not technically illegal there. So when six different LGBT couples were refused when applying for marriage licenses, they sued. The decision came down on Monday:
State District Judge Alan Malott on Monday ordered Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver and Santa Fe County Clerk Geraldine Salazar to begin issuing licenses to same-sex couples immediately. The ruling echoed another district judge’s ruling last week that ordered Santa Fe County to begin issuing licenses.
So it’s still not really transparent what the law is, but as for now gay people can marry. And this doesn’t look to be changing any time soon.
But whether the rulings means same-sex marriage is legal throughout New Mexico is unclear. Attorney General Gary King (D) has said he will not appeal the rulings, and both Oliver and Salazar have said their offices won’t appeal.
Clerks in the 28 other counties can choose to follow existing case law and issue their own same-sex marriage licenses, or they could wait to issue licenses until they are compelled by a court order to do so, according to Cathryn Oakley, an attorney for the Human Rights Campaign, a pro-gay rights group in Washington.
Hooray for victories, unorthodox though they may be.