Gay marriage has come to New Mexico in the most awkward fashion.

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.  :P

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • baal

    Plain language of the statutes matters a bunch.

  • http://eternalbookshelf.wordpress.com/ Ani J. Sharmin

    He-he. Fun. :) There are people who insist that the original male pronouns in the Bible must be preserved in translation and don’t like any so-called “gender neutral” translation (e.g. the NRSV). So, it’s kind of ironic and amusing for this to be applied to the law and turned around against fundamentalists for equal rights purposes.


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