Supreme Court Makes New Mexico 17th State to Legalize Gay Marriage
The state Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday that it’s unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples in New Mexico.
News of the ruling, which came after eight county clerks in the state had started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples earlier this year, spread quickly on social media and touched off celebrations among marriage-equality advocates.
New Mexico joins 16 other states in allowing gay marriage through legislation, court rules or voter referendums.
Justice Edward Chávez wrote in the court’s opinion that although New Mexico’s marriage statutes do not specifically prohibit same-gender marriages, existing state laws have had the effect of preventing same-gender couples from marrying and enjoying the rights and protections of civil marriage.