Tue March 19, 2013
Santa Fe Mayor Declares Same-Sex Marriage Legal In New Mexico
Santa Fe mayor David Cross has announced that same sex marriage is legal in New Mexico, and is encouraging same sex couples in the state to apply for marriage licenses from their county clerks office.
Mayor Coss and Santa Fe city attorney Geno Zamora concluded that same sex marriage is legal in the state because the way New Mexico’s constitution defines marriage is gender neutral and does not explicitly prohibit same sex marriage, and requires equal treatment on the basis of sex. The two say the next step for Santa Fe will be to pass a resolution codifying state law.
Coss says he felt sponsoring this resolution was the right thing to do.
"I know too many people including my daughter that are being hurt by the unequal treatment and Gino’s analysis made a lot of sense to me and I said well let’s just encourage clerks to do the right thing and that’s what we’re doing," says Coss.
Amber Royster with Equality New Mexico calls the move a celebration.
"We love the fact that this brings the conversation to dinner tables in New Mexico and it causes people to be having some very serious heartfelt conversations about this important issue," says Royster.
However opponents of Coss' position say that in the past, the states legislature has defined marriage as between one man and one woman.
"We're getting to a point where our legislature and our people are going to need to take a stand of do we want to continue going forward with traditional families with one man and one woman marriage, or do we want to change that in any multiple of ways, be it same sex couples getting married, or multiple people being married," says Chris Donnely with the Traditional Values Advocacy Committee. "I think this is coming to a head here.
Donnely says the proper avenues for the same-sex conversation should be through the Legislature or the New Mexico Supreme Court.
The county of Santa Fe is instructing same sex couples denied a marriage license to file a writ, asking the court to force officials to comply with the reading of the law.
Coss' resolution to codify city with state law will be introduced at a City Council meeting next Wednesday.