Tuesday Evening Roundup
NM Court Asks For Response To Gay Marriage Lawsuit-The Associated Press
New Mexico's highest court has asked the attorney general and the Santa Fe County clerk to respond to a lawsuit seeking to legalize same-sex marriage.
The state Supreme Court on Tuesday said their legal arguments in the case should be submitted by July 22. No hearing has been scheduled.
Two Santa Fe men filed a lawsuit last week asking the court to order Santa Fe County Clerk Geraldine Salazar to issue them a marriage license.
The lawsuit contends that denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples violates the New Mexico Constitution, including its Equal Rights Amendment prohibiting gender-based discrimination.
Attorney General Gary King's office said in a non-binding legal analysis last month that gay marriage isn't allowed in New Mexico but the statutory prohibition may violate the constitution's equal protection clause.
Horse Slaughter Opponents Sue USDA Over Permits-The Associated Press
A coalition of animal protection groups is asking a federal court in northern California to block the revival of domestic horse slaughter at commercial processing plants.
A lawsuit filed Monday by the Humane Society of the United States, four other groups and five individuals seeks an emergency injunction to overturn the U.S. Department of Agriculture's recent permit approval for a horse meat plant in Roswell, N.M.
The federal agency on Tuesday approved another equine slaughter operation in Sigourney, Iowa and expects to accept another request later this week. The Humane Society's lawsuit names prospective processing plants in Gallatin and Rockville, Mo.; Woodbury, Tenn.; and Washington, Okla.
Horse slaughterhouses last operated in the U.S. in 2007 before Congress banned the practice by eliminating funding for plant inspections.
Governor Martinez Urges July 4th Fireworks Ban Amid Drought-The Associated Press
Gov. Susana Martinez has announced that all fireworks and campfires will be banned on state lands as July 4th approaches and crews continue to battle wildfires across New Mexico.
Martinez urged residents Tuesday not to use any fireworks and instead attend any number of professional fireworks shows around the state to celebrate the nation's birth.
She says much of New Mexico remained under an extreme drought and the use of fireworks could cause more danger.
Under state law, local governments must approve drought-based fireworks restrictions at least 20 days before the July 4th holiday that allows the sale of fireworks.
Cities and counties can ban the sale and use of certain fireworks — firecrackers and aerial fireworks, such as roman candles and bottle rockets.