Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Mexico may be heading for showdown over marriage recognition

New Mexico elected a Republican governor, Susana Martinez, who took office earlier this week. Now the state's Democratic Attorney General, Gary King, has issued an opinion that marriages of same-sex couples performed where legally allowed will likely to considered valid marriages in New Mexico. He cited as support a 20-year-old court ruling that a marriage between an uncle and a niece, valid where performed, was not so against public policy even though such a marriage would be a crime in New Mexico.

A spokesperson for Governor Martinez has already issued a statement that Martinez made it clear during the campaign that she opposes same-sex marriage and that no court has ruled on the issue of recognition of those marriages from elsewhere. And a Republican Senator has already said that he will push for a constitutional amendment barring recognition of same-sex marriages. New Mexico has neither a statute nor a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. This puts it in a position similar to that of Maryland, whose attorney general issued an opinion reaching the same conclusion last February. But Maryland had -- and has -- a Democratic governor. If Gov. Martinez wants to restrict administrative recognition of same-sex marriages from elsewhere, she may well be able to force couples who seek that recognition into court.

When Bill Richardson was governor, he made strong efforts to get the legislature to pass a comprehensive domestic partnership law. He was unsuccessful.

2 comments:

Michael Ejercito said...

New Mexico is not Massachusetts or Vermont.

The pro-marriage side has a great chance in the Legislature.

mm said...

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