Same–sex marriage for New Mexico
New Mexico became the 16th US state to gain marriage equality when the Supreme Court legalised same-sex marriage in the state on Thursday. The court declared it as unconstitutional to deny marriage rights to LGBTI couples.
Several counties had already begun signing off on marriage licences when a county clerk in Southern New Mexico decided to let same-sex couples apply for licences in August – but the rest of the state’s county officials wanted a uniform policy on same-sex marriage, so the case was referred to the supreme court.
A bench of five justices previously ruled against a case by private citizens that the law was unconstitutional. Thursday’s ruling came after the county association and the state's 31 county clerks – including several already issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples – joined the lawsuit to swiftly move the case before the Supreme Court.
Australian marriage equality advocates suggest the victory in New Mexico is another sign of the growing support world-wide for equal love.
Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said, "New Mexico's adoption of marriage equality is another sign of the unstoppable momentum of this important and urgent reform.
"It also signifies that marriage equality is no longer isolated to a few east and west coast states in the US, but is a matter for the entire country."
Croome hopes the New Mexico victory will give local advocates the encouragement to continue campaigning for reform.