NM Judge Orders Bernalillo and Santa Fe County Clerks to Issue Marriage Licenses to Same-Sex Couples

(Albuquerque, NM, August 26, 2013)—Today, Judge Alan Malott of the Second Judicial District Court of the State of New Mexico ordered the county clerks of Bernalillo and Santa Fe Counties to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Ruling in a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of New Mexico, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), and local attorneys on behalf of same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry in New Mexico, Judge Malott said that denying same-sex couples access to civil marriage violates the New Mexico Constitution. The court issued a judgment against the two county clerks and the State of New Mexico declaring that, to the extent New Mexico law prevents same-sex couples from marrying, “those prohibitions are unconstitutional and unenforceable.”

“Today was yet another powerful reminder that the march to justice is unstoppable and gaining momentum,” said NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell. “We are joyful for our client couples and for every same-sex couple in New Mexico. The freedom to marry is about love, commitment, family and security. These are universal values and they are center stage today.”

Said ACLU-NM Executive Director Peter Simonson: “This is a great day to be a resident of New Mexico.  Our state is now on the brink of joining the growing list of states who live and honor the values of family, liberty and love.  Every family in this state is made richer by this step toward justice for all.”

The plaintiff couples were represented by ALCU, ACLU-NM, NCLR, and the Sutin Law Firm, and Albuquerque attorneys Maureen Sanders, Kate Girard, and Lynn Perls.

Media Contacts:

Erik Olvera, National Center for Lesbian Rights, (415) 365-1324, EOlvera@NCLRights.org Micah McCoy, ACLU of New Mexico, (505) 266-5915 x1003, MMcCoy@ACLU-NM.org Robyn Shepherd, ACLU National, (212) 519-7829 or 549-2666, Media@ACLU.org

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