NCLR, ACLU Welcome New Mexico Supreme Court Order Setting Hearing on Freedom to Marry for Same-sex Couples Statewide

September 6, 2013

(Albuquerque, NM, September 6, 2013)—Today, the New Mexico Supreme Court issued an order setting a hearing for October 23, 2013 to consider a request by the New Mexico Association of Counties that the court immediately decide whether New Mexico law permits same-sex couples to marry. All 33 county clerks in the state joined in the Association’s request that the Supreme Court resolve the issue.

The counties’ request to the Supreme Court was filed in response to a case brought by six same-sex couples represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico (ACLU-NM), the national ACLU, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), and local attorneys. On September 3, Judge Alan Mallot of the Second Judicial District Court in Albuquerque issued a declaratory judgment against all 33 county clerks, ruling that the New Mexico Constitution requires issuance of marriage licenses to otherwise-qualified same-sex couples.  The counties requested the Supreme Court to immediately review Judge Mallot’s order in order to resolve several pending cases around the state concerning the issue of marriage for same-sex couples.

Today’s order by the Supreme Court invited the six plaintiff couples to respond to the counties’ request by September 23 and to appear at oral argument October 23. The couples will argue that the Court should accept the counties’ request and immediately extend the freedom to marry to same-sex couples statewide.

“We welcome the Supreme Court’s order and hope that it will lead to a speedy decision establishing the freedom to marry for all same-sex couples in New Mexico,” said ACLU of New Mexico Executive Director Peter Simonson. “Now is the time for New Mexico to treat same-sex couples with the same dignity and respect as all other couples and fully respect their lifelong commitments to each other and their families. We look forward to presenting the strongest possible arguments on behalf of our clients and all New Mexico same-sex couples. We thank the Association of Counties for asking the Supreme Court to resolve these crucial issues immediately.”

Said NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter, Esq.: “Every New Mexico court that has considered the issue has concluded that New Mexico law requires that same-sex couples have the same freedom to marry as others and deserve equal protection under the law. We are grateful to the New Mexico Supreme Court for recognizing the importance of this issue and putting the case on a fast track.  We look forward to the day when all families are treated with equal dignity and respect, and all children grow up in a world where lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people have the same legal protections and freedoms as others.”

In addition to the ACLU of New Mexico, the national ACLU, and NCLR, the six same-sex couples are represented by the Sutin Law Firm, and Albuquerqueattorneys 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


NCLR Launches Campaign Calling on Top Companies Doing Business in Russia to Urge Repeal of Extreme Anti-LGBT Laws

September 5, 2013

(San Francisco, CA, September 5, 2013)— Today, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) announced the launch of a campaign—”Stop LGBT Hate in Russia”—calling on global companies doing business in Russia to demand the repeal of new laws that target and hurt lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and allies.

Over the past few months, Russia has enacted a series of extreme anti-LGBT laws that forbid any public advocacy or positive discussion of LGBT people, ban same-sex couples from adopting children, and even prevent the use of the internet to communicate about LGBT issues. Just recently a new proposed law would remove children from same-sex parents and terminate the parental rights of anyone engaging in “homosexual behavior.”

The petition urges companies that do business in Russia and have non-discrimination policies to call on the Russian government to repeal these dangerous laws, which have sparked violent attacks against people who either are or are believed to be LGBT.

Through this effort, individuals who sign onto the Stop LGBT Hate in Russia petition are asking corporate leaders who support workplace fairness for their LGBT employees to use their influence and leadership to speak out against government-sponsored discrimination in Russia and to use their unique position to help bring an end to the dangerous government scapegoating of LGBT people.

“Russia’s appalling treatment of LGBT people has taken a shocking turn with the passage of these horrific laws,” said NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell. “In the wake of these laws, discrimination and violence against the LGBT community in Russia are utterly unchecked. We cannot sit on our hands and do nothing. If we are to ever live in a world where the security and safety of our LGBT brothers and sisters are ensured no matter where they live, we must fight back in every way we can.”

Learn more about the campaign at www.StopLGBTHateRussia.com and sign the petition.
Media Contact:

NCLR Communications Director Erik Olvera | Office:415.365.1324 | EOlvera@NCLRights.org


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