Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-04-15
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

New Mexico: No. 17 and over the one-third mark
by Lisa Keen, Keen News Service
2013-12-19

facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


For the eighth time this year, a state has declared that same-sex couples have the right to marry. On Thursday, Dec. 19, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled unanimously that state laws that "have the effect of precluding same-gender couples from marrying" violate the equal protection guarantee of the state constitution.

"We hold that the State of New Mexico is constitutionally required to allow same-gender couples to marry," wrote the court, "and must extend to them the rights, protections, and responsibilities that derive from civil marriage under New Mexico law."

The ruling not only makes New Mexico the 17th state plus the District of Columbia to provide marriage equality for same-sex couples, it represents a new milestone: As 17th, it marks one-third of the 50 states, and its population puts more than one-third of the country's population as living under marriage equality laws.

"Today's decision by the New Mexico Supreme Court is a powerful affirmation that same-sex couples are equal members of New Mexico's diverse culture and must be given the same legal protections and respect as other families," said Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights ( NCLR ), which pressed the lawsuit with the ACLU.

Lambda Legal, which has itself pressed many such lawsuits, hailed Thursday's ruling, saying, "This beautiful unanimous decision explicitly underscores the argument we and our sister organizations have long made: denying same-sex couples the ability to marry imposes significant emotional and dignitary harm and is discrimination, pure and simple."

New Mexico does not have a law explicitly banning same-sex couples from marrying. But five same-sex couples were denied licenses in Albuquerque, and the ACLU and NCLR filed the lawsuit, Greigo v. Oliver, in March. A district court judge ruled in favor of the couples in August, and clerks in several counties begun issuing marriage licenses. In its decision, the state supreme court noted that, by the time of the oral argument in October, "over 1,466 marriage licenses had been issued" to same-sex couples in the state.

The decision, penned by Justice Edward Chavez, took pains to discuss the plaintiff couples in everyday terms, mention their children, and explain how the inability to marry negatively impacted them.

"The inability to legally marry has adversely impacted several of the Plaintiff couples who have endured significant familial and medical hardships together," wrote Chavez. "On one occasion, when Rose [Griego] was hospitalized, the hospital refused to provide Kim [Kiel] with any information about Rose's condition or treatment until Rose's other family members arrived, despite the fact that it was Kim who took Rose to the hospital."

Referring to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in June, striking down the key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act ( DOMA ) in U.S. v. Windsor, the opinion said, "Interpreting our statutes to authorize committed same-gender couples to enter into civil marriage will grant them the rights and privileges available to opposite-gender married couples in approximately one thousand statutes and federal regulations that refer to a person's marital status, thereby avoiding a constitutional challenge on that basis."

"The purpose of the New Mexico marriage laws," wrote Chavez, "is to bring stability and order to the legal relationships of committed couples by defining their rights and responsibilities as to one another, their property, and their children, if they choose to have children."

In reaching its decision, the court concluded that the laws preventing same-sex couples from marrying treat people differently because of their sexual orientation and that courts should examine such laws using an intermediate level of scrutiny —more than mere rational scrutiny, less than strict scrutiny. The court said "the LGBT community is a discrete group that has been subjected to a history of purposeful discrimination, and it has not had sufficient political strength to protect itself from such discrimination."

"When fundamental rights are affected by legislation, the United States Supreme Court has applied strict scrutiny when determining whether the legislation is constitutional," wrote the court. "However, regarding marriage, the United States Supreme Court does not demand 'that every state regulation which relates in any way to the incidents of or prerequisites for marriage must be subjected to rigorous scrutiny.'" It also noted that the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. v. Windsor "left unanswered the level of scrutiny it was applying to same-gender marriages."

"We conclude from the United States Supreme Court's equivocation in these cases that whether the right to marry is a fundamental right requiring strict scrutiny is a question that remains unanswered," wrote Chavez. "We do not need to answer this question here because Plaintiffs prevail when we apply an intermediate scrutiny level of review under an equal protection analysis." According to the court, under intermediate scrutiny, the state offered no sufficient reason for denying same-sex couples the right to marry.

© copyright 2013 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Preview: Supreme Court argument April 28 2015-04-20
Tax day shows inequality for legally married same-sex couples 2015-04-15
Report: Manilow married last year 2015-04-15
Study: Support for same-sex marriage rising in all 50 states 2015-04-14
Limited Partnership on Independent Lens, PBS, June 15 2015-04-13
Chicago LGBTs gear up for supreme court decision 2015-04-10
Married same-sex couples denied health care benefits by employers 2015-04-09
VIEWS In God we crust 2015-04-08
Sign company offers custom decor for LGBT weddings 2015-04-08
Planner pens same-sex wedding organizer 2015-04-08
Andrew Sullivan talks marriage, Indiana at Elmhurst lecture 2015-04-07
Gov. Rauner says 'no' to Indiana travel ban 2015-04-01
Campaign looks at Social Security benefits for same-sex couples 2015-03-31
Reports: Married same-sex couples more likely to adopt 2015-03-31
Advocates to argue in Supreme Court marriage cases announced 2015-03-31
LGBTQ media confab looks ahead to post-marriage reporting 2015-03-25
Rainbow Wedding Network holds annual LGBT wedding expo 2015-03-24
Puerto Rico no longer defending marriage ban 2015-03-20
A love affair to remember 2015-03-18
Hilton Orrington hosts first-ever bridal fair 2015-03-17
Presbyterians approve same-sex marriage 2015-03-17
Puerto Rico may drop opposition to same-sex marriage 2015-03-16
Potential advocates for marriage equality in the high court 2015-03-11
Gay marriages halted in Alabama 2015-03-11
Emanuel, Madigan join briefs for marriage equality 2015-03-11
Supreme Ct. to hear marriage case April 28 2015-03-11
National roundup: Supreme Court and marriage; trans-inmate motion 2015-03-10
World news: Slovenia OKs marriage; McKellen aims to save gay pub 2015-03-10
Chamber of commerce hosts LGBT wedding expo 2015-03-10
Emanuel, City of Chicago join other mayors backing marriage equality 2015-03-06
IL Atty Gen. Lisa Madigan joins amicus brief for marriage equality 2015-03-06
Freedom to Marry files amicus brief for U.S. Supreme Court 2015-03-06
Report shows 700,000 Americans part of a same-sex couple 2015-03-05
Supreme Court to hear marriage equality cases on April 28, 2015 2015-03-05
Local entertainment: Queen Latifah; Madonna; Gay horror-movie screening; gay marriage exhibit 2015-03-04
National news shorts: Wedding in Texas; Autopsy, report differ; Gay priest dies 2015-03-03
National roundup: Marriage in Ala. and Neb.; trans suicide 2015-03-03
Gay marriages halted in Alabama 2015-03-03
People's brief for marriage equality to go to Supreme Court 2015-03-03
AMPA to SCOTUS: Marriage inequality harms military families 2015-03-03
 



Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.