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Two same-sex couples join New Mexico marriage equality suit

Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

By Jacob CombsNew Mexico state seal

Two same-sex couples in Farmington, New Mexico, located about three and a half hours northwest of Santa Fe, have joined a lawsuit seeking to bring marriage equality to the state, the Farmington Daily Times reported yesterday.  From the Daily Times:

The two local couples, as well as three other same-sex couples in the state, were denied marriage certificates by Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver. The couples are now suing Oliver and the state of New Mexico for the right to marry.

The Farmington couples — A.D. Joplin and Greg Gomez and Monica Leaming and Cecilia Taulbee — joined same-sex couples from Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Jemez Springs in the lawsuit.

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Albuquerque and Santa Fe couples in March. The Farmington and Jemez Springs couples became plaintiffs in the lawsuit last week.

“It is indicative that LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people are part of our communities in all parts of the state,” said Micah McCoy, the communications director for ACLU-NM, of the three new plaintiffs from northern New Mexico. “They are part of rural communities and urban communities. … They are part of our fabric of life in New Mexico, regardless of location.”

As we wrote late last week, New Mexico Attorney General Gary King announced in a press conference his determination that New Mexico law is unclear as to whether marriage equality is prohibited or allowed in the state, cautioning county clerks against issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples and calling for the courts to definitively settle the issue.

The New Mexico Constitution’s definition of marriage is gender neutral, and the state is the only jurisdiction in the country without  laws that explicitly recognize or disavow same-sex couples’ unions.  However, the marriage license applications that are used by the state’s county clerks do contain blanks for ‘bridge’ and ‘groom,’ leading to Attorney General King’s determination that the state’s policy was inconclusive.  Just a few hours after the press conference, Alexander Hanna and Yon Hudson, a gay couple from Santa Fe, filed a lawsuit against Santa Fe County Clerk Geraldine Salazar for denying them a marriage licenses earlier in the day.

At an event last night held by ACLU-NM, the two Farmington couples spoke about their decision to join the lawsuit.  Greg Gomez, who has been with his partner A.D. Joplin for seven years, told the crowd that same-sex couples “need to demand the respect that all married couples receive.”  The other couple, Leaming and Taulbee, have been together for 15 years.

Both this lawsuit (known as Griego) and the other complaint filed by Hanna and Hudson will likely sit dormant until the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of Prop 8 and DOMA.  Depending on the outcome of those cases, the two New Mexico cases will probably resume sometime this summer or fall.

You can read the amended complaint in the Griego case below, via Scribd.

[scribd id=147287948 key=key-12v8kq3sfxr5n6du8zyz mode=scroll]

1 Comment

  • 1. mcm財布  |  August 22, 2013 at 5:29 pm

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