Monday, September 02, 2013

Republican Lawmakers Seek To Stop Gay Marriage In New Mexico

Always the dutiful political whores to the Christofascists who now make up perhaps the largest element of the Republican Party base, GOP legislators in New Mexico have filed a lawsuit to attempt to bar the same sex marriages currently taking place in sic of New Mexico's counties.  As noted previously, New Mexico does not have a constitutional amendment barring same sex marriages, the result of which has been county clerks issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling in United States v. WindsorTalking Points Memo looks at the development which is yet one of the many faces of the hate and bigotry that now wears the name Christianity.  Here are highlights:

A group of Republican legislators has brought the first lawsuit to try to block gay marriage in New Mexico since six counties began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the past week.

The lawsuit targets one southern New Mexico county — Dona Ana — but could provide another route for the dispute to reach New Mexico’s highest court for a final statewide resolution. The New Mexico Association of Counties and county clerks statewide have said they plan a separate appeal to the state Supreme Court to try to get a decision on whether gay marriage is legal in New Mexico.

Paul Becht, an Albuquerque lawyer for the GOP legislators, said Friday the lawsuit was filed in Las Cruces, where the Dona Ana County clerk’s office has issued more than 200 marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples since last week.

Five other counties have taken similar steps, and Los Alamos County could become the seventh county to issue licenses.

A judge on Thursday ordered the clerk there to start granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples or to appear in court next week to explain why that shouldn’t happen. Los Alamos County Clerk Sharon Stover said the ruling is under review and no decision has been made on what will be done.

The lawsuit contends the Dona Ana County clerk exceeded his powers as a local official in issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. It’s up to the Legislature — not a county clerk — to change the law to provide for gay marriage, said Becht, a former state senator.

Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins . . . .  a lawyer, concluded the state’s marriage laws are “gender neutral” and don’t prohibit the county from issuing licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

A district judge in Albuquerque ruled earlier this week that it was unconstitutional to deny a marriage license to same-sex couples. However, the ruling doesn’t apply to all 33 counties in the state.

The Association of Counties and county clerks expect to file an appeal of the judge’s decision next week with the Supreme Court. There’s no guarantee the high court will take up their appeal, however.

Just as the U. S. Supreme Court found with DOMA, the only real basis for opposing gay marriage is anti-gay animus which doesn't pass constitutional muster to justify stigmatizing and discriminating against same sex couples.

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