Gay marriage may not be legal in New Mexico, but that hasn't stopped Santa Fe's mayor from declaring that same-sex couples have the right to wed in his state.
ProgressNow New Mexico, a local marriage equality advocacy group, reports that Santa Fe Mayor David Coss and Councilor Patti Bushee released legal documentation which outlined the case that same-sex marriage is already legal in the state, and encouraging lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples to apply for licenses from county clerks.
The legal memo notes that New Mexico’s laws do not define marriage as between a man and a woman, and that a statutory list of prohibited marriages does not list same-sex couples. In addition, same-sex marriages from other states are recognized by New Mexico law, and that to discriminate against same-sex couples would violate the New Mexico Constitution which requires equality under the law regardless of sex, according to the memo.
A full copy of the resolution and legal memo can be found here.
Despite Coss' urging, Santa Fe County Clerk Geraldine Salazar says she has no intention of issuing same-sex marriage licences despite what is now an ambiguous state law. “I would love to be able to issue marriage licenses [to same sex couples] but under the current law, I feel I’m not free and clear to do so," Salazar told the Santa Fe New Mexican. "The Legislature creates the laws and the judges interpret the laws and I as a county clerk do not create or interpret laws."
Coss, who reportedly has a daughter who is a lesbian, nonetheless said the memo indicated it was "time to push the issue."
He added, “Santa Fe is ready. New Mexico is ready, I know. Our country is ready to move on this.”
In February, a "marriage equality amendment" bill that would have allowed same-sex couples the right to wed was killed in a house committee, according to reports.