Santa Fe Supports the Freedom to Marry 5-3

Santa Fe Supports the Freedom to Marry 5-3

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Photo: Jim Nix/Nomadic Pursuits
Photo: Jim Nix/Nomadic Pursuits

Equality New Mexico (EQNM) applauds the courageous resolution passed by the Santa Fe City Council supporting the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in New Mexico on April 24, 2013. The resolution passed by a majority vote of 5-3, with City Councilors Bushee, Trujillo, Wurzburger, Dominguez, and Calvert in favor, Councilor Rivera opposed, and Councilors Ives and Dimas abstaining. Supported by legal opinion from City Attorney Geno Zamora, the resolution asserts that New Mexico state law defining marriage is gender-neutral and lacks any prohibition on same-sex marriage. The resolution was introduced in March by Santa Fe City Mayor Coss and Councilor Patti Bushee.

“Over my many years of public service, I have always acted on the firm belief that everyone should be treated with fairness, dignity, respect, and be afforded the same opportunities to pursue personal happiness,” said Councilor Bushee. “Santa Fe has a rich tradition of diversity, equality, and acceptance. The passage of this resolution in support of the freedom to marry for all New Mexicans is in keeping with that rich tradition.”

The nonbinding resolution also encourages the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. County clerks, however, have asked for clarification from the courts on New Mexico state law regarding marriage and whether licenses can legally be issued to same-sex couples. The recent filing of a lawsuit by the ACLU of New Mexico on behalf of two same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses in Bernalillo County seeks to achieve such clarity.

“Though we believe the courts need to weigh in on this issue,” said Amber Royster, Executive Director of EQNM, “the resolution passed by the Santa Fe City Council is an important step in helping our fellow New Mexicans come to see that the freedom to marry is about family, respect, and fairness. No one should be told they can’t marry the person they love.”

Santa Feans are proud that their city has taken a stand for equality and the freedom to marry for all New Mexicans. Said Santa Fe resident and EQNM Board Chair Dwight Holden: “My husband and I are long-time, loyal residents of Santa Fe. We love this beautiful city. This resolution shows that the City’s embrace of diversity is what makes it strong and vibrant, and affirms that all loving, committed couples and families are welcome to live here, bring their contributions, and thrive in this special community.”

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