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Same-sex marriage (SSM) in New Mexico:

2013-DEC:
3 professional groups support marriage equality.
Rally scheduled. NM Supreme Court legalizes SSM

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Discussion of his topic is continued from the previous essay

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2013-DEC-10: Three leading child welfare advocates in New Mexico publically support marriage equality:

Opinion on the ability of same-sex parents to raise mentally healthy children has been actively debated in New Mexico and the rest of the U.S. Religious and social conservatives have concluded that children raised by two parents of the same gender do not thrive as well as children raised by a mother and father who are married to each other. This conclusion is largely dependent on the recent Regneurus study in Texas which has been very heavily criticized by statistical experts as having produced meaningless results. The findings of that study contradict many dozens of previous studies on the same topic. On the other hand, three main child welfare advocate organizations in New Mexico have issued statements promoting marriage equality as being the best system for parents and families. They are: the New Mexico Psychological Association (NMPA), the New Mexico chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), and the New Mexico Pediatric Society (NMPS).

All three agree with the national group, the American Psychological Association (APA), which has also concluded that same-sex couples are just as capable to raise healthy children and build strong families as are opposite-sex couples.

Dr. Susan B. Cave, NMPA President, wrote:

"The scientific evidence and the ethical principles of our profession, taken together, support the notion of no longer withholding the right to marry from same-sex couples. We support full marriage equality for gay and lesbian people."

As usual, commentators ignore the many bisexual individuals who are part of same-sex couples.

Patrick Tyrrell of New Mexico Chapter of the NASW, wrote:

"The future of our society is entirely dependent on the quality of protective environments families offer our children today. Marriage equality helps ensure all New Mexican children receive this essential support and care."

Dr. Alexandra Cvijanovich, president of NMPS said:

"Granting marriage equality is the right thing to do for New Mexico’s children and will strengthen and protect families who have lacked legal recognition for too long. As pediatricians, we see how supportive parents – whether gay or straight – positively impact the development of their children.  And there is no question that when their parents can marry, children are more protected legally and socially." 1

LifeSiteNews was one of many conservative groups that rejected the stand taken by these three groups. 2 Their argument is that men and women are so different that a child needs both a father and a mother in order to be properly raised. They all refer to the recent Regneurus study in Texas as proof. That study was the first large study to contradict the findings of a very large number of previous studies which have concluded that what counts in the raising of children is the quality of loving parenting in a family, and not the actual gender of the parent(s).

One comment to the LifeSiteNews article caught our attention. 2 "De Vees Aunt" posted the following comment on 2013-DEC-14:

"Children CANNOT EVEN EXIST in same sex marriage. It is an impossibility except though artificial unnatural means. Thank God I am leaving this wicked country soon, only a civil war can protect children from this deviant criminal government we have now, its fecalist judges and these deviants that they turn innocent children over to in unnatural ways. Time to leave like the Christians of the middle ages left their overlord nations in Europe in their day."

At first, I assumed that De Vees Aunt had intended to spell "fascist" and it turned out "fecalist." But a Google search indicated that the word "fecalist" actually exists. It refers to a person who transports human excrement. I learned a new word today. However I expect that this will be the last time I use it in this web site.

I was moved to respond to Aunt's posting with one of my own two days later:

"Contrary to your belief, it is not necessary to have a man and a woman in order to conceive a child. All that is needed is a fertile female and some sperm. That is how many children are conceived and enter a family led by two parents of the same gender. Gay couples sometimes resort to surrogate mothers. Some same-sex spouses have children who were born in a previous heterosexual relationship. Still others adopt. So children definitely can exist in families led by two same-sex spouses."

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2013-DEC-19: New Mexico Unites for Marriage plans rally on the court "Decision Day:"

By early December, here was no indication exactly when the NM Supreme Court will issue its ruling. However, many commentators expect that it will be handed down sometime in December. New Mexico Unites for Marriage organized three rallies to be held on that day in Albuquerque, Las Cruses, and Santa Fe. 3

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star symbol2013-DEC-19: The New Mexico Supreme Court issues ruling in favor of marriage equality:

The Court issued a unanimous decision in the case Greigo v. Oliver. They ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in New Mexico. Justice Edward Chavez wrote the ruling. He noted that current state laws:

"... have the effect of precluding same-gender couples from marrying." 4

This conflicts with the New Mexico Constitution which guarantees the equal protections of its laws to all. The ruling states:

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

The Court ordered all 33 county clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to any qualified same-sex couples who seek a license.

New Mexico thus became the 17th state -- and the 18th political jurisdiction if one includes the District of Columbia -- to have attained marriage equality. One-third of the states, and more than one-third of the U.S. population now live in a political jurisdiction that has legalized same-sex marriage. Some commentators have speculated that when (not if):

  • Half of the states have legalized SSM, and

  • Half of the U.S. population live in such states, and

  • National polls regularly show that over 60% of the population support same-sex marriage, then

the time will be ripe for the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a ruling that legalizes SSM across the entire country as it did in 1967 for interracial marriage in the case Loving v. Virginia.

This case, Greigo v. Oliver, was filed by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of six same-sex couples who had been in committed relationships ranging from 7 to 25 years in duration. During 2013-MAR, they had applied for marriage licenses in Albuquerque, NM, and were all refused. By the time that the Supreme Court heard arguments in 2013-OCT, over 1,466 marriage licenses had been issued to same-sex couples in the state because of personal initiatives taken by country clerks, and rulings by District Courts in favor of SSM. However, the validity of these licenses and the resultant marriages was in doubt until DEC-19.

Justice Chavez' ruling said in part:

"The inability to legally marry has adversely impacted several of the Plaintiff couples who have endured significant familial and medical hardships together. On one occasion, when [Plaintiff] Rose [Griego] was hospitalized, the hospital refused to provide [her partner] 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. ..."

"The purpose of the New Mexico marriage laws 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." 4,5

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This topic continues in the next essay

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Leading child welfare advocates endorse the freedom to marry in New Mexico," New Mexico Unites for Marriage, 2013-DEC-10, at: http://www.newmexicounites.org/
  2. Kirsten Andersen, "New Mexico groups promote same-sex “marriage” as a benefit to kids, ignoring the evidence," LifeSiteNews, 2013-DEC-13, at: http://www.lifesitenews.com/
  3. "Join us at a Decision Day Rally!," New Mexico Unites for Marriage, 2013-NOV-26, at: http://www.newmexicounites.org/
  4. Lisa Keen, "NM Supreme Court: Marriage Equality A Reality for Same-Sex Couples," The Rainbow Times, 2013-DEC-19. at: http://www.therainbowtimesmass.com/
  5. Text of the "New Mexico Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage," Scribd, 2013-DEC-19, at: http://www.scribd.com/

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Copyright © 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2013-DEC-11
Latest update: 2013-DEC-21
Author: B.A. Robinson

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