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Same-sex marriage (SSM) in New Mexico:

State Senator William Sharer post article in blog.
This webmaster posts reply; is censored.
Marriage equality comes to more counties.
County clerks to ask Supreme Court to clarify the law.
Grant County issues licenses. Republicans file lawsuit.

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Discussion of his item is continued from the previous essay

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2013-AUG-29: State Senator William Sharer comments in his blog:

State Senator Sharer (R) posted his analysis of marriage to his blog on AUG-23. 1 He described ancient societies, philosophers, and leaders, all of whom described marriage between one woman and one man -- some in excess of two millennia before same-sex marriage was heavily advocated. 2

His posting made a number of points:

  1. "... the union between one man and one woman was the first and most lasting definition of marriage."

  2. Neither the state or any religions "... has the legitimate authority to change its nature."

  3. Confucius valued marriage between a man and woman.

  4. Alexander the Great engaged in same-sex behavior but married a woman.

  5. The reason for marriage is "the creation and raising of children..."

  6. Contradicting his second point, he states that the states have the right to define marriage and thus define its culture.

  7. Marriage law must allow for the differences between men and women.

  8. He implied that marriage law must not allow for the differences among persons with a heterosexual, bisexual or homosexual orientation.

  9. "Marriage in New Mexico is between one man and one woman, period." [While this certainly represents Senator Sharer's hopes, it is a factually incorrect statement for most adults in New Mexico today.]

Surprisingly, nobody had made a comment to Senator Sharer's blog during the week after he wrote his "Why Marriage?" posting. So the webmaster of this web site posted the following comment on 2013-AUG-29:

"Your posting is largely based on the belief that because marriages in the past have been limited in most cultures to one man and one or more women that it must always be so. An analogous argument would be in the mid-19th century that since the vast majority of cultures allowed slavery, that it must always be so. Or the argument in the early 20th century that since most cultures had never allowed women to vote that it must always be so.

It is important to realize that eligibility for marriage has been redefined five times in the history of America. The first was after the civil war when slaves were freed and allowed to freely marry. The second was in the late 19th century when deaf couples in some states were forbidden to marry. The third was in the early 20th century when these laws restricting deaf couples were repealed. The fourth was in 1967 when interracial couples were allowed to marry across the country. The fifth is happening now as states are, one at a time, legalizing same-sex marriages. IMHO, all but the second redefinition were improvements, and are now considered beneficial by most Americans.

You seem to believe that Alexander the Great was gay because he had sexual affairs with other men. Please consider the probability that he had a bisexual orientation, and was sexually attracted to both men and women.

I personally find your comment offensive that THE purpose of marriage is "The creation and raising of children ..." Your comment devalues me in two ways: because my first wife and I adopted a child of whom we are very proud, and because I remarried during my 50's at an age that precluded procreation.

I do agree with you that marriage is very important. We should encourage couples to marry and to seriously consider raising children either through procreation or adoption. That is why I personally support marriage for all loving, committed couples, whether they be of the opposite-sex or same-sex.

Please consider the children being raised in New Mexico by same-sex parents. The state recognizes them only as "legal strangers" -- as mere roommates, without protections for the couples and their children. Which would be better for these children: to have their parents marry, or remain recognized only as roommates without the status and protections of marriage?

Some faith groups have advocated that gay men should marry women in the hopes that they would change and become straight. This belief has generated immense suffering as the divorce rate of such marriage is close to 100%.

Senator Sharer's web site responded with an automatic message:

"This comment is currently being held for moderation awaiting approval." 1

About three weeks later, on 2013-SEP-17 my comment still has not been approved by the moderator. I expect that it will never be allowed to be posted. But, at least you can read it above.

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2013-AUG-29: And then there were seven counties ... sort of:

Janet Newton and Maria Thibodeau applied for a marriage license in Los Alamos County. As they expected, they were refused. They filed a lawsuit. District Court Judge Sheri Raphaelson very quickly ruled in their favor. Their lawyer, Rep. Brian Egolf, who had previously successfully filed the SSM lawsuit in Santa Fe County. He said:

"We will continue to seek to bring these cases county by county, as long we have clients that wish to pursue it. ... Hopefully, at some point sooner than later, we€™ll get the Supreme Court to resolve the issue statewide."

Judge Raphaelson issued a ruling that Los Alamos County Clerk Sharon Stover start issuing licenses or appear in court on SEP-04 to argue why it shouldn't happen. Stover subsequently decided to refuse to follow the Judge's order, and decided to appear in court on SEP-04 to ask the judge to stay the order until the New Mexico Supreme Court has the opportunity to issue a state-wide ruling. She said that she based her decision on the "actual language" in state law. She said:

"I respect and value the rights of each person to be treated as equally and fairly as our Constitution states. Clearly, the marriage license in state statute has not been updated since 1961. It does not work for same-sex couples, and that is a matter for the Legislature to fix, not a clerk and not a district judge." 3

Meanwhile, a district judge in Albuquerque has allowed the New Mexico Association of Counties and 31 county clerks to intervene in the Newton/Thibodeau lawsuit. They expect to file an appeal before the New Mexico Supreme Court during the week of SEP-01. Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto (D), who is also the executive director of the Association said:

"The intent of the clerks is to get clarity in the law as quickly as possible, both so the clerks understand their lawful responsibilities and so the public understands what is appropriate under New Mexico law or not appropriate under New Mexico law." 4

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2013-AUG-30: Republican state lawmakers file lawsuit to terminate marriage equality in Doa Ana County:

Lawyer Paul Becht is representing a group of seven Republican state senators and representatives who are opposed to marriage equality. He said that a lawsuit was filed in District Court in Las Cruces where the Do~+mn~a Ana County clerk's office is located. More than 200 marriage licenses have been issued during the previous week.

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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. Senator William Sharer, "Why Marriage?, Personal blog, 2013-AUG-23, at:
  2. Sunnivie Brydum, "New Mexico Republican: Gays Should Stop 'Whoring Around,' Marry Women," The Advocate, 2013-AUG-29, at:
  3. Barry Massey, "7th New Mexico County To Allow Gay Marriage," Huffington Post, 2013-SEP-06, at:
  4. Barry Massey, "Counties to appeal New Mexico gay marriage ruling," Associated Press, 2013-AUG-29, at:

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Copyright © 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2013-AUG-29
Latest update: 2013--SEP-07
Author: B.A. Robinson

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