Monday, August 26, 2013

Two Couples in ACLU Lawsuit Are Getting Marriage Licenses

Rose Griego and Kim Kiel Photo taken in March on the
day the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the Bernalillo County
clerk for denying them and another couple marriage licenses
Following a court ruling this afternoon at least two couples in a gay-marriage lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and other organizations say they plan to get their marriage licenses.

State District Judge Alan Malott ruled that Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties cannot discriminate against same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses.

Kim Kiel and her partner Rose Griego, both of Santa Fe, will get their license, though they won't be married right away. "We're not sure when," Kiel told me after the  court hearing. "Possibly in October."

Likewise,  Tanya Struble and Therese Councilor of Jemez Springs told The Associated Press that they’re unsure whether to be married immediately or wait for a ceremony that can be attended by family and friends. “We’ve never done this,” Struble said after the hearing.

Malott's decision means the three largest counties in the state -- Bernalillo, Dona Ana and Santa Fe -- are allowing gay marriage.

Peter Simonson,  executive director ACLU-NM said in a statement,  “This is a great day to be a resident of New Mexico.  Our state is now on the brink of joining the growing list of states who live and honor the values of family, liberty and love.  Every family in this state is made richer by this step toward justice for all.”

However state Sen. Bill Sharer, the most outspoken opponent of gay marriage in the Legislature also issued a statement that said, “Our legal team continues to review how to stop the usurping of the legislative function by some district court judges in regards to marriage in the state; and it continues to review how to stop the lawless actions of the Dona Ana County Clerk.

"It is up to the New Mexico State Legislature, with the consent of the Governor of New Mexico, to make laws and for county clerks and district court judges to abide by them," Sharer said. "They do not make the laws."