In a press release, Attorney General Gary King say that he believes same-sex marriage is about civil rights and what his office is doing about same-sex marriage as it moves towards the Supreme Court in a month.
He also says he disagrees with Gov. Susana Martinez (King is an announced candidate for governor in 2014) and says same-sex marriage should not be put up to a vote.
“I urge the reader to consider the following: The Emancipation Proclamation of 1863; The 19th Amendment (Women’s Suffrage) in 1920; the Civil Rights Act of 1964;—none of which were voted upon by the general electorate,” King said in the release.
King also mentioned his critics on the issue in his press release.
Here is where some critics have incorrectly interpreted the legal process. Some have said that I am trying to unilaterally disregard state law by not suing county clerks who have elected to issue same sex marriage licenses. Several District Courts have addressed the issue. Two separate judges essentially ordered two different county clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. Another judge ruled that the state’s prohibitive statutes are unconstitutional, paving the way for another clerk to start issuing the licenses. I maintain that the best way to resolve this issue is for the NM Supreme Court to decide whether our current law is unconstitutional.
On June 6, King said that same-sex marriage was not allowed by current law, but that it could change when the courts or state legislature weigh in.
The courts, at the district court level, began weighing in last month and ruled that same-sex marriage should be legal in the state. The Supreme Court will hold a hearing on October 23 to likely decide the matter once and for all.
King noted that in 2011, he was asked by then-Rep. Al Park for an opinion on same-sex marriages that were performed in other states. After what he calls “a comprehensive legal analysis,” King issued an opinion that such marriages should be recognized in New Mexico.