NEW MEXICO: AG Tells State Supreme Court He Won't Defend Marriage Ban
he will not defend a lawsuit calling for the legalization of same-sex marriage.
In written arguments filed with the court, King said the justices should invalidate the state’s ban on gay marriage if they agree to resolve the issue in a lawsuit filed by two Santa Fe men who were denied a marriage license. King, a Democrat who plans to run for governor next year against Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, said New Mexico law effectively doesn’t allow gay marriages although there’s no statutory provision that specifically prohibits, or authorizes, gay couples to be married. “New Mexico’s guarantee of equal protection to its citizens demands that same-sex couples be permitted to enjoy the benefits of marriage in the same way and to the same extent as other New Mexico citizens,” King said in the filing.The state Supreme Court had asked King to respond to the lawsuit, but in yesterday's response, King also said the couple's case should be rejected because it had improperly bypassed lower courts and would set a precedent for direct actions to the high court. Earlier this month the ACLU and the National Center for Lesbian Rights also filed a lawsuit on behalf of six gay couples asking the state Supreme Court to clarify whether same-sex couples can marry in New Mexico.
RELATED: Back in March the mayor of Santa Fe declared that there is nothing in state law than bans same-sex couples from marrying.