New Mexico Marriage Amendment (2014)

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The New Mexico Marriage Amendment, known in the legislature as Senate Joint Resolution 6, did not make the November 2014 ballot in the state of New Mexico as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure would have explicitly allowed same-sex marriage in the state. According to reports, without the approval of this amendment, no law allows same-sex marriage in the state, but there is also no law that bans it. SRJ 6 died in the Senate Rules Committee.[1][2]

A similar measure was proposed for the 2012 ballot during the state 2012 legislative session. However, that measure never made the ballot.

Court ruling

Although no law specifically protects gay marriage in New Mexico, New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Edward L. Chavez ruled in December of 2013 that it was unconstitutional to deny a marriage license and the accompanying benefits to gay and lesbian couples. In his ruling, Chavez wrote, "Accordingly, New Mexico may neither constitutionally deny same-gender couples the right to marry nor deprive them of the rights, protections and responsibilities of marriage laws, unless the proponents of the legislation — the opponents of same-gender marriage — prove that the discrimination caused by the legislation is 'substantially related to an important government interest."[3]

Path to the ballot

According to Article XIX of the New Mexico Constitution, it takes a majority vote of all members of both houses of the New Mexico State Legislature to refer a proposed amendment to the ballot.

On January 31, the New Mexico House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee voted 3-2 on to advance the proposed constitutional amendment to the next committee.[1] The House Voters and Elections Committee planned to consider the bill on February 21, 2014. On January 21, 2014, action on SRJ 6 was indefinitely postponed, essentially killing the measure for 2014.[2][4]

See also

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References