Rainbow Law has a document package designed to protect same-sex partners in New Mexico. We offer 9 unique Affordable Document Packages, Individual Legal Documents and FREE Advance Directives to help protect your rights and the rights of your family. To order a legal document package that complies with New Mexico law, hover your mouse over the “Buy A Package” link in the top menu and click on the package that best suits your needs in the drop-down list. If you’re not sure what package is right for you, click this link and we’ll help you figure out what you need.
Although the US Supreme Court has held that the federal government cannot discriminate against gay and lesbian couples legally married and living in a state that recognizes that marriage, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) couples living in New Mexico are not legally recognized as spouses even if they were married in a marriage equality state or country.
Here is a run-down on New Mexico law affecting the LGBTQ community:
1 Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships: Same-sex marriages are licensed in certain counties of the state of New Mexico. As of September 9, 2013, eight of 33 counties, covering 58% of the state’s population, issue or plan to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. New Mexico state law does not explicitly permit or prohibit same-sex marriage; it is the only state lacking a state statute or constitutional provision explicitly addressing same-sex marriage.
On August 21, 2013, the county clerk of Doña Ana County, on his own initiative, began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Later in the month, three district judges ruling on separate lawsuits ordered first Santa Fe County, then Bernalillo County, and then Taos County, to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, with a fourth judge ordering the same in Grant County in September. A similar ruling was made in Los Alamos County, where the county clerk said she would not comply with the order until it was upheld on September 4, the first time a New Mexican judge affirmed a ruling for same-sex marriage after it had been challenged. Meanwhile, county clerks in San Miguel and Valencia counties altered marriage licenses for same-sex couples.
On August 29, 2013, New Mexico’s county clerks voted unanimously to ask the New Mexico Supreme Court to rule on the legality of same-sex marriage and the Supreme Court held a hearing on their petition on October 23. While the court did not issue an opinion on October 23, same-sex marriage advocates quoted in the Albuquerque Journal after the hearing said they were encouraged by the justices’ statements, which the Journal said included “tough” and “pointed questions” for attorneys representing Republican state legislators seeking a court ban on same-sex marriage in New Mexico. Albuquerque-market television news station KRQE reported Republican Senator Bill Sharer suggested voters could remove Supreme Court justices from office, vote out state legislators or pass a new constitutional amendment if they are unhappy with how the court rules.
2 Adoption Law: New Mexico allows single persons to adopt children. The state has no explicit prohibition on adoption by same-sex couples or second-parent adoptions. In June 2012, following the separation of a lesbian couple, the state’s highest court granted parental rights to the one of them who had been unable to adopt her partner’s adopted child but who had helped raise and had supported the child financially.
3 Anti-Discrimination Law: New Mexico law does not address discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. New Mexico has no hate crime statute that attaches penalties to criminal convictions when motivated by bias, but a state statute does allow victims to sue for damages or seek court-ordered relief for acts of intimidation, harassment, violence, or property damage “where such acts are motivated by racial, religious, or ethnic animosity”, not sexual orientation or identity.
4 Sodomy Law: New Mexico repealed its sodomy law in 1975.
5Gender Identity: New Mexico law permits transsexuals born in New Mexico to amend their birth certificates upon receipt of a court order verifying that they have undergone sex-reassignment surgery and that their names have been changed.
6Public Opinion: In a poll conducted by the Anzalone Liszt Grove Research for organizations backing the campaign “Why Marriage Matters New Mexico” between September 18-22, 2013, 51% of polled voters responded in favor of same-sex marriage with 42% opposed to the idea. The remaining 7 percent didn’t know or refused to answer. The company surveyed 502 registered voters statewide by phone. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
6Public Opinion: A September 2013 Public Policy Polling survey found that 55% of New Jersey voters thought that same-sex marriage should be legal, while 32% thought it should be illegal and 13% were not sure.
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