New Mexico has become the 17th state to legalize same-sex marriage.
The state's supreme court ruling on Thursday stated that
barring individuals from marrying and depriving them of the rights, protections, and responsibilities of civil marriage solely because of their sexual orientation violates the Equal Protection Clause under Article II, Section 18 of the New Mexico Constitution. We hold that the State of New Mexico is constitutionally required to allow same-gender couples to marry and must extend to them the rights, protections, and responsibilities that derive from civil marriage under New Mexico law.
The Hill reports that the action by those 8 counties,
along with rulings by several district court judges ordering same-sex marriages to begin in certain counties, led New Mexico county officials to petition the state’s high court to clarify the law so that it would have a uniform statewide interpretation.
"The past few years have seen an amazing show of support for the freedom to marry for all loving and committed couples," said Elizabeth Gill, staff attorney with the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. "Today's victory in New Mexico brings us one step closer to the day when marriage equality is a reality nationwide."