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New Mexico Judge Orders Bernalillo and Santa Fe County Clerks to Issue Marriage Licenses to Same-Sex Couples

(Albuquerque, NM, August 21, 2013)—Today, Judge Alan Malott of the Second Judicial District Court of the State of New Mexico ordered the county clerks of Bernalillo and Santa Fe Counties to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Ruling in a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of New Mexico, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), and local attorneys on behalf of same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry in New Mexico, Judge Malott said that denying same-sex couples access to civil marriage violates the New Mexico Constitution. The court issued a judgment against the two county clerks and the State of New Mexico declaring that, to the extent New Mexico law prevents same-sex couples from marrying, “those prohibitions are unconstitutional and unenforceable.”

“Today was yet another powerful reminder that the march to justice is unstoppable and gaining momentum,” said NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell. “We are joyful for our client couples and for every same-sex couple in New Mexico. The freedom to marry is about love, commitment, family and security. These are universal values and they are center stage today.”

Said ACLU-NM Executive Director Peter Simonson: “This is a great day to be a resident of New Mexico. Our state is now on the brink of joining the growing list of states who live and honor the values of family, liberty and love. Every family in this state is made richer by this step toward justice for all.”

The plaintiff couples were represented by ACLU, ACLU-NM, NCLR, and the Sutin Law Firm, and Albuquerque attorneys Maureen Sanders, Kate Girard, and Lynn Perls.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights
is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.

The American Civil Liberties Union is our nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.

The ACLU of New Mexico is an affiliate of the national ACLU, working in the courts, legislature and communities to protect and extend individual rights and liberties for all New Mexicans.

Sutin, Thayer & Browne, with offices in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, is one of New Mexico's largest law firms, providing exceptional legal services since 1946. More information is available at

media contacts:


Erik Olvera
National Center for Lesbian Rights
Office: 415.392.6257 x324
Mobile: 415.994.3242

ACLU New Mexico logo

Micah McCoy
Media Contact
ACLU—New Mexico
Phone: 505.266.5915 x1003


Robyn Shepherd
Media Contact
ACLU National
Phone: 212.519.7829


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