Archive for the ‘Gay Marriage’ Category

New Mexico becomes 17th state with legal gay marriage (+video)

In a gay marriage case, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the state constitution guarantees equal treatment and equal protection of same-sex couples.

New Mexico became the 17th state to embrace same-sex marriages on Thursday following a unanimous ruling by the state high court declaring New Mexicos marriage laws unconstitutional for limiting the institution to opposite-sex couples.

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Denying same-gender couples the right to marry and thus depriving them and their families of the rights, protections, and responsibilities of civil marriage violates the equality demanded by the Equal Protection Clause of the New Mexico Constitution, Justice Edward Chavez wrote for the five-member court.

The decision adds momentum to a national campaign by gay rights advocates recognize and establish equal rights for gay men and lesbians, including a right for same-gender couples to marry.

The New Mexico Supreme Court did not seek to answer the broader issue of whether there is a fundamental right to marry that applies to same-sex couples. Instead, it confined its analysis to the guarantees of equal treatment and equal protection within the state constitution.

The court addressed whether the State of New Mexico may decline to recognize civil marriages between same-gender couples and therefore deprive them of the rights, protections, and responsibilities available to opposite-gender married couples, Justice Chavez wrote in the 31-page decision.

The justices brushed aside arguments by same-sex marriage opponents. Opponents had said that marriage laws applied only to heterosexual couples because the statutes were intended to foster responsible procreation and responsible rearing of children by their natural parents. They also argued that expanding marriage to include same-sex unions would deinstitutionalize marriage.

The justices rejected all three rationales. Procreation has never been a condition of marriage under New Mexico law, as evidenced by the fact that the aged, the infertile, and those who choose not to have children are not precluded from marrying, the court said.

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New Mexico becomes 17th state with legal gay marriage (+video)

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Federal judge weighing Ohio gay marriage fight

Click photo to enlarge

In this July 11, 2013 file photo, Jim Obergefell, left and John Arthur, right, are married by officiant Paulette Roberts, rear center, in a plane on the tarmac at Baltimore/Washington International Airport in Glen Burnie, Md. Federal Judge Timothy Black on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, questioned the constitutionality of Ohio’s ban on gay marriage and whether state officials have the authority to refuse to recognize the marriages of gay couples who wed in other states. Black earlier ruled in favor of the couple in a lawsuit seeking to recognize the couples’ marriage on Arthur s death certificate before he died in October from ALS. MANDATORY CREDIT, NO SALES

Judge Timothy Black’s comments came as he heard arguments in federal court in Cincinnati over whether gay marriage should be recognized on Ohio death certificates despite a statewide constitutional ban.

Although Black’s decision, expected within two weeks, only will pertain to the recognition of gay marriage on Ohio death certificates, he noted that “in the real world out there, the stakes are larger,” and that his upcoming ruling could serve as starting point for further litigation seeking gay marriage to be recognized in Ohio.

Black cited a prediction by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote in a strong dissenting opinion in June that “no one should be fooled” by the court majority’s decision to strike down part of an anti-gay marriage law.

“It is just a matter of listening and waiting for the other shoe (to drop),” Scalia wrote. “The majority arms well every challenger to a state law restricting marriage to its traditional definition.”

Said Black on Wednesday, “The shoe dropped and now it’s here, and I’m required to follow the law of the United States Supreme Court.”

“Politicians say, ‘I’ll leave this to the states,'” but if the United States Supreme Court said the federal government cannot fail to recognize valid same-sex marriages, why can the states?” Black asked Bridget Coontz, the state’s attorney arguing against allowing gay couples’ marriages to be recognized on Ohio death certificates.

Coontz pointed out that in the same Supreme Court decision, the justices found that states have the right to decide for themselves whether to recognize gay marriage and Ohio voters overwhelmingly decided in 2004 to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage.

“Ohio doesn’t want Delaware or Maryland to define who is married under Ohio law,” she said. “To allow that to happen would allow one state to set the marriage policy for all others.”

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Federal judge weighing Ohio gay marriage fight

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New Mexico becomes 17th state with legal gay marriage (+video)

In a gay marriage case, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the state constitution guarantees equal treatment and equal protection of same-sex couples. New Mexico became the 17th state to embrace same-sex marriages on Thursday following a unanimous ruling by the state high court declaring New Mexicos marriage laws unconstitutional for limiting the institution to opposite-sex couples. Subscribe Today to the Monitor Click Here for your FREE 30 DAYS of The Christian Science Monitor Weekly Digital Edition Denying same-gender couples the right to marry and thus depriving them and their families of the rights, protections, and responsibilities of civil marriage violates the equality demanded by the Equal Protection Clause of the New Mexico Constitution, Justice Edward Chavez wrote for the five-member court. The decision adds momentum to a national campaign by gay rights advocates recognize and establish equal rights for gay men and lesbians, including a right for same-gender couples to marry. The New Mexico Supreme Court did not seek to answer the broader issue of whether there is a fundamental right to marry that applies to same-sex couples. Instead, it confined its analysis to the guarantees of equal treatment and equal protection within the state constitution. The court addressed whether the State of New Mexico may decline to recognize civil marriages between same-gender couples and therefore deprive them of the rights, protections, and responsibilities available to opposite-gender married couples, Justice Chavez wrote in the 31-page decision. The justices brushed aside arguments by same-sex marriage opponents. Opponents had said that marriage laws applied only to heterosexual couples because the statutes were intended to foster responsible procreation and responsible rearing of children by their natural parents. They also argued that expanding marriage to include same-sex unions would deinstitutionalize marriage. The justices rejected all three rationales. Procreation has never been a condition of marriage under New Mexico law, as evidenced by the fact that the aged, the infertile, and those who choose not to have children are not precluded from marrying, the court said.

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Federal judge weighing Ohio gay marriage fight

Click photo to enlarge In this July 11, 2013 file photo, Jim Obergefell, left and John Arthur, right, are married by officiant Paulette Roberts, rear center, in a plane on the tarmac at Baltimore/Washington International Airport in Glen Burnie, Md. Federal Judge Timothy Black on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, questioned the constitutionality of Ohio’s ban on gay marriage and whether state officials have the authority to refuse to recognize the marriages of gay couples who wed in other states. Black earlier ruled in favor of the couple in a lawsuit seeking to recognize the couples’ marriage on Arthur s death certificate before he died in October from ALS. MANDATORY CREDIT, NO SALES Judge Timothy Black’s comments came as he heard arguments in federal court in Cincinnati over whether gay marriage should be recognized on Ohio death certificates despite a statewide constitutional ban. Although Black’s decision, expected within two weeks, only will pertain to the recognition of gay marriage on Ohio death certificates, he noted that “in the real world out there, the stakes are larger,” and that his upcoming ruling could serve as starting point for further litigation seeking gay marriage to be recognized in Ohio. Black cited a prediction by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote in a strong dissenting opinion in June that “no one should be fooled” by the court majority’s decision to strike down part of an anti-gay marriage law. “It is just a matter of listening and waiting for the other shoe (to drop),” Scalia wrote. “The majority arms well every challenger to a state law restricting marriage to its traditional definition.” Said Black on Wednesday, “The shoe dropped and now it’s here, and I’m required to follow the law of the United States Supreme Court.” “Politicians say, ‘I’ll leave this to the states,'” but if the United States Supreme Court said the federal government cannot fail to recognize valid same-sex marriages, why can the states?” Black asked Bridget Coontz, the state’s attorney arguing against allowing gay couples’ marriages to be recognized on Ohio death certificates. Coontz pointed out that in the same Supreme Court decision, the justices found that states have the right to decide for themselves whether to recognize gay marriage and Ohio voters overwhelmingly decided in 2004 to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage. “Ohio doesn’t want Delaware or Maryland to define who is married under Ohio law,” she said. “To allow that to happen would allow one state to set the marriage policy for all others.”

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December 20, 2013   Posted in: Gay Marriage  Comments Closed


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