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Same-Sex Marriage: Here’s What Just Happened In New Mexico’s Supreme Court

by David Badash on October 23, 2013

in Marriage,News,Politics

Post image for Same-Sex Marriage: Here’s What Just Happened In New Mexico’s Supreme Court

For more than two hours this morning in Santa Fe, New Mexico’s five-judge Supreme Court heard arguments for and against marriage equality, after almost 1000 same-sex couples have married since August under the state’s ambiguous marriage laws. Constitutional and statutory arguments for and against marriage equality on the basis of equal protection and equal rights were made.

Arguments from the anti-gay side were predictably obtuse and irrelevant. The flawed and debunked anti-gay “parenting” study by Mark Regnerus was used to argue that marriage should be reserved for heterosexual couples. Other anti-gay arguments included “husband and wife means husband and wife,” tradition, the institution of marriage must be protected and therefore gays shouldn’t be allowed to marry, and marriage was designed to channel mankind’s procreative powers — a situation that gay and lesbian couples don’t have to worry about.

Other preposterous claims were made, including that LGBT people have extraordinary political power and therefore don’t need the courts to intervene, and that either the people or the legislature should decide the issue of marriage. Ironically, when the court took a short break, one attorney not realizing the cameras were still live, quipped that if the legislature passed marriage equality, the issue would till return to the state Supreme Court.

“Marriage is just more than a vehicle for procreation,” attorney Maureen Sanders, arguing in favor of equality, told the Court. Sanders said that marriage is “a relationship between two individuals, whether or not they want to have children.” She noted that there is no “litmus test” for procreation, and asking couples prior to allowing them to marry if they will have children “has never been done in this state.”

“It is this Court’s responsibility to say denying same-sex couples the right to marry is a violation of the NM Constitution,” Sanders also stated.

Attorneys arguing for equality noted that civil unions are, indeed, second-class instruments.

Justice Richard Bosson near the end of the session asked one anti-gay attorney,
“Have you ever heard of the term ‘the closet’? Why does someone stay in the closet?”

The Court will issue a written decision at a later date, possibly in about two weeks.

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Mykelbarber October 23, 2013 at 1:41 pm

When you all get a link to the transcript, please post. I would like to read it :)

Str8Grandmother October 23, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Regnerus, Regnerus, Regnerus
Now with the New anti Gay Doug Allen Study until that is critiqued & dismissed they have even more HATE research.
EVERY Court Case Cites Regnerus. ALL of them.
In fact the Federal Judge in Hawaii himself cited Regnerus when denying Civil Marriage Rights in Hawaii. Quite a long citation, in his opinion.
I follow John Becker on Twitter, I hope he wins that law case. I'm sure he'll tweet it out when he does.
All these Court Cases which all cite Regnerus, & the State of Florida sure seems to be taking it's time on ruling if the University of Central Florida has to release the Editors records or not.

JayJonson October 23, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Luckily, the New Mexico justices gave the Regnerus study short shrift. They either knew it was a fraud or they felt it was completely irrelevant to the point the attorney for the bigots was trying to argue.

Huntercgo October 24, 2013 at 7:35 am

I would hope at this point that any attorney arguing these cases would know that the anti-marriage side is going to cite Regnerus and would be prepared to rebut it. There's ample criticism, starting with Social Science Research's own internal auditor, and including other researchers in the field. Scott Rose did a lot of reporting on it here.

weshlovrcm October 23, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Thanks for the update!

bndkllr2 October 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm

The Renerus "Study" was just a panicked, sour grapes response to the epic smack-down of the Family Research Council or Focus on the Family's testimony in favor of keeping the Defense of Marriage Act. If you haven't seen it, it's on Youtube. Al Franken exposes them BRILLIANTLY.

TomTallis October 23, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Here's a longer clip.

smjaeger October 23, 2013 at 6:21 pm

I think we should add a new Codicil to the Godwin's Rule (about internet conversations and bringing Hitler, Nazism or Fascism up proving they have no argument and all argument ends). Let's add anyone who brings up Regenerus Study it's the same effect. No further comment/argument. The Regenerus study just proves that they have NO argument.

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