In a landmark decision, the New Mexico Supreme Court declared that marriage rights must be extended to same-sex couples throughout the state.
The state's highest court unanimously ruled that denying committed same-sex couples the right to marry violated the Equal Protection clause 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," reads the ruling.
The court rejected the argument presented by marriage equality opponents that the state had a legitimate governmental interest in "responsible procreation and childrearing," declaring that supposed interest "is not reflected in the history of the development of New Mexico's marriage laws.
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. In addition, New Mexico law recognizes the right of same-gender couples to raise children."