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07/25/2007

New Mexicans can marry in Mass; new Mexicans cannot, as they are infants

by Jeremy Hooper

NewmassicoAre you a queer person who wishes to marry your same-sex partner in Massachusetts, but you don't meet the residency requirement? Well what are you waiting for, nuptial-craving 'mo? Pack up your belongings right now and move your family to New Mexico!

"Wait, what are you talking about?" you ask? "New Mexico is not in Massachusetts," you say? "You must have failed Geography," you surmise? "And you're annoying me by putting these thoughts in my head," you declare? "Please stop it and get on with the pertinent information," you command? "This is really getting old," you protest? "I f***ng mean it," you scream? "That's it, I'm going to Towleroad," you threaten?

Well, personally this writer doesn't know who would even want to marry such a rude person as yourself, but as I was getting to saying before you got so bitchy: NEW MEXICO-BASED GAYS CAN NOW MARRY IN MASSACHUSETTS! Because the state's laws do not prevent marriage between same-sex people, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has issued a "corrective notice" to local clerks authorizing them allow New Mexican gay couple to apply for marriage licenses in Mass.

Progress.

Now of course once they do the deed in the Bay State, the gay couples' marriages will likely not be fully recognized (if at all) when they get back to New Mexico. So on second thought, bitchy gay who exists only in this writer's mind, you might want to instead move to Massachusetts so that you can both marry and enjoy the state-level benefits that go along with the cake and gifts. Besides, maybe the cool Northeastern climate will have a positive effect on your grouchy attitude!

Same Sex New Mexican Couples Can Marry In Massachusetts [GLAD]

**Note, 7/26: There is some debate about how the marriages will be recognized in NM. We're getting more info and will hopefully be able to provide more info shortly.

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Your thoughts

I'm sure you meant:

http://www.towleroad.com (in your link)

Posted by: craig | Jul 25, 2007 3:51:52 PM

Hold on!!! It is not at all clear that New Mexico will not recognize same-sex marriages celebrated by its residents in Massachusetts. A New Mexico statute expressly declares that "All marriages celebrated beyond the limits of this state, which are valid according to the laws of the country wherein they were celebrated or contracted, shall be likewise valid in this state, and shall have the same force as if they had been celebrated in accordance with the laws in force in this state." N.M. Stat. sec. 40-1-4. I'm not aware of any court decision yet holding that New Mexico can ignore out-of-state same-sex marriages notwithstanding this statutory directive that, on its face, mandates recognition of "all" valid, out-of-state marriages.

Posted by: Steve | Jul 26, 2007 2:51:13 PM

See the New Mexico page at my website and blog Same-Sex Unions in the Conflict of Laws, http://www.samesexconflicts.com/library/places/nor-am/us/states/nm/places-nm.htm. Note also the problems this development may cause for N.M. Gov. Bill Richardson as he attempts to avoid taking a position on same-sex marriage in his presidential campaign.

Posted by: Steve | Jul 26, 2007 3:12:09 PM

Sorry, for those interested, the comments generator here erroneously added the period at the end of the URL to the hyperlink, so it doesn't work. The New Mexico law page is here:
http://www.samesexconflicts.com/library/places/nor-am/us/states/nm/places-nm.htm

Posted by: Steve | Jul 26, 2007 3:45:57 PM

Yea, sure, blame "the comments generator," not the period you placed at the end of the URL ;-)

Just kidding...thanks for the info. I'm getting more on this as we speak.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jul 26, 2007 3:48:12 PM

Oh, yes, my period. Sorry. :)

Unless there is recognition litigation that I'm not aware of (which is possible), I doubt there is a definitive answer to this legal question. Even if the Richardson administration or the attorney general has an executive-branch position on the issue, the final arbiter will be the New Mexico courts, particularly the state supreme court. (See Rhode Island, where the same issue, though without a similar pro-recognition statute, is now pending before the state supreme court in a same-sex divorce case called Chambers v. Ormiston, see http://www.samesexconflicts.com/library/places/nor-am/us/states/ri/cases/chambers/cas-ri-chambers.htm )

Absent a definitive ruling from a New Mexico court, we're probably ultimately left pondering the applicability of the pro-recognition statute; trying to figure out whether the statute allows a New Mexico court to ignore an out-of-state marriage that would violate a fundamental public policy of New Mexico; and if so, arguing about whether recognizing a same-sex marriage would violate a fundamental public policy of New Mexico. (The Rhode Island attorney general says no it wouldn't, New Mexico law is similarly gay-affirming.)

Posted by: Steve | Jul 26, 2007 4:25:16 PM

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