Tonight State District Judge Alan Malott ruled New Mexico's constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. And has ordered state clerks in Santa Fe and Bernalillo Counties to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples beginning 8 A.M TOMORROW MORNING.
Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver said she had 1,000 licenses printed in case Malott ordered her to issue licenses for same-sex marriages. Her office spent the day preparing for what is expected to be a flood of applicants Tuesday.
Another good day. Another very good day. Congratulations, friends in New Mexico!
Laura Schauer Ives, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico, called it "monumental" and said the group didn't expect such a broad decision by Malott. The judge had been asked only to order that the state recognize, on her death certificate, a dying woman's marriage Friday in Santa Fe to her longtime partner.
But after a short hearing in which neither the counties nor the state objected to the request, Malott also ruled on the broader lawsuit by that couple and five others seeking marriage licenses.
"We were stunned and amazed," Ives said.
As are we all, Ms. Ives. Sometimes it seems progress takes generations. Sometimes it's like a dam bursting, and we get the privilege of watching it.