Vote puts county ‘on the record supporting same-sex marriage’
SANTA FE – The Santa Fe County Commission, with near unanimous support, approved a resolution Tuesday that supports both marriage equality in New Mexico and a recent decision by the Santa Fe County clerk to deny two men a marriage license – an action that’s made her the subject of a lawsuit.
Commissioner Liz Stefanics said the resolution puts the County Commission “on the record as supporting same-sex marriage” and sends a message “that we wish the state Supreme Court to rule and make this matter clear for all the people here in our state.”
Stefanics, who is gay, sponsored the resolution.
Commissioner Kathy Holian said marriage equality is the right thing morally. She added that “I also believe that according to our state constitution it is also the right thing to do.”
“I have always, my entire life, supported marriage equality. I have never had a question in that regard. So I just want to say I’m very pleased, I’m honored even, to vote for this resolution tonight,” Holian said.
Stefanics and Holian were joined by Commissioners Miguel Chavez and Danny Mayfield in voting for the resolution.
Commissioner Robert Anaya voted against the measure. Anaya expressed support for marriage equality but said he couldn’t vote for a last-minute amendment that changed language in the resolution’s title from support for the county clerk “in her defense of the petition for writ of mandamus” to “in performance of her duties.”
The change was requested by Rep. Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, one of the attorneys representing Alexander Hanna and Yon Hudson, who have asked the New Mexico Supreme Court to order Santa Fe County Clerk Geraldine Salazar to issue them a license. Salazar denied their request for a license in June.
Egolf said he was concerned that the title’s original language could sound like county commissioners were backing certain arguments by Salazar in the case. Egolf said he construed those arguments as indicating the state constitution doesn’t require marriage equality.
Stefanics also agreed to remove language from the resolution referring to current state laws restricting same-sex marriage as “morally reprehensible.” The laws are instead just called “antiquated.”