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AG Gary King: Same-sex marriage is a “civil rights” issue

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New Mexico Attorney General Gary King, in a memo released today by his office, outlined his stance on the hot-button topic of same-sex marriage and said he believes the issue to be about civil rights.

King, who plans to seek the Democratic nomination for governor last year, took aim in his memo at Gov. Susana Martinez’s call for a statewide vote on gay marriage.

“Finally, some people, including the governor, say that the issue of whether same sex couples should be afforded the same rights as everyone else in our state must be decided by the voters,” King wrote.

“I urge the reader to consider the following: The Emancipation Proclamation of 1863; The 19th Amendment (Women’s Suffrage) in 1920; the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — none of which were voted upon by the general electorate.”

Martinez has said she believes marriage should be between a man and a woman. She has also said she does not believe in discrimination, but believes the issue of gay marriage should be decided by New Mexico voters.

However, an attempt earlier this year to put a constitutional amendment regarding same-sex marriage before voters died in the Legislature.

The New Mexico Supreme Court recently scheduled an Oct. 23 hearing on same-sex marriage, after a handful of counties began issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

Check back later for more updates.

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