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New Mexico joined 16 states and the District of Colombia today when the state Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional to deny a marriage license to same-sex couples.
According to The Washington Post, the court’s decision was unanimous in deciding that denying a marriage license to a gay couple was unconstitutional.
The Associated Press adds that eight of the state’s 33 counties have been issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples since August.
Until now, there have been no laws prohibiting same-sex marriage in New Mexico. However, historically, couples have been denied licenses in the state because the application has sections for both male and female.
The justices also noted that many other states previously banned interracial marriages. In order for the state to ban gay marriage, it would have to show a substantial interest in preserving traditional marriage.
Supporters of the ban argued that gay couples are not able to procreate, but the court ignored the argument, simply stating that procreation had never been a condition of marriage in New Mexico.
Until today, the state had not ruled on the ban, leaving it in limbo. However, after today’s ruling, New Mexico has become the 17th state to legalize gay marriage, along with the District of Colombia.
image: Wikimedia Commons