ACLU-NM Files Lawsuit for the Freedom to Marry for Same-Sex Couples

DSCF1535 540x404 ACLU NM Files Lawsuit for the Freedom to Marry for Same Sex Couples

Plaintiffs from left to right: Kim Kiel, Rose Griego, Miriam Rand, and Ona Porter

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Today, two same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry filed a lawsuit in Albuquerque’s district court after they applied for and were denied marriage licenses. The lawsuit claims that the New Mexico marriage statutes and New Mexico Constitution do not bar same-sex couples from marrying, and therefore the State of New Mexico should issue civil marriage licenses to any same-sex couple who applies for one. The couples are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of New Mexico, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), the Albuquerque law firm Sutin, Thayer & Browne, APC, and local cooperating attorneys Maureen Sanders, Lynn Perls, and Kate Girard.  

 New Mexico is the only state in the country that does not either explicitly recognize same-sex relationships through marriage or civil unions or ban recognition of same-sex relationships by statute or constitutional amendment.

The couples are Miriam Rand, 63, and Ona Porter, 66, and Rose Griego, 47, and Kim Kiel, 44. Miriam and Ona currently live in Albuquerque, while Rose and Kim reside in Santa Fe.

“Ona and I have been together for over 25 years,” said Miriam Rand. “Together, we raised children, we took care of our mothers when they were dying and are currently raising our granddaughter. We are family; we love and care for one another through good times and bad. We want our community to recognize our love and commitment for what it is: a marriage.”

“Marriage matters,” said Rose Griego. “Kim and I have already made a lifelong commitment to one another, but marriage says ‘family’ in a way that no other word can. It’s important to us that the State of New Mexico—our home, the place where we live, work and raised our family—recognizes and respects our relationship.”

Said ACLU of New Mexico Legal Director Laura Schauer Ives: “The time has come for New Mexico to treat same-sex couples with the same dignity and respect we afford opposite-sex couples. This means allowing loving, committed same-sex couples the freedom to marry. We believe that the New Mexico Constitution guarantees same-sex couples this freedom. Today we ask the courts to clarify and confirm that same-sex couples may seek happiness and protect their families within the institution of civil marriage in New Mexico.”

Added National Center for Lesbian Rights Legal Director Shannon Minter: “New Mexico has a long history of respecting individual freedom and supporting families. These couples want the same opportunity to marry and to take responsibility for one another as other couples.”

“There is growing support nationwide for the freedom of to marry, with over fifty percent of Americans now saying they support marriage for same-sex couples,” said Elizabeth Gill, staff attorney with the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. “It is time for this fundamental freedom to be a reality for same-sex couples in New Mexico.”

Meet the Plaintiffs

Download the Legal Complaint

CONTACT:

 

Micah McCoy, ACLU—New Mexico, (505) 266-5915 x1003 or [email protected]

Robyn Shepherd, ACLU National, (212) 519-7829, 549-2666 or [email protected]

Erik Olvera, National Center for Lesbian Rights, (415) 365-1324 or [email protected]

 

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The American Civil Liberties Union is our nation’s guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country. www.aclu.org

 

The ACLU of New Mexico is an affiliate of the national ACLU, working in the courts, legislature and communities to protect and extend individual rights and liberties for all New Mexicans. www.aclu-nm.org

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. www.NCLRights.org

 

Sutin, Thayer & Browne, with offices in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, is one of New Mexico’s largest law firms, providing exceptional legal services since 1946.  More information is available at www.sutinfirm.com

 

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3 comments on “ACLU-NM Files Lawsuit for the Freedom to Marry for Same-Sex Couples
  1. Alex says:

    Thank you Kim, Rose, Miriam and Ona and the ACLU. My partner & I have been together 16 years. We moved here, knowing there was no State constitutional bigotry. We are with you and hope this goes through so we can make it legal here as well as in WA state.

  2. Mikal Altomare says:

    Way to go ladies! And thank you for leading the way with this issue that is so important to so many of us!

    • Anonymous says:

      Good luck ladies! This world has to change! I wish ya’ll they best. My wife and I are having problems down in Corsicana, TX. We have been married for almost one yr when we both started working on our CDL license when our DPS office said they were gonna have to change my name back. I currently have my wife’s name as a yr ago I changed my Social Security card & license with no problem. Now they (DPS office) said they made a mistake in changing it on my license……really…omg…these people r horrible! Don’t let them stop u. We went to Iowa and got married!

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