June 26, 2015

Praise for same-sex marriage decision from most of NM delegation (updated)

Same-sex marriage ceremony where 12 couples were married in Albuquerque in 2013. Photo Credit: Matthew Reichbach

Most of New Mexico’s congressional delegation praised the United States Supreme Court decision that says same-sex marriage is legal throughout the country.

Same-sex marriage ceremony where 12 couples were married in Albuquerque in 2013. Photo Credit: Matthew Reichbach

Same-sex marriage ceremony where 12 couples were married in Albuquerque in 2013.
Photo Credit: Matthew Reichbach

New Mexico’s delegation is made up of four Democrats and one Republican. In recent years, support for same-sex marriage has become an accepted part of the Democratic Party’s agenda, while Republicans have mostly been opposed to extending marriage to same-sex couples.

The members of the delegation sent statements out on Friday morning following the ruling.

Sen. Tom Udall, the senior U.S. Senator from the state, said that the Supreme Court was not only “on the right side of the law” but also “on the right side of history.”

The junior U.S. Senator, Martin Heinrich, called the decision, “a significant step forward to creating a fairer, more just society.”

Rep. Ben Ray Luján, the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said Friday was “a momentous day for the millions of Americans who now have the freedom to marry and for all those who worked so hard to advocate for equality for all people.”

New Mexico Political Report asked a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, the lone Republican, for a statement. As of this publication, Pearce has not issued a statement on the decision. In the past, Pearce has said he supports “traditional marriage.”

Update: Pearce released a statement on Facebook shortly before 5:00 on Friday. A portion of the statement is included below.

“This decision reaffirms our Constitution’s cornerstone of equality for all,” Udall said in a statement. “Every loving, committed couple deserves the respect and dignity that comes with marriage, and I’m proud the nation is now joining with New Mexico to extend marriage equality to all citizens. This is a joyous day for families nationwide, and especially for those New Mexico couples who no longer have to fear their marriages will be deemed invalid once they cross state lines.”

“This ruling stands to strengthen families and affirms that loving same-sex couples who accept the responsibility ofmarriage are respected and recognized everywhere,” Heinrich said. “I join all New Mexicans–and the entire nation–in celebrating this proud moment and give thanks to the tireless advocacy of generations before us who worked to make this day a reality.”

“With this decision, the Supreme Court has reaffirmed that equality is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution by stating very clearly that everyone deserves equal protection under the law,” Luján said. “Marriage equality is matter of civil rights and treating all people who are in a loving and committed relationship fairly.”

Pearce was the only member of the delegation to oppose the ruling, and said that he supported the dissent.

“We are a nation of laws, not of men, and not of arbitrary rule,” Pearce said. “Today’s ruling casts aside the Constitution, the voice of the people, longstanding precedent, and the natural law. The legal definition and regulation of marriage should continue to be left to the will of the people in the 50 states and their elected representatives.”

U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham said that there was still work to be done.

“As we celebrate, we also remember that there is still work left to do,” Lujan Grisham said. “LGBT Americans continue to face discrimination in their communities and workplaces and we must commit ourselves to ensuring that nondiscrimination protections are put in place.””

New Mexico has a law that says those in New Mexico can’t be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. Many other states have no such protection.