New Mexico Supreme Court Rules Unanimously to Allow Same-Sex Marriage Statewide

(Reuters) – The New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Thursday to allow same-sex marriage statewide, ending a patchwork arrangement in which some counties permitted gay nuptials while others prohibited them.

The ruling makes New Mexico the 17th U.S. state to legalize gay and lesbian marriage, and comes after the governors of Hawaii and Illinois signed bills last month to permit same-sex weddings in their states.

“Denying same-gender couples the right to marry and thus depriving them and their families of the rights, protections and responsibilities of civil marriage violates the equality demanded by the equal protection clause of the New Mexico Constitution,” Justice Edward Chavez wrote in a 31-page opinion.

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