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New Mexico becomes the 17th state (plus the District of Columbia) to make same-sex marriages legal.  That's more than 1/3rd of the states encompassing more than 1/3rd of the US population.

Here is the key passage from the decision:

We hold that the State of New Mexico is constitutionally required to allow same-gender couples to marry and must extend to them the rights, protections, and responsibilities that derive from civil marriage under New Mexico law. (PDF)

The last paragraphs of the unanimous (5-0) decision:

Having declared the New Mexico marriage laws unconstitutional, we now determine the appropriate remedy.

We decline to strike down our marriage laws because doing so would be wholly inconsistent with the historical legislative commitment to fostering stable families through these marriage laws. Instead, “civil marriage” shall be construed to mean the voluntary union of two persons to the exclusion of all others. In addition, all rights, protections, and responsibilities that result from the marital relationship shall apply equally to both same-gender and opposite-gender married couples. Therefore, whether they are contained in NMSA 1978, Chapter 40 or any other New Mexico statutes, rules, regulations or the common law, whenever reference is made to marriage, husband, wife, spouse, family, immediate family, dependent, next of kin, widow, widower or any other word, which, in context, denotes a marital relationship, the same shall apply to same-gender couples who choose to marry.

With respect to the forms required by Section 40-1-18, gender-neutral language shall be utilized by the Clerks. Section 40-1-17 states that “the form of application, license and certificate shall be substantially as provided in Section 40-1-18.” Therefore, to comply with the New Mexico Constitution, gender-neutral language shall be utilized in identifying the applicants and spouses.

{71} We grant a writ of superintending control and order the courts to mandate compliance with the holdings and rationale of this opinion.


10:38 AM PT:
Excluding same-gender couples from civil marriage prevents children of same-gender couples from enjoying the security that flows from the rights, protections and responsibilities that accompany civil marriage...

The supposed justifications for the discriminatory legal classification are categorically at odds with the comprehensive legislative scheme that is intended to promote stable families and protect the best interests of children. 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.

10:46 AM PT: Ah, this is big!

we conclude that intermediate scrutiny must be applied in this case because the LGBT community is a discrete group that has been subjected to a history of purposeful discrimination, and it has not had sufficient political strength to protect itself from such discrimination.
I think the Iowa Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage reached the same 'intermediate scrutiny' decision, but I'm not sure if any other State decisions did so.  And no Federal courts have gotten there yet, IIRC.

11:12 AM PT:

Same-gender couples are as capable of responsible procreation as

are opposite-gender couples. We conclude that there is not a substantial relationship between New Mexico marriage laws and the purported governmental interest in responsible procreation.

Originally posted to jpmassar on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 10:30 AM PST.

Also republished by Kossacks for Marriage Equality, Milk Men And Women, Progressive Policy Zone, New Mexico Kossaks, and LGBT Kos Community.

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