By Stephen C. Webster on December 19, 2013

The New Mexico Supreme Court issued a historic ruling Thursday that legalizes same sex marriages throughout the state.

"This truly is a historic and joyful day for New Mexico," ACLU New Mexico legal director Laura Schauer Ives said in a press release. "As a state, we have always strived to treat all families with dignity and respect, and today's decision allowing loving, committed same sex couples to marry continues that tradition. The more than one-thousand same-sex couples who have already married in New Mexico can now rest certain knowing their marriages will be recognized and respected by our state."

In a 31-page ruling, Justice Edward Chavez wrote that excluding same sex couples from the right of marriage "violates the Equal Protection Clause under Article II, Section 18 of the New Mexico Constitution."

"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," he added.

The ruling also directly addressed critics of same-gender marriages, who argued that the state has a vested interest in withholding rights from certain couples due to their inability to procreate.

"Procreation has never been a condition of marriage under New Mexico law, as evidenced by the fact that the aged, the infertile, and those who choose not to have children are not precluded from marrying," Chavez wrote. "In addition, New Mexico law recognizes the right of same-gender couples to raise children."

On that same note, the court kicked sand on another popular meme among anti-gay conservatives, citing evidence that LGBT couples are perfectly equipped to raise children responsibly.

"We fail to see how depriving committed same-gender couples, who want to marry and raise families, of federal and state marital benefits and protections will result in responsible child-rearing by heterosexual married couples," Chavez added. "In the final analysis, child-rearing for same-gender couples is made more difficult by denying them the status of being married and depriving them of the rights, protections, and responsibilities that come with civil marriage."

The ruling means that all of New Mexico's county clerks must begin issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples immediately. Prior to the ruling, only eight New Mexico county clerks recognized every couple's right to marry. The case was Griego v. Oliver.

Photo: "Rainbow gay pride flag waving on the wind" via Shutterstock.

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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