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LGBT rights in New Mexico

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Title: LGBT rights in New Mexico  
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Subject: LGBT rights in the United States, Politics of New Mexico, LGBT rights in American Samoa, LGBT rights in Iowa, LGBT rights in Vermont
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LGBT rights in New Mexico

LGBT rights in New Mexico
New Mexico (US)
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal since 1975
Gender identity/expression Altering sex on birth certificate requires SRS
Discrimination protections Yes (both on sexual orientation and gender identity)
Family rights
Recognition of
Same-sex marriage legal statewide since December 2013
Adoption Yes

The expansion of Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in the U.S. state of New Mexico has been a recent phenomenon, with prominent advances in LGBT rights occurring in the post 2000's. Same-sex couples now share in identical rights as heterosexual married couples do. Same-sex marriage is legal statewide in New Mexico, as is adoption and donor insemination rights for lesbian couples.

Law regarding same-sex sexual activity

New Mexico repealed its sodomy law in 1975.[1]

Recognition of same-sex relationships

State marriage laws do not explicitly require married couples to be of different genders and prior to December 2013 state courts had not ruled on the question of same-sex marriage.[2] New Mexico has never recognised alternative relationship recognition schemes, such as civil unions or domestic partnerships. New Mexico recognizes out-of-state marriages that are valid in the jurisdiction where they are contracted.[3] In January 2011, state Attorney General Gary King issued an opinion that valid same-sex marriages contracted in other states "would likely be valid in New Mexico".[4][5]

On December 19, 2013, New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that the state must provide same-sex couples with the same marriage rights as different-sex couples, making New Mexico the 17th U.S. state to recognize same-sex marriage.[6]

New Mexico has provided benefits to same-sex partners of state employees since 2003.[7]

Adoption and parenting

New Mexico allows single persons to adopt children. The state has no prohibition on adoption by same-sex couples or second-parent adoptions, and as stated, allows those adoptions.[8]

Lesbian couples can get access to IVF and donor insemination without regard to their sexual orientation or marital status.

In June 2012, following the separation of a lesbian couple, the state's highest court granted parental rights to the one of them who had been unable to adopt her partner's adopted child but who had helped raise and had supported the child financially.[9]

Discrimination protection

Since the passage of An Act Relating to Human Rights, which became effective July 1, 2003, New Mexico law protects against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity "in matters of employment, housing, credit, public accommodations and union membership." An Executive Order issued by Governor Toney Anaya in 1985 prohibits discrimination in public employment on the basis of sexual orientation.[10]

In June 2012, a three-judge panel of the New Mexico Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a claim against a photography studio that refused to take pictures of a same-sex couple's commitment ceremony in 2006.[11] On August 22, 2013, the New Mexico Supreme Court upheld that ruling in a unanimous decision in Elane Photography v. Willock. It held that enforcing the anti-discrimination provisions of the New Mexico Human Rights Act did not violate the photographer's free speech rights.[12] The U.S. Supreme Court announced it would not consider an appeal in the case on April 7, 2014.[13]

Hate crime

State law covers hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity.[14]


  1. ^ "New Mexico Sodomy Law". Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  2. ^ Albuquerque Journal: Susan Montoya Bryan, "Same-Sex Couples Line Up in Sandoval County To Get Married ," February 20, 2004 . Retrieved April 2, 2011
  3. ^ Arthur S. Leonard, Homosexuality and the Constitution, vol. 4 Homosexuality and the Family (NY: Garland, 1997), 175, available online. Retrieved April 9, 2011
  4. ^ Democracy for New Mexico. "Attorney General Gary King Issues Opinion Supporting Recognition of Out-of-State Same-Sex Marriages". Retrieved March 27, 2011. 
  5. ^ Terrell, Steve (January 5, 2011). "AG: Other states' same-sex marriages valid in N.M.". Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved March 27, 2011. 
  6. ^ Blake, Aaron (December 19, 2013). "New Mexico Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage". Washington Post. Retrieved December329, 2013. 
  7. ^ National Conference of State Legislatures: "States offering benefits for same-sex partners of state employees". Retrieved April 16, 2011
  8. ^ Human Rights Campaign: New Mexico Adoption Law, accessed April 9, 2011
  9. ^ The Advocate: Neal Broverman, "A Win for Gay Mothers in New Mexico," June 2, 2012, accessed June 4, 2012
  10. ^ HRC: New Mexico Non-Discrimination Law, accessed June 3, 2012
  11. ^ "NM court upholds gay discrimination ruling". Huffington Post. June 5, 2012. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  12. ^ Justin, Snow (August 22, 2013). "New Mexico Supreme Court rules photographer cannot deny services to same-sex couple". Metro Weekly. Retrieved August 22, 2013.  Elane Photography, LLC v. Willock, 309 P.3d (N.M. 2013).
  13. ^ Wolf, Richard (April 7, 2014). "Supreme Court won't hear case on gay wedding snub". USA Today. Retrieved April 7, 2014.  Elane Photography, LLC v. Willock, 134 S.Ct. 1787 (U.S. 2014).
  14. ^ "New Mexico Hate Crimes Law". Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
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