New Mexico LGBT Laws

Censorship, Freedom of Association, Freedom of Expression, Free Speech, Right of Assembly Legislation/Cases/References
1. Courts & Tribunals

On 14 October 2015, an appeal against the dismissal of the Monica Pompeo v. Board of Regents of the University of New Mexico lawsuit was filed in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals [C1.4].

On 22 September 2015, Chief US District Judge M. Christina Armijo dismissed Monica Pompeo’s claims that the University of New Mexico violated her First Amendment right to free speech after considering further evidence revealing that Pompeo’s professors gave her several opportunities to rewrite her essay to follow academic standards and substantiate her opinions with critical analysis and were within the realm of teaching [C1.3], [R1.2].

On 29 September 2014, Chief US District Judge M. Christina Armijo found that Monica Pompeo’s claims were enough to make a plausible case that the university violated her First Amendment rights when her class instructor Professor Caroline Hinkley and her superior Professor Susan Dever refused to grade her ‘Desert Hearts’ paper which amounted to censorship for alleged use of inappropriate and offensive (anti-gay) language [C1.1].

C1.4 Justia: Monica Pompeo v. Board of Regents of the University of New Mexico, et al No. 15-cv-02179, 14 OCT 15
C1.3 Memorandum Opinion and Order: Monica Pompeo v. Board of Regents of the University of New Mexico No. 13-0833 MCA/CG PDF 111.74kb 22 SEP 15
R1.2 LGBTQnation: Judge dismisses lawsuit of student who called lesbianism ‘perverse’ in college essay 28 DEC 15
C1.1 Memorandum Opinion and Order: Monica Pompep v. Board of Regents of the University of New Mexico No. 13-0833 MCA/CG PDF 29.72kb, 29 SEP 14
Children: Access, Custody, Visitation Legislation/Cases/References
1. Courts & Tribunals

On 01 June 2012, the state Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a same-sex partner of an adoptive mother has legal parental rights and can seek child custody. The court ordered the case back to a district judge to decide the custody question [C1.3], [R1.2].

In 1998, it was reported that a Court in New Mexico ruled that nonbiological partners have the right to sue for custody of an ex-partner’s biological child [R1.1].

C1.3 Supreme Court of the State of New Mexico: Bani Chatterjee v. Taya King No. 32789 PDF 194.45kb, 01 JUN 12
R1.2 KRQE: Case sets standard for same-sex parents 01 JUN 12
R1.1 FrontiersWeb: Ruled Out JUN 98
Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic, Registered Legislation/Cases/Documents/References
See also: [MARRIAGE]
1. State

On 05 April 2013, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez vetoed a bill that would have helped same-sex domestic partners of military personnel obtain professional licenses in New Mexico. She later signed an identical bill that only protected heterosexual military couples [R1.6].

On 16 February 2010, the progress of the domestic partnership bill came to a grinding halt as the state senate finance committee voted 7–4 against forwarding the measure [R1.5].

On 04 February 2010, the domestic partnership bill, supported by Gov. Bill Richardson, advanced – the state senate’s public affairs committee voted to move the bill forward to finance before being introduced to the full senate [R1.4].

In February 2009, legislation to provide gay and straight unmarried couples with the right to enter into domestic partnerships under state law was rejected by the New Mexico state Senate. The bill would have covered hospital visitation, the right to make a medical decision for an incapacitated partner, the right to file a joint state tax return, and inheritance in the event that a partner dies without leaving a will [R1.3].

No municipalities are known to provide domestic partner benefits.

In April 2003, an executive order signed by Gov. Bill Richardson extended benefits to the domestic partners of New Mexico state employees [R1.2]

In March 2003, the House passed 33–30 a previously rejected measure that required insurance companies to offer coverage for same-sex domestic partners if they are included in a group health insurance plan [R1.1]. The bill went to the Senate.

2. Courts & Tribunals

In April 2009, a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union resulted in an agreement with New Mexico to provide retirement health insurance to the domestic partners of state employees [R2.1].

In June 2003, the New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a claim for the loss of companionship of a partner is not limited to married couples [R2.2].

R1.6 The Advocate: New Mexico Governor Vetoes Bill To Help Gay Military Families 09 APR 13
R1.5 365gay.com: New Mexico domestic partnership bill dies 16 FEB 10
R1.4 365gay.com: New Mexico domestic partnership moves forward 05 FEB 10
R1.3 PinkNews.co.uk: Catholic Bishops ‘Helped Defeat’ Domestic Partnerships Bill in New Mexico 26 FEB 09
R1.2 Santa Fe New Mexican: New Mexico Domestic-Partner Benefits Signed Into Law 10 APR 03
R1.1 Associated Press: “House Revives Same-Sex Partner Bill” 14 MAR 03
R2.1 The Advocate: New Mexico State Employees Win DP Benefits 29 APR 09
R2.2 National Law Journal: A Win for Unmarried Couples 23 JUN 03
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [INSURANCE]
1. State

In June 2003, the new gay rights law that takes effect on July 1st apparently inadvertently exempted businesses with fewer than 15 full-time employees from complying with the state Human Rights Act [R1.3]. However, it is understood that this inadvertent exemption was removed in 2004 (AP) [R1.1].

The legislation makes it unlawful to discriminate in matters of employment, housing, credit, public accommodations and union membership [R1.2].

In March 2003, the House and Senate approved separate bills to broaden the state’s Human Rights Act to cover sexual orientation – heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality – and gender identity [R1.2]. The Bill went to Gov. Bill Richardson [R1.3].


In August 2001, New Mexico state has adopted a policy of not discriminating in employment on the basis of sexual orientation [R1.4].


In May 2000, critics said a measure purporting to protect religious freedom could instead be used to discriminate. The measure was passed by the Legislature last year but was vetoed by Gov. Gary Johnson. A veto override failed Thursday in the House after the Senate had succeeded two days before [R1.5].

2. Courts & Tribunals

On 07 April 2014, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal from Elane Photography, a studio that refused to photograph lesbian couple Vanessa Willock and her partner ‘s commitment ceremony, letting stand a New Mexico high court ruling that helped spur a national debate over gay rights and religious freedom [C2.4], [R2.3].

On 22 August 2013, the New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the refusal of Elaine Huguenin of Elane Photography to photograph the 2006 wedding of plaintiff Vanessa Willock and her partner had violated the state’s Human Rights Act [C2.2], [R2.1].

R1.1 Associated Press: Gay Rights Bill Has Glitch 24 JUN 03
R1.2 Santa Fe New Mexican: Governor vows to sign gay-rights bills 15 MAR 03
The Advocate: New Mexico Close to Passing Protections for Gays 28 FEB 03
R1.3 Associated Press: Gay Rights Bill Goes to Governor 22 MAR 03
Santa Fe New Mexican: Governor Vows to Sign Gay-rights Bills 15 MAR 03
R1.4 Bloomington Herald-Times: State Adds Gays to Policy on Job Discrimination 07 AUG 01
R1.5 Associated Press: Religion Bill May Attack Civil Rights 12 MAY 00
C2.4 Certiorari Denied: Elane Photography v. Willock, Vanessa 13-585 PDF 90.84kb, 07 APR 14
R2.3 EdgeOnTheNet: Supreme Court Rejects Appeal Over Gay Bias Case 07 MAR 14
C2.2 Opinion: Elane Photography LLC v. Vaness Willock Docket No. 33,687 PDF 97.79kb, 22 AUG 13
R2.1 GayStarNews: New Mexico Supreme Court rules against photography business that turned down gay wedding 23 AUG 13
Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual
[?]
Legislation/Cases/References
1. State

New Mexico has enacted a law that bans discrimination against the transgendered, as well as gays and lesbians [R1.1]

R1.1 Philadelphia Inquirer: Rendell broadens protection against gender-identity bias 29 JUL 03
Hate Crimes Legislation/Cases/References
1. State

In March 2003, in a 39-27 vote, the Legislature has given final approval to a bill that would provide extra prison time for offenders whose crimes are found by a court to have been motivated by hate [R1.1].

The Senate having previously passed the measure, the Bill now goes to Gov. Bill Richardson who has committed to signing it into law.

Under the bill, hate crimes are defined as those committed because of the victim’s actual or perceived race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity.

The bill allows a judge to give a first-time offender an extra year in prison, and a second-time offender two added years


In 1999, Gov. Johnson vetoed a hate-crimes bill, saying he agreed with its spirit but that it was “irreparably flawed” [R1.2].

R1.1 Associated Press: New Mexico Passes Hate Crimes Bill 21 MAR 03
R1.2 Sante Fe New Mexican: Hate Crimes Bill Vetoed 06 MAR 99
Health, Medical Legislation/Cases/References
1. State

On 07 April 2017, Governor Susana Martinez signed SB-121 into law. The law bans doctors, nurses, and licensed therapists from any attempt to talk to clients about recovering from gay temptation. It also prohibits any professional from helping a boy accept that he is a male or a girl accept that she is a female [R1.3].

On 15 March 2017, the House voted 44-23 passing Senate Bill 121 to ban conversion therapy for minors. The Senate must approve amendments that were made by House committees before going to Governor Susana Martinez [R1.2].

On 17 February 2017, it was reported that the Senate passed 32-6 SB 121 to ban gay conversion therapy. The Bill now moves to the House of Representatives [R1.1]

R1.3 HRC: New Mexico Governor Signs Into Law Bill Protecting LGBTQ Youth From “Conversion Therapy” 07 APR 17
R1.2 TheTaosNews: Conversion therapy ban clears New Mexico House 16 MAR 17
R1.1 LGBTQnation: Conversion therapy ban advances in New Mexico 17 FEB 17
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
1. State

Consensual sex between same-sex couples is lawful [R1.1]

R1.1 ILGA: Annual Report 1996 – Part II 96
Insurance Legislation/Cases/Documents/References
1. State

On 01 November 2013, Insurance Superintendent John Franchini issued a bulletin directing insurers to provide same-sex married couples with the same benefits and discounts offered to opposite-sex married couples without discrimination [D1.2], [R1.1].

D1.2 Insurance Bulletin: Marital Discounts No. 2013-007 PDF 40.12kb, 01 NOV 13
R1.1 EdgeOnTheNet: Insurance Equality Ordered for Gay Marriage in NM 06 NOV 13
Marriage Legislation/Cases/Documents/References
1. State

On 20 December 2013, Deswood Tome, an adviser to Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly, reportedly said that the tribe’s own law prohibiting same-sex marriage isn’t affected by the New Mexico Supreme Court’s decision legalizing marriage for gay and lesbian couples in New Mexico (and Utah) [R1.18].

On 19 December 2013, the New Mexico Supreme Court declared that it is unconstitutional to deny a marriage license to gay and lesbian couples, holding 5-0 that “civil marriage” shall be construed to mean the voluntary union of two persons to the exclusion of all others [C3.17], [R3.16].

The law in New Mexico is silent on gay marriage [L1.17], [R1.16].

See also: Courts & Tribunals below.


On 01 November 2013, Insurance Superintendent John Franchini issued a bulletin directing insurers to provide same-sex married couples with the same benefits and discounts offered to opposite-sex married couples without discrimination [D1.15], [R1.14].

On 28 August 2013, the Sandoval County County Clerk Eileen Garbagni refused to issue a marriage licence to Carolyn VanHousen and Gail Gering. The ACLU are planning to file suit on behalf of the couple [R1.13].

On 06 June 2013, Attorney General Gary King stopped short of issuing an official legal opinion on same-sex marriage, but says county clerks should not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because state law is unclear [R1.12].

On 24 April 2013, the Santa Fe Council adopted 5–1 a resolution recognizing that under New Mexico law same sex marriage is legal in the State and that citizens have the right to marry the partner of their choice [D1.11], [R1.10].

On 19 March 2013, Sante Fe Mayor David Coss and other leaders want to pass a resolution urging county clerks to begin granting the licenses immediately as the statutory definition of marriage is gender-neutral in not defining marriage as between a man and a woman and there is no specific prohibition against same-sex marriage [R1.9].

On 21 February 2013, the House Voters & Elections Committee set aside the HJR 3 (Marriage Certificates & Ceremonies) Bill in a 7–4 vote [R1.8].

On 17 January 2013, Representative Brian Egolf introduced HJR3, proposing Article 20 of the constition be amended by adding “The issuance of a marriage license shall not be denied on the basis that the sex of both applicants is the same. No church or religious institution shall be required to perform a marriage ceremony or recognize a marriage for religious purposes that conflicts with the church’s or religious institution’s beliefs” and voted on at the next general election [L1.7], [R1.6].

On 17 February 2011, the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee shelved three measures to stop same-sex marriage in New Mexico in a party-line 3–2 vote [R1.5].

In late January 2011, the legislature recently introduced four bills that would restrict in-state gay marriage.

House Joint Resolution 8 is a constitutional amendment proposal banning recognition for out-of-state gay marriage. It defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

House Bill 162 says in-state recognition of out-of-state gay marriage will stop.

House Joint Resolution 7 has been introduced every year in the New Mexico legislature since 2007, but unsuccessfully. It proposes a state constitutional amendment that would restrict marriage to a man and a woman.

Senate Joint Resolution 4 was also unsuccessful. It stated that marriage is between a man and a woman and died with a 5-2 vote in last year’s Senate Rules Committee [R1.4].


On 04 January 2011, Attorney General Gary K King issued an opinion concluding that whilst not predicting how a New Mexico court would rule on the issue, ” … after review of the law in this area, it is our opinion that a same-sex marriage that is valid under the laws of the country or state where it was consummated would likewise be found valid in New Mexico” [R1.3], [R1.2].


On 03 June 2005, the Navajo Nation Council overrode the Navajo president’s veto to enact the Diné Marriage Act to recognize marriages “contracted” outside of tribal lands but that law says same-sex marriage is “void and prohibited” [R1.1].


In 1999, anti-gay marriage legislation was defeated for the fourth year in succession.

The Mormon Church were instrumental supporters for passage of the legislation, allegedly providing $30,000 to supporters of the bill [R1.0].

2. County

On 22 August 2013, Sante Fe County Clerk Geraldine Salazar began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples following an order of First Judicial District Court Judge Sarah M Singleton [C3.9], [R3.8].

On 21 August 2013, Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins announced his office would begin issuing marriage licenses to all applicants [R2.1].

3. Courts & Tribunals

On 19 December 2013, the New Mexico Supreme Court declared that it is unconstitutional to deny a marriage license to gay and lesbian couples, holding 5-0 that “civil marriage” shall be construed to mean the voluntary union of two persons to the exclusion of all others [C3.17], [R3.16].

On 06 September 2013, the New Mexico Supreme Court, on its own motion in the matter of same-sex marriages, set 23 September 2013 for filings and 23 October for oral argument [C3.15], [R3.14].

On 04 September 2013, District Court Judge Sheri Raphaelson affirmed her ruling that same-sex couples are entitled to be married in New Mexico, ordering Los Alamos County Clerk Sharon Stover to issue a licence to Janet Newton and Maria Thibodea [R3.13].

On 29 August 2013, in the case of Janet Newton, et.al., v. Saron Stover, No. D-132-CV-201300094, District Court Judge Sheri Raphaelson ordered Los Alamos County Clerk Sharon Stover to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples or appear in court to explain why that shouldn’t happen [R3.12].

On 26 August 2013, Second Judicial District Court Judge Alan Malott ruled in Rose Griego, et. al., v. Maggie Toulouse Oliver, et. al. that “To the extent (that the New Mexico Statutes Annotated Section 40-1-1 et seq) may be read to prohibit issuance of a Marriage Licence to otherwise qualified same sex couples, those prohibitions are unconstitutional and unenforceable … ” and ordered the Bernalillo and Sante Fe County Clerks to issue marriage licences upon application [C3.11], [R3.10].

On 22 August 2013, First Judicial District Court Judge Sarah M Singleton ordered Sante Fe County Clerk Geraldine Salazar to issue a marriage license to Alexander Hanna and Yon Hudson [C3.9], [R3.8].

On 15 August 2013, the state Supreme Court denied requests by same-sex couples from Santa Fe, Albuquerque and other communities who had asked the justices to declare gay marriage legal (in Hanna v. Salazar and Griego v. Oliver). The justices said the gay marriage issue could be pursued in a lower court “with a right to request expedited review” [R3.7].

On 22 July 2013, Attorney General Gary King in a filing with the New Mexico Supreme Court (Alexander Hanna and Yon Hudson v. Geraldine Salazar) stated that ‘New Mexico’s guarantee of equal protection to its citizens demands that same-sex couples be permitted to enjoy the benefits of marriage in the same way and to the same extent as other New Mexico citizens.’ [R3.6].

On 06 June 2013, Santa Fe men Alexander Hanna and Yon Hudson filed a lawsuit in the First Judicial District Court seeking an order that the Santa Fe County clerk to issue them a marriage license [C3.5], [R3.4].

On 21 March 2013, the ACLU New Mexico filed a Complaint for Declarative and Injunctive Relief in the Second Judicial District Court on behalf of Rose Griego and Kimberley Kiel and Miriam Rand and Ona Porter, seeking the freedom to marry [C3.3], [R3.2].

On 09 August 2010, district judge Sarah Singleton ruled that a divorce petition filed by Angela Maria Carrejo against her former partner Karla JaNelle Haught, could not be dismissed, as marriage licenses issued briefly by a Sandoval County clerk to gay and lesbian couples in 2004 remain valid and subject to divorce action [R3.1].

R1.18 EdgeOnTheNet: Navajo Nation Law on Marriage Stands 20 DEC 13
L1.17 New Mexico Statutes: Chapter 40 Domestic Affairs
R1.16 Associated Press: Blumenthal to Respond to Romney Inquiry on Gay Marriage 02 MAY 04
D1.15 Insurance Bulletin: Marital Discounts No. 2013-007 PDF 40.12kb, 01 NOV 13
R1.14 EdgeOnTheNet: Insurance Equality Ordered for Gay Marriage in NM 06 NOV 13
R1.13 PinkNews: New Mexico lesbian couple denied marriage licence file lawsuit against state 29 AUG 13
R1.12 KOB: Attorney General issues same-sex marriage statement 06 JUN 13
D1.11 Sante Fe Council: Resolution No. 2013-___ & City Attorney’s Office Opinion PDF 249.28kb, 25 APR 13
R1.10 Queerty: Same-Sex Marriage Is “Already Legal” In New Mexico, But You Still Can’t Get Married There 25 APR 13
R1.9 The Advocate: Marriage Equality Already the Law in New Mexico, Santa Fe Officials Say
R1.8 NewsMax: New Mexico Scraps Same-Sex Marriage Bill 22 FEB 13
L1.7 New Mexico Legislature: Marriage Certificates & Ceremonies, CA HJR3 PDF 31.91kb, 17 JAN 13
R1.7 Santa Fe | New Mexican: Marriage equality 17 JAN 13
R1.5 NECN: Panel shelves proposals to ban same-sex marriage US (NM) 18 FEB 11
R1.4 365Gay.com: Legislation introduced to restrict gay marriage in New Mexico 31 JAN 11
R1.3 Attorney General of New Mexico: Opinion PDF 260.48kb, 04 JAN 11
R1.2 The Huffington Post: Is Gay Divorce Coming Soon to New Mexico? US (NM) 06 JAN 11
R1.1 [Citation required]
R1.0 [Citation required]
R2.1 4LocalNews: Same-sex couples receive marriage licenses from Dona Ana County 21 AUG 13
C3.17 Opinion: Rose Griego & Ors v. Maggie Toulouse Oliver and Anor No. 34306 PDF 91.60kb, 19 DEC 13
R3.16 MyDesert.com: Gay marriage declared legal by New Mexico Supreme Court 19 DEC 13
C3.15 Order: Greigo and Kiel et. al. v. Oliver and Salazar et. al. No. 34306 PDF 118.38kb, 06 SEP 13
R3.14 WashingtonBlade: New Mexico high court sets Oct. 23 for marriage equality arguments 06 SEP 13
R3.13 The Washington Post: New Mexico judge upholds county same-sex marriage ruling, orders issuing of licenses 05 SEP 13
R3.12 OnTop Magazine: New Mexico County Los Alamos Ordered To Issue Marriage Licenses To Gay Couples 01 SEP 13
C3.11 Declaratory Judgment: Rose Griego, et. al., v. Maggie Toulouse Oliver, et. al. D-202-CV-201302757 PDF 8.17MB, 26 AUG 13
R3.10 Houston Chronicle: New Mexico county told to issue same-sex marriage licenses 26 AUG 13
C3.9 Alternative Writ of Mandamus: State of New Mexico ex rel. Alexander Hanna and Yon Hudson v. Geraldine Salazar 22 AUG 13
R3.8 USA Today: 2nd N.M. county issuing same-sex marriage licenses 23 AUG 13
R3.7 NewsObserver: New Mexico High Court Wont Decide Gay Marriage Issue 16 AUG 13
R3.6 GayStarNews: New Mexico’s attorney general refuses to defend state’s gay marriage ban in court filing 24 JUL 13
C3.5 Verified Petition: Alexander Hanna and Yon Hudson v. Geraldine Salazar No: D-0101-CV-2013 PDF 364.43kb, 06 JUN 13
R3.4 San Francisco Chronicle: New Mexico couple files lawsuit seeking same-sex marriage 06 JUN 13
C3.3 Complaint for Declarative and Injunctive Relief: Rose Griego and Kimberley Kiel and Miriam Rand and Ona Porter v. Maggie Toulouse Oliver PDF 169.60kb, 21 MAR 13
R3.2 ACLU-NM: ACLU-NM Files Lawsuit for the Freedom to Marry for Same-Sex Couples 21 MAR 13
R3.1 The Advocate: Judge: Lesbian Couple’s Marriage License Valid 10 AUG 10
Parenting, Adoption, Fostering Legislation/Cases/References
1. Courts & Tribunals

On 03 April 2013, State District Judge Glenn Ellington granted Bani Chatterjee, the former lesbian partner of Taya King who adopted a Russian child 13 years ago, legal status as a natural parent [R1.4].

On 01 June 2012, the state Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a same-sex partner of an adoptive mother has legal parental rights and can seek child custody. The court ordered the case back to a district judge to decide the custody question [C1.3], [R1.2].

In 1998, it was reported that a Court in New Mexico ruled that nonbiological partners have the right to sue for custody of an ex-partner’s biological child [R1.1].

R1.4 Santa Fe New Mexican: Same-sex ex granted natural parent status 04 APR 13
C1.3 Supreme Court of the State of New Mexico: Bani Chatterjee v. Taya King 2012-NMSC-019, Docket No. 32789, PDF 194.45kb, 01 JUN 12
R1.2 KRQE: Case sets standard for same-sex parents 01 JUN 12
R1.1 FrontiersWeb: Ruled Out JUN 98
Violence: Bullying, Domestic Violence, Harassment, Vilification Legislation/Cases/Documents/References
1. State

On 01 April 2014 the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced the sexual harassment claim against Albuquerque car dealership Pitre Inc., alleged to have subjected a class of men to egregious forms of sexual harassment contrary to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, has been settled with Pitre agreeing to pay a record sum of over $2 million [R1.1].

R1.14 US Equal Opportunity Commission: Pitre Car Dealership to Pay over $2 Million to Resolve EEOC Same-Sex Sexual Harassment Suit 01 APR 14