New Mexico governor Susana Martinez
N.M. Gov. Won't Push Anti–Marriage Equality Measure

By Trudy Ring

Originally published on Advocate.com January 07 2014 7:17 PM ET

New Mexico governor Susana Martinez says she won’t push for a state constitutional amendment to stop same-sex marriages, in light of the New Mexico Supreme Court’s ruling for marriage equality last month — an apparent reversal of her earlier stance.

Last summer, as several New Mexico counties began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Martinez repeatedly said she believed voters should have the final say on legal recognition of such marriages. But in a news conference Monday, she said she wouldn’t advocate for an anti–marriage equality constitutional amendment to go before the electorate.

“I think what I said before was that yes, the people should have decided on it, but the Supreme Court has decided,” she said, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican. “And it’s now the law of the land.”

Asked if that meant she wouldn’t support efforts to place the question on the ballot, she said, “It’s the law of the land. The Supreme Court has spoken.”

State senator Bill Sharer has proposed a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to opposite-sex unions, and he would like to see it go on the general election ballot. If approved by voters, the amendment would nullify the state Supreme Court ruling, but it could be challenged in the federal courts, a scenario that has happened with amendments California, Utah, and elsewhere.

When the New Mexico Supreme Court issued its pro–marriage equality decision December 19, Martinez issued a statement calling for unity among New Mexicans and emphasizing that the state had other issues to deal with, such as education and the economy.