Former Downtown Farmington Bookstore to Get a New Face || Identity Inc. hosts benefit to raise money for future community center

Congratulations to Identity, Inc! and their soon to be open community center in Farmington, NM, slated to open in January 2015. All of us at at 4cGLAD and in our Four Corners Region are so happy for everyone in the Farmington area and so very delighted to see the success of the many volunteer hours of hard work to make this a reality.

Check out the latest NM Community Voice Newsletter, Volume #4 Issue #12 /December, 2014: Newsletter December 2014

10th Circuit Court Says States Can’t Ban Gay Marriage

In a ruling that strikes down gay marriage ban in Oklahoma, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said today that the 14th Amendment protects same-sex couples’ right to marry.

The decision is in the Utah case, which  was considered on a fast track with the Oklahoma case. In both cases, federal judges struck down state bans.

The Oklahoma case is still pending. However, the principle involved in the Utah case applies to Oklahoma and the other states in the circuit: Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico.

Here is a key passage:

“May a State of the Union constitutionally deny a citizen the benefit or protection of the laws of th e State based solely upon the sex of the person that citizen chooses to marry?
“Having heard and carefully considered the argument of the litigants, we conclude that, consistent with the United States Constitution, the State of Utah may not do so.
“We hold that the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right to marry, establish a family, raise children, and enjoy the full protection of a state’s marital laws. A state may not deny the issuance of a marriage license to two persons, or refuse to recognize their marriage, based solely upon the sex of the persons in the marriage union. For the reasons stated in this opinion, we affirm.”
 In the 2-1 decision, the court dismissed arguments from the state of Utah that allowing same-sex marriages would have a destabilizing effect on opposite-sex marriages.
“We cannot imagine a scenario under which recognizing same-sex marriages would affect the decision of a member of an opposite-sex couple to have a child, to marry or stay married to a partner, or to make personal sacrifices for a child,” the court ruled.

The opinion can be found here.

Source: NewsOK, “10th Circuit Court Says States Can’t Ban Gay Marriage,” by Chris Casteel Modified: June 25, 2014 at 12:05 pm •  Published: June 25, 2014

LANDMARK VICTORY: 10th Circuit Appeals Court rules in favor of the freedom to marry

** BREAKING: The 10th Circuit has upheld a lower court ruling finding that denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry in Utah is unconstitutional! This is the first federal appellate court ruling since ‘Windsor.

 

Today the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled in favor of same-sex couples’ freedom to marry, upholding a marriage ruling out of Utah in December. It is the first ruling by a federal appellate court since last year’s victory in the Supreme Court and, unless reversed, will pave the way for the freedom to marry throughout the 10th Circuit, including in Colorado, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Kansas.

The ruling is stayed pending further action, which could include an appeal to the United States Supreme Court.

The ruling, written by Judge Lucero, reads:

Having heard and carefully considered the argument of the litigants, we conclude that, consistent with the United States Constitution, the State of Utah may not [deny a citizen the benefit or protection of the laws of the State based solely upon the sex of the person that citizen chooses to marry]. We hold that the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right to marry, establish a family, raise children, and enjoy the full protection of a state’s marital laws. A state may not deny the issuance of a marriage license to two persons, or refuse to recognize their marriage, based solely upon the sex of the persons in the marriage union.

Read the full ruling HERE. 

Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement:

Today, from the heart of the Mountain West, in a case arising out of Utah, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has brought us one giant step closer to the day when all Americans will have the freedom to marry. This first federal appellate ruling affirms what more than 20 other courts all across the country have found: There is no good reason to perpetuate unfair marriage discrimination any longer. America is ready for the freedom to marry, and it is time for the Supreme Court to bring our country to national resolution and it should do so now.

The decision is in Kitchen v. Herbert, brought by the National Center for Lesbian Rights and private counsel, on behalf of same-sex couples. Meet two of the plaintiffs, Derek Kitchen & Moudi Sbeity, and Laurie Wood & Kody Partridge, HERE.

Currently, 44% of Americans live in states where gay couples share in the freedom to marry: 19 states and the District of Columbia. Recent polling by the Washington Post/ABC News shows 59% of Americans support marriage, including a majority of young evangelicals and Republicans under 45 in other polls.

Oregon and Pennsylvania became the most recent states to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after courts found the ban on the freedom to marry unconstitutional. In total, 22 rulings in recent months have found that state bans on marriage for same-sex couples are unconstitutional.

Learn all about pending marriage litigation – the 70+ cases in every single state in the country – HERE.

Santa Fe Selects Its First Gay Mayor, Javier Gonzales

Santa Fe overwhelmingly elected its first openly gay mayor on Tuesday. Javier Gonzales easily won election with 43 percent of the vote versus two other opponents.

Gonzales gave his acceptance speech to chants of “Javier” on Tuesday night after the results came in, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

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Gonzales with his daughters Cameron, 15, and Cadence, 9.

Gonzales, 47, is the vice president of a commercial real estate company and the father of two daughters, Cameron, 15, and Cadence, 9. He was also a county commissioner and recently served as the chairman of the New Mexico Democratic Party, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican. His campaign was won with dozens of intimate parties, eight community conversation events, and a political contacts list built up over two decades in public work. His father, George Gonzales, served as Santa Fe’s mayor from 1968-1972, and he served as his son’s campaign co-chairman.

“I stand before you humbled. I stand you before standing on the shoulders of people like [outgoing Mayor David] Coss and my father and so many who have been before in this position to say that I am ready to accept the responsibility and the honor of being your mayor,” he said.

Gonzales’s opponents, Bill Dimas and Patti Bushee, will retain their seats on the city council.

Now as mayor, he will preside over a city council with two openly gay members: Bushee, and Signe Lindell, who was also newly elected.

Source:  “Santa Fe Selects Its First Gay Mayor, Javier Gonzales | Advocate.com,” By Michelle Garcia, March 05 2014 2:13 PM ET

New Mexico becomes the 17th state (plus DC) to legalize same-sex marriage

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New Mexico’s Supreme Court on Thursday ruled a ban on gay marriages unconstitutional, making the state the 17th to allow same-sex unions.

Ten others recognize unions and partnerships while 33 limit marriages to opposite-sex couples. Most of the state bans on same-sex marriage are embedded in state constitutions.

Counties in New Mexico had already been issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, The Post’s Aaron Blake writes. And New Mexico hadn’t explicitly banned or allowed same-sex marriages.

Public opinion on the issue has flipped over the past decade. In 2003, 55 percent opposed gay marriage while 37 percent supported it. Today, 58 percent support it while 36 percent oppose, according to data compiled by The Post’s Masuma Ahuja and Emily Chow.

Further reading:

* New Mexico Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage

* Read the ruling

View an interactive map and data on public opinion.

Source: Washington Post, GovBeat, By Niraj Chokshi, Updated: December 19 at 2:33 pm