New Mexico’s Path To Marriage Equality

Mark Joseph Stern puts the recent developments in perspective:

[R]eally, same-sex marriage in New Mexico was probably inevitable—and no one knows that better than gay-marriage opponents. For years, groups like the National Organization for New Mexico Marriage EqualityMarriage have been pushing for state constitutional bans on same-sex marriage, even in states that were extremely unlikely to legalize such unions. This strategy was based on foresight and pragmatism: NOM et al. knew that absent a state ban, judges or legislators tend to favor equality for all and encode their beliefs in law. Gay marriage opponents didn’t want another Iowa or Massachusetts, so they rushed to create roadblocks to marriage equality while public opinion remained on their side.

New Mexico held the line, however, never explicitly legalizing same-sex marriage but never outright banning it, either. It’s the only state in the union caught in this peculiar limbo—and now it seems poised to prove NOM right. A few Republican legislators plan on contesting the marriages in court, but the state’s Republican governor has for the most part remained mum on the matter. Meanwhile, Democrats have scrambled to grab the issue as their own, vocally supporting the renegade clerks. And the state’s Democratic attorney general has lined up behind marriage supporters, throwing the state’s legal apparatus at least partially behind marriage equality.

The above map from Timothy Kincaid shows the eight counties is New Mexico that currently allow marriage equality. Update from a reader:

I like how the southwestern county of Grant is the finger, upside down. Fitting.