NM attorney general not defending state's gay marriage ban

Posted at: 07/23/2013 9:51 AM
Updated at: 07/23/2013 10:24 AM
By: KOB.com staff

These men were denied a marriage license in Santa Fe County.
These men were denied a marriage license in Santa Fe County.

New Mexico Attorney General Gary King is weighing in on the same-sex marriage debate.

In a statement to the state Supreme Court, King said state law effectively does not allow gay marriage, despite the fact that there's no provision specifically mentioning same-sex couples.

However, King adds that a ban is unconstitutional because it violates a guarantee of equal protection under state law.

"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," King said in the filing.

He argues the state Supreme Court should strike down the ban, if justices agree to consider a lawsuit filed by two Santa Fe men.

The men were denied a marriage license in Santa Fe County.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)