In the U.S., there are a variety of legal unions available for same-sex couples. Some states offer same-sex marriage, whereas others offer alternative legal unions that provide some or all of the rights associated with marriage but go by a different name. The majority, however, offer no legal recognition for any same-sex union.

Same-Sex Marriage in New Mexico

New Mexico fell into a rare category of states with respect to same-sex unions: it did not affirmatively recognize same-sex marriage or any other union for same-sex couples. However, unlike most other states, New Mexico had not passed a law that explicitly defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

In 2004, perhaps hoping to create a test case that would legalize same-sex marriage through New Mexico’s courts, a county official in that state began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

However, the state attorney general soon issued an opinion stating that the marriages were not valid under state law. The state legislature then attempted to pass a law that would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, but the bills died in committee.

However, in 2013, after a long legal battle along political partisan lines, New Mexico became the 17th state to recognize same-sex marriages.

Do I Need an Attorney?

If you have issues with same-sex marriage in New Mexico, you should contact an experienced New Mexico family lawyer.