New Mexico Attorney General Gary King
announced on Wednesday that the out-of-state marriages of gay and
lesbians couples are likely valid in New Mexico, the AP reported.
King's nonbinding legal opinion was at
the request of state Rep. Al Park, a Democrat from Albuquerque.
“Without an identifiable adverse
public policy in this area, we conclude that a court addressing the
issue would likely hold … that a valid same-sex marriage from
another jurisdiction is valid in New Mexico,” King said.
New Mexico is one of only two states –
the other being Rhode Island – whose laws are completely silent on
In recent years, Democratic lawmakers
have attempted to approve legislation that would recognize gay and
lesbian couples with domestic partnerships, while Republicans have
worked on placing a gay marriage ban in the New Mexico Constitution,
but neither has won passage.
King's opinion is expected to unite gay
Another bill that would ban the
institution is expected to be introduced in the upcoming legislative
“I believe that the citizens of New
Mexico, not only have a right, but have an obligation to define their
own culture,” state Senator William Sharer, the bill's primary
sponsor, said. “Culture should not be defined by a judge or an
attorney general. This is something that the citizens of New Mexico
ought to have a right to vote on.”