A New Mexico House committee yesterday voted 3-2 to advance House Joint Resolution 3, a constitutional amendment that would allow same sex marriage. The vote broke on party lines. This resolution proposes the first pro-gay marriage amendment to any state constitution, but it also requires a popular vote. New Mexico has a gubernatorial election approaching in 2014, where the issue could appear.
LGBT press missed this resolution completely when it was filed two weeks ago, probably due to excitement and distraction over Rhode Island and Illinois. Understandably, there is a lot of information to follow and process this year with so many states that are active on the issue. A Yahoo news search dug up this short report on Abqjournal.
New Mexico is the only state in the union with neither a statutory prohibition on same-sex marriage nor resolved recognition of outside gay marriages. It is simply common law that restricts marriage to opposite sex couples there. If passed, the voters of New Mexico would have the opportunity to settle the matter in stone in our favor.
Why New Mexico Democrats have proposed a popular vote and a constitutional amendment? The state's Democrats have been more conservative on relationship issues, although the state bans discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It may be that the state's Democrats wish to dodge the issue and punt it to their constituents.
Oregon and Indiana may also be voting on same sex marriage in 2014, on a repeal and a new constitutional ban, respectively.