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Couples Take Vows, Vow To Continue Fight (New Mexico)
Albuquerque Journal | Saturday, February 21, 2004 | Toby Smith

Posted on 02/21/2004 2:07:40 PM PST by woofie

There were more hugs Friday at the Sandoval County Courthouse than at a big family reunion.

Bear hugs, clinches, embraces of all durations were on display as New Mexico experienced its first same-sex wedding day.

It was a day that had several dozen couples getting married or waiting in line to do so, holding close when it happened, and then again when it didn't.

Even after New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid jumped into the ring and put a stop to the controversial nuptials and canceled all the weddings that had taken place earlier, the hugs continued. So did refrains from "We Shall Overcome."

Most of the 60 or so marriages were performed by the Rev. David Gant, pastor of Emmanuel Metropolitan Community Church, a gay and lesbian denomination.

"I heard the news this morning," Gant said, "threw on a collar and hopped over here. It's a great, great day."

Earlier, Gant married Mary Ramos, a pediatrician, and Dair Obenshain, a schoolteacher. The couple had waited 17 years for Friday, and when Gant told them they could kiss each other, it was over. It had taken four minutes. The pair kissed— and hugged, of course.

Five hours later, the couple were back home in Albuquerque and filled with disappointment, due to the announcement by Madrid.

"We were going to a celebration party tonight," said Obenshain, "but now we won't. Still, it's a step forward."

"We've been a family for a long time," Ramos had said earlier. "We are as stable as can be, probably more so than many heterosexual couples."

The pair is rearing two small children, and Ramos is the birth mother of both.

"We're an old married couple," Ramos said.

The scene Friday at the courthouse went from gladness to sadness to hopefulness as couples there, mostly female, started showing up at 9 a.m. and were still hanging around at almost 5 p.m., an hour after they had been told to leave the building.

By noon, a long, happy and expectant line snaked out of the county clerk's office and down a hall. By 3 p.m., that line had descended a flight of stairs to the first floor.

Some couples got dressed up, but most wore jeans. This was, after all, Casual Friday, and many came to Bernalillo from work.

Many couples held a single rose each as they registered and paid $25 for a marriage license, then went downstairs and out the courthouse's back walk or lawn for a service, then back up stairs to have their license filed.

When a couple came out of the clerk's office with a signed and documented license, other couples and friends cheered— and hugged. Digital cameras clicked, camcorders whirred. More hugs.

History was being made, even if for a while. By mid-afternoon Friday, a group in line broke out with a rendition of the old Dixie Cups number "Chapel of Love," inserting to wild applause "Goin' to the Bernalillo of love."

The county clerk's office was sent into a mild frenzy.

"We usually get only one wedding license application a day," said Melinda Foster, an administrator. By 3:15 p.m., more than 60 licenses had been issued. Someone then noticed that County Clerk Victoria Dunlap had disappeared.

When the weddings were called off in the late afternoon, disappointment filled the voices of Richard Lucero and Kenneth Rivera, who had waited in line for almost an hour. The two have been partners for almost 16 years.

"We didn't need a piece of paper," said Lucero. "But we wanted it to be as equal as anyone else."

Lucero, from Rio Rancho, is a hairdresser, and he had canceled his appointments to come to Bernalillo on Friday.

"People just don't understand what we're trying to do here. It's not that we went to a bar and picked someone up and decided to get married. It doesn't work that way for us or for heterosexuals. This is all about commitment."

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; US: New Mexico
KEYWORDS: civilunion; gay; marraige; stunt

1 posted on 02/21/2004 2:07:41 PM PST by woofie
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To: woofie
Gov. Opposes Same-Sex Marriage, Doesn't Support Constitution Change

By Barry Massey
The Associated Press

SANTA FE — Gov. Bill Richardson said he opposes same-sex marriages but would not support a constitutional amendment to ban them in New Mexico.

Richardson, at a news conference Friday, said a statutory or constitutional change wasn't necessary to prohibit same-sex marriages.

"I do believe that marriage is between a man and woman. So I oppose same-sex marriage," said Richardson.

However, the governor expressed support for "civil unions" of same-sex couples. Last year, for example, Richardson signed an executive order that extends the same benefits, such as health insurance, to domestic partners of gay and lesbian state employees that are provided to spouses of state workers.

Richardson's comments on same-sex marriage came after the Sandoval County clerk touched off a political storm Friday by issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

Later in the day, New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid said the licenses would be invalid. She said in a letter to a state legislator that New Mexico statutes "contemplate that marriage will be between a man and a woman."

In 2002, a Republican state senator sponsored a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriages by defining marriage as between a man and woman.

During the legislative session that ended Thursday, the issue of same-sex marriage surfaced when the Senate debated and approved a bill to restore anti-discrimination protections for tens of thousands of New Mexico workers.

The Senate rejected — by a single vote — a proposal to amend the Human Rights Act to specify that nothing in it could be interpreted as authorizing same-sex marriage.

Richardson said "our laws here are sufficient."

"I oppose same-sex marriage," said Richardson. "However, I don't think a constitutional amendment is necessary to affirm that. I would oppose that."

The governor said, "To make this an issue in the state, I don't think is healthy. I think it's a wedge issue. It's divisive. We've got more important issues to concentrate on."

Richardson said he expected the state Supreme Court ultimately would have to resolve the question of whether state law allowed for marriage licenses to be issued to a gay or lesbian couple.
2 posted on 02/21/2004 2:11:41 PM PST by woofie ( If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried)
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To: woofie
well I just recited the oath of office for the Presidency. That makes me top dog. Sorry Dubya! :>
3 posted on 02/21/2004 2:13:51 PM PST by KantianBurke (Principles, not blind loyalty)
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To: woofie
"Gov. Opposes Same-Sex Marriage, Doesn't Support Constitution Change"

Tehn he supports same-sex marriage.

This issues isnt like abortion. It is absolute one way or the other.
4 posted on 02/21/2004 2:14:54 PM PST by raloxk
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To: raloxk
This issues isnt like abortion. It is absolute one way or the other.

Well, there's a middle ground of "civil unions"; some of the things gays are asking for make sense, and should also be available to other pairs of people who would be inelligible to marry. For example, in many states, a widow or widower may often inherit the spouse's assets without probate but there is no way for a person to designate someone other than a spouse to be a no-hassle inheritor of assets. I see nothing wrong with having a civil procedure by which a person declares before death that some other person should receive their inheritance. Indeed, this would make a great deal of sense in some family situations where the notion of "marriage" would be absurd.

5 posted on 02/21/2004 4:12:51 PM PST by supercat (Why is it that the more "gun safety" laws are passed, the less safe my guns seem?)
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To: supercat
Civil unios arent a middle ground. Gays wont support civil union ins lieu of ful lfledged marriage.

I predict full fledged gay marriage in all 50 states by Dec 31, 2004. Why?

Ive noticed those who favor it are far more fervent in their desire for gay marriage than are those who oppose it. I also cannot think of any time the majority has been able to stop the demands of a minority.

The left will win the culture war, once and for all. Religious conservatives will stop participating in the electoral process and in a few years the DEMs will enjoy the same electoral hegemony that the Liberals have in Canada.

Depressing but true.
6 posted on 02/21/2004 7:02:21 PM PST by raloxk
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To: raloxk
As I just posted on another thread, I realized something key that I think many people have been missing for a long time: the goal of an ideal marriage is not to create a union between two people which will last for the shorter of their two lifetimes, but rather to create a family which will last forever.

The term "family" is often used to refer to people who happen to share a household, but the real meaning goes much deeper; it refers to a collection of people, wherever residing, who are connected by blood or regarded as being so.

Any person of proper breeding will have one mother, one father, two grandmothers, and two grandfathers. Whether or not the individuals are alive, and whether roles are physically biological or merely socioligical, a person's ancestry represents a perpetual and unchangeable part of the person's identity.

In another thread, I suggested one case where I thought a homosexual person should probably be allowed to adopt: if the only living relative of an orphan happens to be gay, that should not disqualify that person from adopting his nephew/cousin/whatever. And I think I just realized part of why I would view that as acceptable: because the child would recognize his ancestry as having come through his mother and father, even if they were no longer around to raise him. That, of course, is a very different situation from what would be seen in most homosexual adoptions were the floodgates to be opened.

7 posted on 02/21/2004 8:58:42 PM PST by supercat (Why is it that the more "gun safety" laws are passed, the less safe my guns seem?)
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To: supercat
"an ideal marriage is not to create a union between two people which will last for the shorter of their two lifetimes, but rather to create a family which will last forever."

agree completely
8 posted on 02/21/2004 9:00:01 PM PST by raloxk
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To: woofie
Another New Mexico article. There seems to be a blitz of pervert posts "normalizing" English words to their peculiar (and deviant) view of the world. Sorry, in my universe...


9 posted on 03/22/2004 12:57:20 PM PST by Publius6961 (50.3% of Californians are as dumb as a sack of rocks (subject to a final count).)
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