NOM BLOG

Category Archives: New Mexico

Eviscerating our First Amendment Freedoms

"It's an evisceration of our freedom of association," said John Eastman, the chairman of the National Organization for Marriage...

We’ve been saying for years that one of the first casualties when you redefine marriage are our first amendment rights of religious liberty, free speech, and association.  Now even the mainstream media has picked up on the growing list of attacks on the rights of businessmen and woman who wish to run their enterprises by the tenets of their faith.  The Wall Street Journal reported,

Erasing the First Amendment

As more states permit gay couples to marry or form civil unions, wedding professionals in at least six states have run headlong into state antidiscrimination laws after refusing for religious reasons to bake cakes, arrange flowers or perform other services for same-sex couples.

The issue gained attention in August, when the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that an Albuquerque photography business violated state antidiscrimination laws after its owners declined to snap photos of a lesbian couple's commitment ceremony.

Similar cases are pending in Colorado, Illinois, New York, Oregon and Washington, and some experts think the underlying legal question—whether free-speech and religious rights should allow exceptions to state antidiscrimination laws—could ultimately wind its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Read more)

However, there is a easier way to resolve this issue than going to the US Supreme Court – Don’t Redefine Marriage in the first place.

New Mexico GOP Files Amicus Brief in Defense of Marriage

Following the lawless actions of certain county clerks in New Mexico issuing illicit 'marriage' licenses to same-sex couples, a case has been working its way through the court system there and is due to be heard by the New Mexico Supreme Court on October 23rd.

New Mexico's Attorney General, Gary King, is refusing to defend New Mexico law in the courts, but thankfully others, like Governor Martinez, are stepping up to fulfill their constitutional duties.

On Monday, GOP lawmakers in the State also stepped up to the plate, filing an amicus brief in the case:

The Republican lawmakers... said anti-discrimination and equal protection guarantees in the state constitution do not provide a legal right to marriage for same-sex couples.

The lawmakers said that "the judiciary should exercise caution when asked to divine fundamental and important constitutional rights not expressly provided in the Constitution's text."

You can read more about the case here.

Across the Nation

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

In the next couple of weeks, NOM will be unveiling a new website, an updated blog, and better news feeds for you to keep informed and equipped in the battle to protect God's ordained definition of marriage. Similarly, we will be reworking the weekly Newsletter as we go through this process.

It's all part of our end of year push to raise $2 million dollars through our matching gift program. To those of you who have already given generously, I say, "Thank you!" Your support is an encouragement to me and the whole team at NOM. If you have not yet been able to take advantage of the $1 million matching gift provided by a generous donor, please consider a sacrificial donation today.

Donate Today

Your sacrificial support allows NOM to defend marriage and all of our religious liberties across the country and in our nation's capitol. Here are a number of opportunities for you to stand for marriage even today.

Marriage Amendment

With Congress returning to work this coming week, now is a good time to write your Representative asking them to sign on as co-sponsor to Rep. Tim Huelskamp's Marriage Amendment. In the long-run we cannot rely on legislators or judges; we must have a federal marriage amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Congressman Huelskamp's proposal already has over 50 co-sponsors, but we need more. Send your Congressman a message today.

New Mexico

Governor Martinez has still not officially intervened to defend marriage and stop the lawlessness that is sweeping across New Mexico. She has repeatedly declared her belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, but she has not yet used the power of her office to stop rogue county clerks from issuing illegal marriage 'licenses.' This week New Mexico's counties officially asked the New Mexico Supreme Court for guidance on the issue, while several legislators filed suit to stop county clerks from issuing same-sex 'marriage' licenses. Now is the time for Governor Martinez to step up to defend New Mexico's marriage law. Please use this link to send a message to Governor Martinez urging her use her power as the chief executive officer of the state to intervene and protect marriage.

IRS

Congress is coming back into session next week and we expect answers from them about the IRS scandal. To date NOM has not received any satisfactory explanations, nor has the perpetrator of this felony been identified, never mind charged with his or her crime. Thousands of folks have sent emails to Chairman Camp of the Ways and Means Committee asking that he use his committee's subpoena power to get to the truth. Now is the perfect time to add your voice as he and other members return to the Capitol this week.

Hawaii

The Governor and the Democratic Caucus in Hawaii are deciding even this week about calling a special session of the legislature to vote on redefining marriage in the Aloha State. The Catholic Church has made its voice heard in objection to this, but we need more folks to send email messages to the legislature urging them to reject this proposal. If you live in Hawaii, please take action today. If you know family or friends in Hawaii, please forward this urgent message to them right away. Let your voice be heard.

Every little bit helps, and with thousands of marriage supporters all across the country, we have the power to effect real change...if you and I act today! Thank you so much for everything you do to defend marriage!

Brian S. Brown

Eight More New Mexico Legislators Join Fight Against Marriage Redefinition

Opposition continues to rise in New Mexico after a Doña Ana County clerk started illegally issuing same-sex marriage licenses. Last month, GOP legislators took action to stop clerks in any county from taking the law into his/her own hands. And as of yesterday, eight more legislators have joined them.

New MexicoEight more Republican lawmakers have joined a lawsuit in New Mexico to argue a county clerk has usurped state law by recognizing same-sex marriages. Meanwhile, an eighth county in the state has begun issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, broadening the state's legal fight on the issue.

Last Friday, seven Republican lawmakers filed a lawsuit against Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins, who began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples two weeks ago under the argument that New Mexico's marriage laws are "gender neutral," and therefore do not expressly prohibit him from distributing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The lawsuit against Ellins filed by the initial seven Republican lawmakers has since been joined by eight more Republican lawmakers, all of whom argue that Ellins is overstepping his power by distributing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Ellins "has violated the New Mexico Constitution's separation of powers doctrine by determining on his own which laws he will enforce based upon his interpretation of the statutes and constitution," the lawsuit reads.

"It's really a separation of powers issues," Rep. Paul Bandy, one of the eight GOP lawmakers to step in on the lawsuit filed in district court, told Reuters. "I don't think the county clerk has the power to make this decision."

Paul Becht, an Albuquerque lawyer for the GOP legislators and a former state senator, told the Associated Press that his clients filed the lawsuit because they believe the issue of same-sex marriage in the state should be addressed by the legislature, and a county clerk should not take the matter into his own hands simply due to his personal beliefs. -Christian Post

Some things You Just Don't Want to Miss

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

It has been an incredible week for marriage and I want to make sure you've heard all the news.

This week was the launch of our $1 million dollar match campaign. A faithful and generous donor, who believes we can win the marriage battle, has stepped up and promised to match every dollar we raise between now and the end of the year. Up to $1 million dollars!

Donate Today

If you haven't taken the opportunity to have your donation doubled by this incredible donor, please do so right now. Help us defend marriage in the legislatures of Hawaii, Illinois, and New Jersey. Help us prepare for ballot fights in at least three and maybe eight states. Help us defend your religious liberties from coast to coast. Your sacrificial donation today will be doubled dollar for dollar.

After you've made your contribution there is still plenty of work to be done. NOM has several action items that you can take to protect marriage, defend our religious liberties, and urge a return to the rule of law in our land:

First is calling and sending an email to Chairman Camp of the Ways and Means Committee. In investigating the IRS scandal and the felony committed against NOM, the Ways and Means Committee has not conducted an in-depth investigation or questioned under oath anyone from the Human Rights Campaign, nor gotten full answers from anyone at the IRS including the former Acting Director. Please use this link to get Chairman Camp's phone number; then, after you’ve called his office, send him an email demanding he use the subpoena power of his committee to get to the bottom of the scandal.

Next, is the state of Hawaii. In Hawaii, the Governor has presented the legislature with a draft bill to legalize same-sex 'marriage' and he may call a special session of the legislature to force this through. If you're in Hawaii, or know family and friends there, please take action to send the State Representatives and Senators an urgent message urging them to reject the redefinition of marriage.

Moving east from Hawaii, the California Legislature is at it again, this time considering legislation that would strip groups of their tax exemption if their beliefs and practices don't affirm concepts like "gender identity" and gay "marriage" and other ideas that fly in the face of the teachings of virtually every faith tradition. SB 323 was originally aimed at the Boy Scouts, falsely claiming that they engaged in discriminatory practices by supposedly not accepting homosexual members. But the fact is that the bill would punish any type of group with traditional values, and allow only liberal groups that affirm the homosexual agenda to enjoy a tax exemption. If you are in California or have friends and family there, please use this link to send a message to the CA Assembly asking them to reject this discriminatory law.

Continuing our journey east, New Mexico and Texas continue to be in the news. In New Mexico, county clerks across the state are deciding for themselves to issue same-sex 'marriage' licenses, against the June written opinion of the Attorney General. Thousands of you have already sent emails to Governor Martinez asking her to intervene to restore the rule of law and defend marriage as one man and one woman. If you haven't yet, use this link to send her a message then forward it to any friends and family you have in New Mexico.

Finally in Texas of all places, religious liberties and the freedom to speak and live our faith in the public square is under attack by a proposed San Antonio city ordinance that would bar anyone who has ever allegedly "discriminated" in word or deed from working from the city. This includes organizations that have contracts with the city to provide essential services. Churches and other faith groups are understandably up in arms, knowing that this ordinance would impact them and anyone who has ever voiced support for traditional marriage. Homosexual activists consider the mere act of supporting marriage as the union of one man and one woman to be discrimination per se. The City Council vote is September 5th. Faith groups have begun having rallies and will continue to work to stop this unconstitutional proposal. Please take the time to make your voice heard by sending Governor Perry and the Attorney General of Texas a message urging them to do what they can to stop this proposal.

And don't forget the $1 million match. Please make sure you donate today to have your generous gift doubled in the fight to defend true marriage and our first amendment right of freedom of religion.

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

Lincoln County Clerk: "I Will Not Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses"

Not all New Mexico county clerks are taking the state's marriage law into their own hands.

With county clerks in Dona Ana County and Santa Fe County issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, clerks in other counties are feeling the heat and that's not how the issue should be handled, in the view of Lincoln County Clerk Rhonda Burrows.

Gov. Martinez"It's unfortunately that county clerks have been put in the position of ruling on an issue that should be decided by a court, by the Legislature or by the vote of the people," she said Tuesday. "But unless and until we have a (state) Supreme Court ruling or a specific case is decided in Lincoln County, we will continue under the current position of not issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

"...I will continue to follow the law as we understand it and as applicable to Lincoln County, and I will not issue same-sex marriage licenses." -Ruidoso News

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez stated yesterday that clerks do not have the authority to make, break, or interpret the law. But Martinez doesn't need to wait on the Judiciary. As Governor and a top executive official of New Mexico, she is able to state the policy and hand it down to the people. Send Governor Martinez an urgent message asking her to intervene immediately to stop this lawlessness.

And keep in mind, this is what an elected official SHOULD do when clerks defy the law!

Online Poll: 95% Say Elected Officials Should Enforce Laws as Written

Elected officials are defying state law by making unilateral decisions about marriage. Should this be tolerated?

One News Now conducted a poll this week, asking whether duly elected officials should enforce laws as written or if we should allow them to simply assume the role of the courts. What do you think?

One News Now Poll

Gov. Martinez: County Clerks Do Not Have Authority to Make Decisions on Marriage

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez finally reacted to the lawless behavior of County Clerks in New Mexico.  She'd doesn't think clerks have the authority to interpret the law; that should be left to the judges.  However, she does not need to wait on the Judiciary.  As California Attorney General stated, local officials are accountable to the top executive officials in the state.   Click here to send Governor Martinez an urgent message asking her to intervene to stop the lawlessness.

Gov. Martinez

Contact Gov. Martinez to THANK her for her strong support of marriage and continue to urge her to intervene so the rule of law and the rightful definition of marriage in New Mexico can be restored.

Last Thursday, more than two dozen New Mexico legislators signed on to a lawsuit to stop the lawless County Clerk in Dona Ana County. However, the governor has still not signed on, so let's keep the pressure.

State and County Officials Defying New Mexico’s Marriage Law

One News Now reports on the lawlessness taking place in New Mexico, and our action alert to keep the pressure on Governor Martinez.

NOM is asking New Mexico residents to press Governor Susana Martinez (R) to intervene and defend marriage as between one man and one woman. Attorney General King – who plans to seek the Democratic nomination for governor next year and very likely run against Martinez – also declined to step in when Doña Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins began issuing same-gender marriage licenses last Wednesday.

“The good news out of that is that over two dozen state legislators have now decided to intervene and take the county clerk to court to stop this lawlessness,” Plante explains. “And no matter what you think about the marriage issue, we all ought to be concerned about the rule of law in our country.”

nom_email_2013-08-22_nm-alert

Governor Martinez has been a strong supporter of traditional marriage and she needs to hear from youUrge her to intervene in order to restore the rule of law and the rightful definition of marriage in New Mexico.

Opposition Rises in Response to Lawlessness in New Mexico

More than two dozen GOP legislators are moving to stop clerks in Doña Ana County from illegally issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Flag of New MexicoSanta Fe New Mexican:

Republican Sen. William Sharer of Farmington said a lawsuit will be filed, potentially by the end of the week, seeking a court order to stop County Clerk Lynn Ellins.

“It has to do with a county clerk cannot make law. That is the Legislature’s job,” said Sharer, who sponsored a constitutional amendment in 2011 to define marriage as between a man and woman.

He said more than two dozen GOP lawmakers have agreed to join the lawsuit. It likely will be filed with the state Supreme Court, but Sharer said lawyers were trying to decide the best legal strategy.

Contact Gov. Martinez to thank her for her strong support of marriage and urge her to intervene in its legal defense in New Mexico.

85% of Americans Say Christian Photographer Has Right to Refuse Same-Sex Ceremony

We've heard a lot of stories recently about people of faith being forced to compromise their religious beliefs over same-sex marriage (bakery owners in Oregon, a florist in Washington state, innkeepers in Vermont...). But a new Rasmussen poll shows the vast majority of Americans are highly opposed to business owners being penalized or sued for running their business according to their own personal beliefs and values.

In fact, just 8% of the population answered "no" when asked the question "Suppose a Christian wedding photographer has deeply held religious beliefs opposing same-sex marriage. If asked to work a same-sex wedding ceremony, should that wedding photographer have the right to say no?"

Wedding PhotographerMore Republicans (96 percent) than Democrats (77 percent) agreed with the photographer's right to deny a gay wedding request. Ninety-seven percent of evangelical Christians and 92 percent of weekly churchgoers said the same. But even 88 percent of atheists agreed that the photographer has the right to say no.

This comes four months after the latest development in the famous Willock v. Elane Photography case, where Vanessa Willock and her partner, Misti Collinsworth, sued Christian couple Elaine and Jon Huguenin for this very denial in 2006. In 2008, the New Mexico Human Rights Commission found the Huguenins guilty of sexual discrimination, and the New Mexico Court of Appeals upheld this ruling last May.

The Alliance Defense Fund, which defended the Huguenins and their company, Elane Photography LLC, has taken their case to the New Mexico Supreme Court. The court heard ADF Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence's oral arguments on March 11. On Wednesday, an ADF spokesman told CP that "ADF attorneys are still waiting for the decision from the New Mexico Supreme Court." -Christian Post

Business owners and employees should never be threatened with legal action for abiding by the tenets of their faith. If you or anyone you know has been threatened, harassed, or intimidated because you believe in the truth about marriage, we want to hear your story. You are not alone.

National Organization for Marriage Denounces the New Mexico Supreme Court's Decision to Force People of Faith to Compromise Their Religious Beliefs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 22, 2013
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Jen Campbell (703-683-5004)


"This decision is outrageous. While simultaneously admitting that this decision will harm the Huguenins, the court uses its full power of coercion to force them to compromise their beliefs." — Brian Brown, NOM president —

National Organization for Marriage

Washington, D.C. — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today denounced the decision of the New Mexico Supreme Court to force Christian photographers to violate their beliefs by photographing a same-sex commitment ceremony or be sanctioned by the State. The ruling in Elane Photography v. Willock flies in the face of all Americans' First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion.

"This decision is outrageous. While simultaneously admitting that this decision will harm the Huguenins, the court uses its full power of coercion to force them to compromise their beliefs," declared Brian Brown, NOM president. "This is not what this country was founded upon; governmental coercion has no place in the public square never mind the freedom of religion supposedly enjoyed by the Huguenins."

NOM and scholars on both sides of the issue have long agreed that redefining marriage will be a direct threat to Americans' First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion. Increasingly, gay-'marriage' activists are using the courts to force people of faith to violate their beliefs when a myriad of other options exist for the same-sex couples in question.

"While the court calls for compromise, they got it wrong in this case," continued Brown. "The Huguenins should not have to compromise. Their beliefs are constitutionally protected. But the Willocks could easily have compromised by going to another photographer who would not have had such a conflict. Instead the Willocks forced the issue and used the power of the court to put the Huguenins in an impossible position - compromise their beliefs or give up their livelihood. There is nothing just about that."

The courts forcing people of faith into impossible positions is a growing trend. Like the Huguenins in New Mexico, Bed and Breakfast owners Mary and Jim O'Reilly in Vermont lost a similar case in 2012. As a result, the O'Reillys were fined $30,000 and ordered to stop hosting all wedding activities. Similarly in Washington State, Christian-owned Arlene's Flowers has been sued by the state for declining to serve a same-sex 'marriage' ceremony.

"People of faith should not be coerced to denying their beliefs or losing their livelihoods," concluded Brown. "There are plenty of photographers, bed and breakfast owners, or florists who would happily serve same-sex ceremonies. However, same-sex 'marriage' activists are not concerned with getting service, but instead forcing Americans of faith to compromise their beliefs and support something they know is objectively wrong."

A recent Rasmussen poll on this issue demonstrates that 85% of Americans believe that if "a Christian wedding photographer who has deeply held religious beliefs opposing same-sex marriage is asked to work a same-sex wedding ceremony" they have the right to say 'no.' Only 8% believe the photographer should be forced to serve the couple.

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To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray (x130), eray@crcpublicrelations.com, or Jen Campbell (x145), jcampbell@crcpublicrelations.com, at 703-683-5004.

Paid for by The National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, president. 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).

New Mexico County Clerk Breaks Law; Issues Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

First Pennsylvania, now New Mexico. Another county clerk has taken it upon himself to completely ignore state law and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. ABC News:

Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins said his office had provided 35 licenses to same-sex couples compared to four or five given on an average day to heterosexual couples.

Wecome to New MexicoEllins said he had been considering issuing the licenses since June, when [New Mexico Attorney General Gary] King released a position paper saying state laws don't allow same-sex marriage.

Ellins, however, said "any further denial of marriage licenses to these couples violates the United States and New Mexico Constitution and the New Mexico Human Rights Act."

"I see no reason to make committed couples in Dona Ana County wait another minute to marry," he added in his statement.

Still, [King] warned that marriage licenses issued by county clerks could become invalid if the state Supreme Court later rules that same-sex marriage is not allowed.

Take action to STOP this reckless behavior in Dona Ana County. Email Governor Martinez and urge her to intervene so the rule of law and the rightful definition of marriage can be restored in New Mexico.

Marriage Emergency — Lawlessness in New Mexico

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Same-sex 'marriage' activists in New Mexico are not content to wait for the courts. Now they have found a county clerk willing to defy the Governor and Attorney General by issuing illegal 'marriage' licenses to same-sex couples.

It was reported yesterday that Dona Ana County Clerk, Lynn Ellins will start issuing same-sex 'marriage' licenses, against the express directive of the Attorney General. In June, Attorney General King issued a position paper stating same sex marriages are illegal in New Mexico and asked clerks to not begin issuing such 'licenses.' Nevertheless, the Attorney General refuses to put a stop to the issuance of these illegal documents, and that is why the Governor must act right away.

The battle for marriage as God designed has come to The Land of Enchantment; and it's your turn to stand in the breach. Every person who believes marriage to be the union of one man and one woman needs to contact Governor Martinez, urging her and her administration to give their full support to the defense of marriage.

Governor Martinez has been a strong supporter of traditional marriage, now we need her to put the weight of her office behind this vital institution's defense. Please contact Governor Martinez and urge her to intervene to stop the lawlessness in Dona Ana County. Like her colleague Governor Corbett of Pennsylvania, Governor Martinez can and should step in to uphold the rule of law in New Mexico.

Governor Martinez needs to do two things:

  1. Stop the lawless behavior in Dona Ana County; and

  2. Defend the marriage laws of her state in light of Attorney General King's refusal to do so.

This latest action goes beyond the pending lawsuits in New Mexico and moves into the realm of lawlessness and anarchy. County Clerks are not free to make up law on their own; it is there job to uphold the law and serve the people who elected them. But rather than wait for the legal process to conclude Mr. Ellins has gone rogue and chosen to defy the Governor and the Attorney General.

You can make a difference. In Pennsylvania over 700 people contacted Governor Corbett urging him to intervene, and he did.

Please take the time today to contact Governor Martinez and urge her to stand for marriage in the New Mexico courts.

Please, after you have taken action today, use the buttons below to forward and share this email with your family and friends so they can join you in standing for marriage in The Land of Enchantment.

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For our families and the children to come,

Brian S. Brown

Tell Gov. Martinez to Stand Firm on Marriage

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

The battle for marriage as God designed has come to The Land of Enchantment; and it's your turn to stand in the breach. Every person who believes marriage to be the union of one man and one woman needs to contact Governor Martinez today, urging her and her administration to give their full support to the defense of marriage.

Governor Martinez has been a strong supporter of traditional marriage; now we need her to put the weight of her office behind this vital institution's defense.

As you are probably aware, two men applied for a marriage license in Santa Fe County. A brave County Clerk refused to issue the license because she knew, as you do, that New Mexico's definition of marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

As a result, these men have filed a lawsuit seeking to have New Mexico give legal recognition to same sex marriage. And yesterday the Santa Fe Commission voted to support this suit!

We need the Governor to intervene because the State’s Attorney General is refusing to do so. In fact, the Attorney General has betrayed his oath of office by urging the Court to overturn New Mexico’s recognition of traditional marriage and legalize same-sex marriage.

Now, we need you to make your voice heard by contacting the Governor and urging her to intervene in this case. New Mexico law recognizes the common sense, historically proven definition of marriage as a unique institution that brings men and women together, and provides the ideal place for children to be raised.

You can make a difference. Just in the past week in Pennsylvania, nearly 700 marriage supporters did what I'm asking you to do, and the Governor's administration there has in fact intervened on behalf of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Please take the time today to contact Governor Martinez and urge her to stand for marriage in the New Mexico courts.

And please, after you have taken action today, use the buttons below to share this message on Facebook and Twitter, or forward it via email to your family and friends so they can join us in standing for marriage in The Land of Enchantment.