On Friday, August 23rd, Mayor Coss, Councilor Patty Bushee and City Attorney Geno Zamora witnessed the marriage of nine same-sex couples exchanging their vows at the Santa Fe County Commission Chambers. Thanks to Judge Sarah Singleton who issued a writ of Mandamus, County Clerk Geraldine Salazar announced that at 2:00 p.m. Friday she would begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex applicants. Hearing the announcement, couples flocked to the Santa Fe County Clerk’s office to get their marriage licenses.
Mayor Coss also served as a witness on two of the marriage licenses. He signed the license for Howard K. Rogers and Jerry D. Permenter, both of Santa Fe and Krista Turner from Albuquerque and Lisa Hunsicker from Denver, Colorado who got married today in a joint wedding with seven other couples. The nine couples were married today by ministers Talitha Arnold and Brandon Johnson of United Church of Santa Fe.
“This is an incredibly emotional day in Santa Fe. I am humbled to think of the lives affected and the thousands of people who will finally gain equal rights. The tide of justice is washing over the State of New Mexico and the United States of America and I am so happy to be able to witness this historic shift.
I want to thank everyone in Santa Fe for their hard work and continued push for what is right and what is just. I want to congratulate all local newlyweds and those planning to marry. I also want to welcome couples getting married to Santa Fe. I am asking our staff to put together a special celebratory package at our convention center and I look forward to weddings there and throughout the community of Santa Fe. This is truly a day to celebrate.”
Mayor David Coss and Councilor Patti Bushee announced on March 19, that they were sponsoring a Resolution expressing support for gay marriage in New Mexico and encouraging County Clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Later, Councilors Chris Calvert and Ronald Trujillo signed on as co-sponsors of the Resolution that was introduced at a City Council meeting on March 27. Resolution 13-44 passed on July 31, 2013.
“Today, marriage law in New Mexico was recognized as gender neutral by the courts,” said Geno Zamora, City Attorney. Our brothers, sisters and neighbors have been found to be equal under our state’s constitution.”
In a written opinion, dated, March 19, 2013, City Attorney Geno Zamora discussed the fact that New Mexico’s statutory definition of marriage is gender-neutral and does not define marriage as between a man and a woman. Nor does New Mexico law prohibit same-sex marriage. Therefore, same-sex couples are capable of contracting within the law and capable of marrying in the State of New Mexico.
Marriage Ceremony, Friday, Aug. 23
Pictured left to right, Krista Turner, Mayor David Coss, and Lisa Hunsicker
Left to right, Mayor David Coss, Jerry D. Permenter and Howard K. Rogers