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Santa Fe passes resolution in support of same-sex marriage

By Vanessa de la Viña, vanessa@kvia.com
Published On: Apr 26 2013 10:42:50 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 18 2014 11:48:34 AM CDT

ABC-7's Vanessa de la Vina reports.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. -

Gay marriage advocates across New Mexico cheered Wednesday night as the state capital put its support behind the issue.

Advocates said it's a huge step in the right direction.

"I'm 52 years old. I never thought we'd be having this conversation in my lifetime. When I was growing up and coming out, we weren't thinking about having kids and getting married, but how to avoid becoming HIV-positive and not getting our head bashed in," said David Stocum, executive director of New Mexico GLBTQ Centers.

Stocum has been with his partner Richard for 14 years.

"In terms of the legal system, we are strangers. We are roommates," Stocum told ABC-7.

He hopes that will change soon.

Same-sex marriage has been a hot topic in New Mexico since the Santa Fe city attorney declared it legal last month.

On Wednesday night, the City Council passed a resolution declaring the same.

This is largely symbolic, but Stocum thinks it has a major impact.

"It wouldn't surprise me if something happened here in Las Cruces. Several members of city council, if not a majority of them, have already made public statements in support of marriage equality," he said.

Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima told ABC-7 he's not planning on introducing a similar resolution now, but he said he will if the city asks for it.

"I think Las Cruces is a loving community. I think it's an open community. I think they're open-minded and yet at the same time I believe it's a conservative community as well," Miyagishima said.

Same-sex marriage couples are looking forward to the day they can legally get married in their home state.

"We thought it was going to happen in about three years. All of a sudden someone started questioning the constitution in New Mexico, and it's like, 'Oh my god it's possible!'" said Teresa Perez, a same-sex marriage advocate.

"I'm pretty sure that marriage equality in New Mexico will happen in my lifetime, probably within the next 12-18 months," Stocum said.

County clerks are the officials who issue marriage licenses. Many of them said they are waiting on an official opinion from Attorney General Gary King before they issue any same-sex marriage licenses.

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