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Insurance Equality Ordered for Gay Marriage in NM

Associated Press

Wednesday November 6, 2013

New Mexico's insurance regulator has directed insurers to provide same-sex married couples with the same benefits and discounts offered to opposite-sex married couples.

Insurance Superintendent John Franchini said Wednesday couples with valid marriage licenses -- regardless of their sexual orientation or gender -- must be treated equally and without discrimination by insurers.

Eight counties are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and the state Supreme Court is considering a lawsuit on whether gay marriage is legal statewide. State law doesn't explicitly authorize or prohibit gay and lesbian couples from being married.

In issuing his directive, Franchini pointed to a recent Supreme Court ruling that a commercial photography business owned by opponents of same-sex marriage violated a state anti-discrimination law by refusing to take pictures of a gay couple's commitment ceremony.

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