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Breaking: New Mexico county issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

New Mexico state sealIn a press release issued this morning, Lynn Ellins, the clerk of Doña Ana county in New Mexico, announced that his office will be issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  Ellins’s full press release is below:

Ellins said that he has been considering issuing licenses since last June, when New Mexico Attorney General Gary King issued a position paper stating that New Mexico’s ban on issuing marriage licenses to same-gender couples is unconstitutional. Since then, the Attorney General – in a legal brief to the New Mexico Supreme Court – has refused to defend the ban and has asked the Supreme Court to declare New Mexico’s prohibition of same-gender marriage unconstitutional under the state’s constitution.

Last week, Ellins said, the New Mexico Supreme Court declined to issue a ruling sought by attorneys for same-gender couples seeking marriage licenses from the county clerks in Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties. Instead, the Supreme Court sent these matters back to the lower courts for an initial review on the merits.

“That means it could be many months or years before the matter is resolved,” Ellins said. “In the meantime, I am mindful that I took an oath of office to uphold the Constitution of the State of New Mexico as Doña Ana County Clerk. I am an attorney, and I have read the AG’s opinion, and I find it to be sound. After careful review of New Mexico’s laws it is clear that the state’s marriage statutes are gender neutral and do not expressly prohibit Doña Ana County from issuing marriage licenses to same-gender couples. Any further denial of marriage licenses to these couples violates the United States and New Mexico Constitution and the New Mexico Human Rights Act. Doña Ana County is upholding New Mexico law by issuing these marriage licenses, and I see no reason to make committed couples in Doña Ana County wait another minute to marry.”

Ellins said couples requesting marriage license will no longer be turned down, and starting today, licenses will be issued at the Doña Ana County Government Center For information about New Mexico marriage license requirements, call the Doña Ana County Clerk’s Office at (575) 647-7421.

This is a developing story.  EqualityOnTrial will update this post throughout the day as necessary.

3 Comments

  • 1. Equality On Trial »&hellip  |  August 27, 2013 at 10:47 am

    […] latest in a string of New Mexico counties beginning issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Dona Ana County and Santa Fe County began the process last week. As EqualityOnTrial has written previously, New […]

  • 2. Republicans in New Mexico&hellip  |  September 3, 2013 at 8:17 am

    […] Dona Ana County to stop the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Two weeks ago, the county clerk began allowing same-sex couples to apply for the licenses, because New Mexico doesn’t explicitly ban […]

  • 3. Common Seal Maker  |  January 29, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    They look lovely and i bet they were so much good.. anyway, thank you for sharing this guys.. keep on posting.

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