Now that Dona Ana County in New Mexico is issuing same-sex marriage licenses and State Attorney General Gary King has said that he won’t challenge the county’s move, because “the state’s marriage statutes are gender neutral and do not expressly prohibit issuing marriage licenses to same-gender couples. A New Mexico district judge has ordered the Santa Fe County clerk to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, after she had refused to do so.
The order issued late on Thursday by Judge Sarah Singleton comes in a lawsuit by two Santa Fe men. It represents the first time a New Mexico judge has ruled that gay and lesbian couples can be married, said Rep. Brian Egolf, a lawyer representing the men. The order mandates that Santa Fe County Clerk Geraldine Salazar issue the marriage licenses or appear in court to tell the judge why that shouldn’t happen.
Meanwhile coming on the heels of Judge Singleton’s order New Mexico Republican Sen. William Sharer of Farmington along with two dozen GOP lawmaker will file a lawsuit by the end of next week, seeking a court order to stop Santa Dora County Clerk Lynn Ellins from issuing the marriage licenses.
“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.
Eliis said he decided to go forward with issuing the same-sex marriage licenses after reading the states statutes and determining that “any further denial of marriage licenses to these couples violates the United States and New Mexico Constitution and the New Mexico Human Rights Act.”
So far over 100 gay couples have already gotten their licenses.
Santa Dora County Clerk Lynn Ellis is a hero.