New Mexico Counties Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

Reprinted from The New Civil Rights Movement

by David Badash on August 27, 2013
in Marriage,News,Politics

There are now five counties in New Mexico that are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. It all started last week, when Lynn Ellins, the county clerk of Doña Ana, announced that as a lawyer, he had read a recent statement by the state Attorney General and a Santa Fe City Council resolution, and could find no reason to deny licenses to same-sex couples. Then on Friday, a New Mexico district court judge ordered the clerk of Santa Fe County to immediately begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. And then yesterday, a different New Mexico district court judge, in Albuquerque, ruled the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is “unconstitutional and unenforceable” and removed it from  Bernalillo County, where he has the authority to do so.

Finally, today, after Doña Ana, Santa Fe, and Bernalillo Counties all were issuing licenses to same-sex couples, two more counties jumped on board: Valencia County and shortly thereafter, San Miguel County, making five total.

“San Miguel County Clerk Melanie Rivera has confirmed that she will issue new gender neutral marriage licenses later this week, though couples who don’t want to wait can receive a license today,” Equality on Trial reports:

Rivera also stated that couples who did not wish to wait could apply and receive a license today. Until the new licenses arrive Rivera will make the changes to the old forms by hand.

Valencia County Clerk Peggy Carabajal has also discussed the change:

Valencia County Clerk Peggy Carabajal said she should have gender-neutral licenses ready by Wednesday. She also said she is willing to alter licenses if people want to get married Tuesday.

Stay tuned — how much of the state do you think will be supporting equality by the end of the week?

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