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Las Cruces, New Mexico, Begins Issuing Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

Jim Burroway

August 21st, 2013

Doña Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins has been mulling the move since June, when New Mexico Attorney General Gary King issued an opinion saying that the state’s practice of banning same-sex marraige was likely unconstitutional, particularly since the wording of the law itself is gender neutral. At the time, King advised County Clerks to continue to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples until the courts could weigh in on the issue. He then refused to defend the law before the state Supreme Court, which last Friday sent the matter down to local courts to review. That’s when Ellins decided to act:

“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.”

Comments

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Paul Douglas
August 21st, 2013 | LINK

Now that is Good News for Modern Man!

F Young
August 22nd, 2013 | LINK

The Attorney General has stated that he will not challenge this move by the Doña Ana county clerk, OR THE CLERK OF ANY OTHER COUNTY. So, this may spread further in Arizona.

GeorgeA
August 22nd, 2013 | LINK

Um, Arizona is no longer a county in the New Mexico Territory. In 1912, Arizona and New Mexico were brought into the Union together, for political parity, Arizona being strongly democratic and New Mexico relentlessly republican.
New Mexicans can marry without gender restriction, but same-gender couples have to travel to Las Cruces to obtain the license.

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