Doña Ana County Clerk Begins Issuing Marriage Licenses To Same-Sex Couples In New Mexico
Taking a cue from a colleague in Pennsylvania, the Doña Ana County, New Mexico Clerk Lynn Ellins began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples this morning.
Same-sex couples in Dona Ana County New Mexico began receiving marriage licenses this morning from the county clerk who announced he was issuing them based on a widely discussed legal opinion, endorsed by the attorney general last month, that the state’s equal protection laws required the state to provide the same benefits of marriage extended to other couples.
“We couldn’t be happier for the couples in Dona Ana County – and those across the state who will soon, no doubt, make their way there – who have waited far too long for public sentiment and political courage to evolve far enough to publicly acknowledge their relationships as being just as equal as that of their neighbors,” says Patrick Davis, Executive Director of ProgressNow New Mexico, a progressive advocacy group working to advance marriage equality in the state.
Clerk Ellins apparently started considering this move in the summer of 2012, when there was a rumble in the state government over concerns that New Mexico's ban on same-sex marriage was illegal.