New Mexico: Dona Ana County issues marriage licenses to same-sex couplesAround the Nation, Breaking News, Online Only, Top Highlights Wednesday, August 21st, 2013
Same-sex couples in Doña Ana County, NM began receiving marriage licenses this morning after the county clerk announced he was issuing them based on a legal opinion endorsed earlier this year by the City of Santa Fe and a recent filing by the attorney general stating that New Mexico’s laws demanded that the state issue licenses to same-sex couples.
ProgressNow NM reported that County Clerk Lynn Ellins began issuing the licenses at 8 a.m. this morning from his office.
“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.
In April, the City of Santa Fe passed a resolution outlining the case for same-sex marriages to be recognized under current state law. The resolution acknowledged that New Mexico law recognizes marriage as a contract between two gender-neutral parties and that the state’s Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on sex. The state’s marriage license form provides for a bride and groom, though statue permits clerks to use a form that substantially complies with that format. Ellins issued licenses in the same format but without gender-specific references.
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