The Albuquerque Journal reports:
Los Alamos County was on the brink Thursday of becoming the seventh New Mexico county to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, while county clerks around the state looked to the state Supreme Court for a decisive, statewide ruling on gay marriage’s legality. Same-sex marriage advocates saw another regional victory when a judge in the Santa Fe-based 1st Judicial District ordered Los Alamos County Clerk Sharon Stover to either issue a marriage license to a lesbian couple that had been denied earlier this week or show up in court next week to argue why she should not have to do so. “We consider it a significant victory for marriage equality,” Santa Fe attorney John Day, who represents the Los Alamos couple, said of the ruling.
Meanwhile, ABC News reports on the GOP’s long-threatened lawsuit to block weddings:
A group of Republican legislators has brought the first lawsuit to try to block gay marriage in New Mexico since six counties began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the past week. The lawsuit targets one southern New Mexico county — Dona Ana — but could provide another route for the dispute to reach New Mexico’s highest court for a final statewide resolution. The New Mexico Association of Counties and county clerks statewide have said they plan a separate appeal to the state Supreme Court to try to get a decision on whether gay marriage is legal in New Mexico.
ABC also reports that more than two hundred same-sex couples have Artie taken advantage of the marriage licenses in Dona Ana County alone.
And the Dallas voice has some background on how we got here so quickly:
The Santa Fe city attorney drafted a memo saying his reading of the state constitution allowed same-sex marriage. Gender is not specified in New Mexico marriage laws. He encouraged the Santa Fe mayor and city council to vote on a resolution supporting same-sex marriage, urging the county clerk to begin issuing licenses.
“That’s the same way I read the Constitution,” Williams said [Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn] Ellins told him at the time… “I took an oath to uphold the Constitution,” Ellins said. He ordered applications and licenses that were gender-neutral, shared his plans with a small number of staff members to avoid a pre-emptive injunction and rolled out marriage equality on Aug. 21.
On Aug. 22, a district judge ordered Santa Fe’s county clerk to begin issuing licenses the next day marking the first time a judge ordered marriage equality in the state. In Albuquerque, the Bernalillo County clerk had 1,000 gender-neutral marriage licenses printed in case a judge in that county extended marriage equality to the most populous part of the state. That happened Monday, Aug. 26, after a same-sex couple filed suit. The couple had married in Santa Fe and one of the spouses is dying of cancer. They filed a suit asking that their marriage be recognized in Bernalillo County on the death certificate. The judge not only ordered the marriage recognized, but declared same-sex marriage legal, and ordered the county clerk to begin issuing licenses.
It’s fascinating the way this whole thing evolved – read the whole thing at the link above.