Three More New Mexico Counties Start Issuing Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

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"Three More New Mexico Counties Start Issuing Same-Sex Marriage Licenses"

Dale Schuette and Reg Stark rush to hug Taos County Clerk Anna Martinez after winning a court order to marry.

Dale Schuette and Reg Stark rush to hug Taos County Clerk Anna Martinez after winning a court order to marry.

CREDIT: Tina Larkin, Taos News

Marriage equality in New Mexico continues to advance at a feverish pace. On Tuesday, clerks in Valencia and San Miguel Counties said that they, too, would begin offering marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Late Tuesday afternoon, a court order from the Eighth Judicial District Court added Taos County to the list as well, and County Clerk Anna Martinez will begin offering them Wednesday morning.

Combined with Santa Fe, Bernalillo, and Doña Ana Counties, this brings the total to six New Mexico counties now offering marriage equality. Together, those six counties are home to 1,172,581 of the state’s population, or 56.2 percent. More counties could soon follow along the momentum.

A group of Republican state lawmakers announced intentions to file suit to block marriage equality, accusing the county clerks of being “little dictators” who have changed the law. There isn’t much law to support their case, though, because nothing in New Mexico law bans same-sex marriage or stipulates that marriage must be between a man and a woman. In addition, several of these county clerks only began issuing licenses in response to court orders. In other words, the county clerks aren’t inventing law; they’re simply following it.

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