N.M. clerk who supported gay marriages loses election

BY admin

June 02 2004 11:00 PM ET

The New Mexico county clerk who issued marriage licenses to dozens of gay couples in February overwhelmingly lost her bid for a county commission seat.

With all ballots counted, unofficial results on Wednesday showed Victoria Dunlap with 76 votes to 199 for Chris Espinosa, Sandoval County election officials said. The results will be not be official until state election officials certify the votes in about three weeks. Dunlap did not immediately respond to calls to her home or office seeking comment Wednesday.

Dunlap issued marriage licenses to 66 same-sex couples eight days after San Francisco officials began marrying hundreds of gay couples. Nearly 4,000 couples were married there between February 12 and March 11, when California's supreme court halted the weddings.

Dunlap insisted she was simply following the law and argued that New Mexico's marriage law is not gender-specific. She stopped issuing the licenses when she received a warning from Atty. Gen. Patricia Madrid, who said the licenses were "invalid under state law." Dunlap is the county's first Republican clerk since the early 1960s. Her term ends this year, and she chose to run for the commission instead of seeking reelection.

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