N.M. clerk loses bid to resume issuing marriage licenses

By admin

Originally published on Advocate.com August 26 2004 11:00 PM ET

A judge has rejected an effort by Sandoval County, N.M., clerk Victoria Dunlap to resume issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. State district judge Louis McDonald refused Wednesday to toss out state attorney general Patricia Madrid's request for a permanent injunction to prevent Dunlap from issuing the licenses.

Dunlap issued 66 same-sex licenses to gay and lesbian couples on February 20 but stopped late in the day after an advisory letter from Madrid declared such licenses illegal. Paul Livingston, Dunlap's attorney, had filed two motions on July 28 to dismiss the case.

Dunlap said she was not surprised by McDonald's decisions. "I'm disappointed, but we're on the right track," she said. "In the long run, we'll flesh out the facts and they will show we were being honest and made the right determination."

McDonald scheduled a 60-day mediation period for the two parties to try to resolve their differences before beginning the process of preparing for a trial. Asst. Dist. Atty. Chris Coppin said he would wait for Livingston to file an answer to the attorney general's complaint and then proceed to
mediation.