The New Mexico supreme court on Thursday rejected a county clerk's request to issue more marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The court, in a one-page order without comment, unanimously denied a request from Sandoval County clerk Victoria Dunlap to lift a temporary restraining order that prevents her from handing out more licenses to gay couples. Dunlap issued more than 60 same-sex marriage licenses on February 20 but stopped that same day when Attorney General Patricia Madrid declared that gay marriages were not legal under state law. Dunlap contends New Mexico laws support marriage for same-sex couples and that she should be allowed to resume issuing licenses to them. The attorney general says state law limits marriage in New Mexico to a man and a woman.
The supreme court, in a March 31 action, extended a restraining order that had been granted by a district court after Dunlap threatened to resume issuing same-sex marriage licenses. The same-sex marriage dispute remains pending in a case before state district judge Louis P. McDonald. Dunlap, whose term expires at the end of the year, had asked the court to dismiss the temporary restraining order, arguing that it had been in place longer than allowed under procedural rules. Madrid, in written arguments filed with the court earlier this week, said the supreme court's March 31 order was not subject to time limits governing district court procedures for restraining orders in civil cases.