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Marriage Equality

Another N.M. County Ordered to Issue Marriage Licenses

Another N.M. County Ordered to Issue Marriage Licenses


Grant County, N.M., willingly joined the list of counties with marriage equality, while Los Alamos County was ordered to do so Wednesday morning.

Grant County has become the seventh county in New Mexico to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, while a Los Alamos County clerk was ordered by a judge to also issue a license to a couple who requested one.

Sharon Stover of Los Alamos County initially said she would refuse to distribute marriage licenses to gay couples, even with a court order to do so, according to Think Progress. She said the state-issued forms currently say "bride" and "groom," which is why she is denying the licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

"I respect and value the rights of each person to be treated as equally and fairly as an individual as our Constitution states," she said in a statement. "Clearly, the marriage license in State statute has not been updated since 1961. It does not work for same sex couples, and that is a matter for the legislature to fix, not a Clerk and not a District Judge."

However, after Stover defended her stance in court Wednesday morning, a judge ordered that she must issue the licenses.

According to KOB News reporter Erica Zucco, the judge said the statute of the law "trumps the form."

In addition to Los Alamos and Grant counties, the remaining jurisdictions to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples are Santa Fe, Bernalillo, Taos, Valencia, San Miguel, and Dona Ana counties. There are 33 total counties in New Mexico.

Meanwhile, 15 Republican lawmakers in New Mexico are involved in a lawsuit against Dona Ana County clerk Lynn Ellins, who voluntarily began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The lawmakers say Ellins overstepped the boundaries of the county clerk's position, Reuters reports.

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