Updated: Santa Fe County Clerk to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses today at 2 pm.
“I am a fervent supporter of same-sex marriage in New Mexico and have always believed that the restrictive and antiquated statutes in our State must fall to principles of equal protection embodied in our Constitution," Santa Fe County Clerk Geraldine Salazar said in a statement today. "I have been frustrated recently wanting to issue licenses but being confronted with long standing statutes that do not permit it. Now that Judge Singleton has ordered me to issue a license to Messrs. Hanna and Hudson on constitutional grounds, I intend to do so and to issue a license to any same-sex couple who desires one and are otherwise qualified. By complying with the Judge’ s order we will be issuing licenses legally and will not continue to use limited county resources on further litigation.”
Couples seeking marriage licenses can come to Salazar's office downtown today. County offices are located at
Salazar's decision to issue the licenses comes after
District Judge Sarah Singleton
Santa Fe County Clerk Geraldine Salazar
grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples
or argue in court next month why she shouldn't do so.
The order caps an intense week of news regarding same-sex issues across New Mexico.
It all began Wednesday when
Doña Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins
began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after concluding that New Mexico's state constitution doesn't bar same-sex marriage. That same day,
likely Santa Fe mayoral candidate
Then yesterday, the
New Mexico Supreme Court
violated the state's Human Rights Act by refusing to photograph a gay couple based on religious beliefs. Then Republican legislators announced
from issuing same-sex marriage permits.
And now this.
Salazar, a Democrat,
her personal support for same-sex marriage
she also wouldn't issue marriage licenses
to same-sex couples u
nless the state Legislature or the court orders her to do so
The issue came to the headlines locally in March when
Santa Fe City Attorney Geno Zamora
the state constitution's genderless language already allows same-sex marriages
Attorney General Gary King
didn't come to that conclusion, but
stated earlier this week that he wouldn't interfere with Ellins' actions.
Singleton's decision pertains to a
filed by state Rep. Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, on behalf of a local couple. Although Egolf
for relief, this week, the high court declined to hear the case, sending it back to the district court.
: at 2:20 pm, Liz Stefanics and Linda Siegel officially became the first same-sex couple to be married in Santa Fe.