Big news! This morning the New Mexico county of Dona Ana began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Via an alert from Progress Now New Mexico:
Same-sex couples in Doña Ana County began receiving marriage licenses this morning after the county clerk announced he was issuing them based on a legal opinion endorsed earlier this year by the City of Santa Fe and a recent filing by the attorney general stating that New Mexico’s laws demanded that the state issue licenses to same-sex couples. County Clerk Lynn Ellins began issuing the licenses at 8:00 am this morning from his office. At ProgressNowNM, we couldn’t be happier for the couples in Doña Ana County – and those across the state who will soon, no doubt, make their way there – who have waited far too long for public sentiment and political courage to evolve far enough to publicly acknowledge their relationships as being just as equal as that of their neighbors.Progress Now will be posting photos to their Facebook page. (Tipped by JMG reader Elise)
UPDATE: The Las Cruces Sun-News has a quote from the county clerk.
"I am mindful that I took an oath of office to uphold the Constitution of the State of New Mexico as Doña Ana County Clerk. I am an attorney, and I have read the AG's opinion, and I find it to be sound. After careful review of New Mexico's laws it is clear that the state's marriage statutes are gender neutral and do not expressly prohibit Doña Ana County from issuing marriage licenses to same-gender couples. Any further denial of marriage licenses to these couples violates the United States and New Mexico Constitution and the New Mexico Human Rights Act. Doña Ana County is upholding New Mexico law by issuing these marriage licenses, and I see no reason to make committed couples in Doña Ana County wait another minute to marry."