Bernalillo County is the third county in the state that is issuing same-sex marriage certificates after District Court Judge Alan Malott issued a writ of mandamus ordering county clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver to issue marriage certificates to same-sex couples.
Same-sex couples embraced and tears of joy streamed down their faces as the judge ruled New Mexico’s laws allow same-sex couples to marry in New Mexico.
This follows a similar ruling in Santa Fe County last week and the Doña Ana County Clerk issuing licenses on his own, without a court order, began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples last week.
Bernalillo County is the most populous county in the state.
Toulouse Oliver had said repeatedly that she personally supported same-sex marriage but would not issue licenses out of her office until a judge gave the OK.
Malott cited New Mexico’s anti-discrimination law in his ruling.
Malott also noted that New Mexico’s marriage law does not allow marriage between close family, minors and those not able to enter into a contract. The law is silent on the issue of same-sex couples.
NM Telegram is working to confirm if marriage licenses will begin being issued immediately to couples or if they will begin Wednesday.
Marriage licenses will begin being issued tomorrow morning. NM Telegram is told there will be a mass wedding on Civic Plaza at noon.
Marriages will begin at 8:00 am, as software must be updated to accommodate same-sex marriages.
Update 4:17 pm:
— Tina Jensen (@TinaJensenKRQE) August 26, 2013
Update 4:54 pm:
Sen. William Sharer, R-Farmington, has become the face of the oppsoiton to same=sex marriage in the state. He issued a statement after the district court ruling:
“Our legal team continues to review how to stop the usurping of the legislative function by some district court judges in regards to marriage in the state; and it continues to review how to stop the lawless actions of the Dona Ana County Clerk.
It is up the New Mexico State Legislature, with the consent of the Governor of New Mexico, to make laws and for county clerks and district court judges to abide by them. They do not make the laws.
It is inexplicable how a district court just today discovered a new definition of marriage in our laws, when our marriage law has not been changed in over a century.”
The Republican Party of Dona Ana County says to get the government out of marriage entirely.
Update 5:02 pm:
BernCo Clerk: “I’m very happy and proud to finally be issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples in Bernalillo County." #samesexmarriage
— Bernalillo County (@BernCounty) August 26, 2013
And the ruling was emailed to me:
The ACLU of New Mexico, which has been pushing for marriage equality, issued the following statements.
“Today was yet another powerful reminder that the march to justice is unstoppable and gaining momentum,” said NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell. “We joyful for our client couples and for every same-sex couple in New Mexico. The freedom to marry is about love, commitment, family and security. These are universal values and they are center stage today.”
Said ACLU-NM Executive Director Peter Simonson: “This is a great day to be a resident of New Mexico. Our state is now on the brink of joining the growing list of states who live and honor the values of family, liberty and love. Every family in this state is made richer by this step toward justice for all.”