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New Mexico Telegram » Featured, LGBT » County clerk resigns after same-sex marriage decision

County clerk resigns after same-sex marriage decision

Roosevelt_County_NM_sealA county clerk and chief chief deputy county clerk have resigned following the State Supreme Court decision that said same-sex marriage was allowed under New Mexico law.

The group ProgressNow New Mexico, a progressive group that was among those pushing for the legalization of same-sex marriage, first reported the news.

The group says that Roosevelt County Clerk Donna Carpenter and her chief deputy Janet Collins resigned today, the day after the landmark state Supreme Court decision.

ProgressNow New Mexico’s Pat Davis said his organization respected the “tough decision.”

“In the end, their decision to resign is honorable if they feel that they are unable to execute their duties under the law,” Davis said. “All of our county clerks deserve credit for coming together to ask for a definitive decision on this issue of equality and we look forward to every clerk in the state offering licenses to every loving couple in their county.”

Other clerks have outlined their opposition to issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the past few months.

Carpenter was one of the county clerks who said she did not have the authority to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples. This was after a judge ordered the Santa Fe County Clerk to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the first time a county clerk provided such licenses with the blessing of the courts in the state’s history.

From the News-Tribune article:

“It needs to go through District Court and proceed through the appellate process,” said Carpenter before she would issue same-sex marriage licenses.

Now that the courts have ruled on the issue, Carpenter has reportedly decided to resign.

At the time of that interview, Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins had already begun issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In 2004, dozens of couples received marriage licenses in Sandoval County before the Attorney General said the clerk should stop issuing them.

It is now up to the Roosevelt County Commission to appoint a new county clerk.

Written by

Matthew Reichbach has blogged about New Mexico politics since 2006. Matthew was a co-founder of New Mexico FBIHOP with his brother and part of the original hirings at the groundbreaking website the New Mexico Independent. Matthew has covered events such as the Democratic National Convention and Netroots Nation. In addition to politics, Matthew is an avid sports fan, especially of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and TV fan.

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