Judge complies with order
SANTA FE, N.M. -- A judge has ordered Santa Fe County Clerk Geraldine Salazar to issue marriage licenses to same-gender couples in response to a lawsuit filed by two gay men.
District Judge Sarah Singleton issued the order late Thursday, just days after another County Clerk had begin issuing marriage licenses to same-gender couples. Doña Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins began issuing the licenses to same-gender couples on Wednesday morning.
New Mexico is the only state in the U.S. that has no rules governing same-gender weddings. State Attorney General Gary King has refused to intervene in the marriage issue, saying that he believes the law violates the equal-protection clause in the U.S. Constitution.
Thursday's order is the first time that a district judge in New Mexico has ruled that gay and lesbian couples can marry legally.
Salazar must issue the licenses or was told to appear in Singleton's court on Sept. 26 to explain why she disobeyed the order.
Later today, Salazar began issuing licenses to same-gender couples as well as opposite-gender couples.