Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Saturday, September 7, 2013

New Mexico County Clerks Bring Same-Sex Marriage to Forefront


As I have previously discussed, a Philadelphia register of wills will soon appear in court for issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Pennsylvania, a state that does not recognize such marriages.

Clerks in six New Mexico counties have been doing the same.  The first was Lynn Ellins, who became tired of waiting on the legislature and began issuing licenses on August 21 from his office in Las Cruces.  Five other country clerks followed after a court order by an Albuquerque judge gave them justification and permission. 

New Mexico is the only state with no statute explicitly barring or validating same-sex marriages.  The clerks have now joined a lawsuit brought by a same-sex couple before the New Mexico Supreme Court seeking a definitive ruling on the matter.

See Fernanda Santos & Heath Haussamen, Marriage Licenses for Same-Sex Couples Force Issue to Fore in New Mexico, The New York Times, Sept. 2, 2013.


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