August 27, 2013
San Miguel County in New Mexico joins Valencia County as the latest in the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. San Miguel County Clerk Melanie Rivera has confirmed that she will issue new gender neutral marriage licenses later this week, though couples who don’t want to wait can receive a license today:
Rivera also stated that couples who did not wish to wait could apply and receive a license today. Until the new licenses arrive Rivera will make the changes to the old forms by hand.
Valencia County Clerk Peggy Carabajal has also discussed the change:
Valencia County Clerk Peggy Carabajal said she should have gender-neutral licenses ready by Wednesday. She also said she is willing to alter licenses if people want to get married Tuesday.
EqualityOnTrial has previously reported that three New Mexico counties have allowed same-sex couples to marry over the past few weeks:
Bernalillo County would be just the latest in a string of New Mexico counties beginning issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Dona Ana County and Santa Fe County began the process last week. As EqualityOnTrial has written previously, New Mexico lacks a law or constitutional amendment explicitly banning or affirming same-sex marriage. While the state attorney general has opined that current state statutes should be read to ban same-sex marriage, his opinion is non-binding. He has also suggested, even so, that the state constitution’s equal protection clause requires marriage equality.
Yesterday, a judge officially ordered Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties to allow same-sex couples to marry, after a hearing.
An earlier version of this post only discussed San Miguel County. The post was updated to add Valencia County’s announcement.
UPDATE (8:20 p.m.): According to KOB-TV, Taos County will also begin issuing marriage licenses: ”
Taos District Judge Jeff McElroy said the county clerk will likely not contest the decision in court and will begin issuing same sex marriage licenses soon.”