Thursday, August 29, 2013

County Clerks Intervene in Gay Marriage Case

A district judge iu Albuquerque today approved a motion by New Mexico county clerks to intervening in the case the American Civil Liberties Union filed early this year on behalf of several lesbian couples denied marriage license in Bernalillo County.

Here's a news release from Santa Fe County Clerk Geraldine Salazar:

All 33 County Clerks voted yesterday via a Clerk’s Affiliate teleconference to move forward requesting the New Mexico Association of Counties (NMAC) to intervene on their behalf.  The NMAC Executive Board  voted (20 in favor, 0 voting against, with one abstention) to authorize Steve Kopelman and Daniel Ivey-Soto to file a motion to intervene in the Griego v. Toulouse Oliver and Salazar lawsuit in Bernalillo County involving the issuance of marriage licenses to same-gender couples.”   
Santa Fe County Clerk, Geraldine Salazar states, “today New Mexico County Clerks filed an unopposed motion to intervene requesting guidance from the New Mexico Supreme Court regarding same-gender marriage in New Mexico.”  The two major questions the Clerks have, “are all counties legally bound to issue marriage licenses to same-gender couples as a constitutional matter; and requesting clarification on whether Clerks have the authority to change the statutory marriage application form to gender neutral language.   “The Clerks also agreed to be named as interveners under the umbrella of the NMAC.” 

... Salazar states, “We want direction from the New Mexico Supreme Court.  I have been ordered by two district courts to issue same-gender marriage licenses and not ordered to change the statutory marriage application to gender neutrality.  I want clear judicial authority to do so.” 

Today at 2:27 p.m., the Clerks received information that Judge (Alan) Malott approved Intervenor status by NMAC and the 31 County Clerks not in the Griego v. Toulouse Oliver and Salazar case.  Daniel Ivey-Soto stated, “This is the first step on our way to the Supreme Court.” 
UPDATED 4 p.m. The American Civil Liberties Union just issued this response to the clerks' intervention:
“We believe that the county clerks intervening in our lawsuit puts New Mexico on an expedited path towards a statewide marriage solution which would provide more certainty for the same-sex couples who married in our state. We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will agree with the lower court decision which held that denying marriage to committed, loving same-sex couples is unconstitutional.”