Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Taos County Latest to Allow Gay Marriage

Hard to imagine that just a week ago there was no gay marriage in New Mexico. Now there are six counties in the state that are issuing or about to start issuing marriage licenses to homosexual couples.
Dale Schuette, center, and his partner Reg Stark, right,
rush to hug Taos County Clerk Anna Martínez.
Photo by Tina Larkin, Taos News 

Hopping on what has become a gay marriage bandwagon Tuesday morning were San Miguel and Valencia counties. And later in the afternoon, according to my paper's sister paper The Taos News, Taos County had joined them.

According to the story by reporter Andrew Oxford:

Taos County Clerk Anna Martínez will begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Wednesday morning (Aug. 27) following an order from the Eighth Judicial District Court. 
Dale Schuette and Reg Stark were turned away when they applied for a  marriage license at the clerk's office Monday morning (Aug. 26). 

The clerk cited the ambiguity of New Mexico law in rejecting the couple's request.
The couple filed a petition for a writ of mandamus seeking a court  order Tuesday (Aug. 27) and were granted a hearing that afternoon. ... 

During the hearing, (Judge Jeff) McElroy said Schuette and Stark had legal  standing to marry in Taos County but were only denied a license due  to their gender. McElroy said New Mexico law did not prohibit the couple from marrying and signed the writ of mandamus commanding Martínez to issue the couple a license or present a legal argument why she could not. 

Martínez said she did not intend to challenge the ruling. ...

Meanwhile, I spoke with two county clerks today -- Sharon Stover of Los Alamos County and Eileen Garbagni who said they would not be issuing licenses to same-sex couples until they receive a court order. But Garbagni added, "I'm sure eventually, I'll be doing it."

In case you've lost count, the other counties allowing gay marriage are Santa Fe, Dona Ana and Bernalillo.