State, county officials defying NM’s marriage law

Charlie Butts,Jody Brown ( Monday, August 26, 2013

While a case currently before the New Mexico Supreme Court could determine if the Land of Enchantment is the next state to legalize homosexual “marriage,” some duly elected officials there are defying the state’s current marriage law.

Duly elected officials – e.g., governors, attorneys general, county clerks – should enforce laws as written and not assume the role of the courts.


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The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit to legalize homosexual marriage and that case is now before the New Mexico Supreme Court. Chris Plante of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) points out his organization's concern.

“The [New Mexico] attorney general [Gary King] has refused to defend the law as it stands and to fight the case,” he points out, “and so New Mexico could very well follow in the way of California, as well as Pennsylvania, where attorney generals refused to step in and defend the law as it stands.”

Plante notes that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder refused to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act, Pennsylvania's attorney general refused to defend that state's law, and California's governor and attorney general declined to defend Proposition 8 – all "defying their oath of office and betraying the people who put them into office and becoming the law unto themselves.”

NOM is asking New Mexico residents to press Governor Susana Martinez (R) to intervene and defend marriage as between one man and one woman. Attorney General King – who plans to seek the Democratic nomination for governor next year and very likely run against Martinez – also declined to step in when Doña Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins began issuing same-gender marriage licenses last Wednesday.

Plante, Chris (NOM-RI)“The good news out of that is that over two dozen state legislators have now decided to intervene and take the county clerk to court to stop this lawlessness,” Plante explains. “And no matter what you think about the marriage issue, we all ought to be concerned about the rule of law in our country.”

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When Ellins began issuing same-sex marriage licenses, King’s office issued a statement reiterating its position that the marriage law in New Mexico is unconstitutional,and stating the AG had no authority over county clerks in the state and had no intention of bringing any action against Ellins.

According to The Associated Press, nearly 100 homosexual couples – some from out of state – have obtained a license since Ellins began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in defiance of New Mexico state law. Most have been getting married on the spot before any courts or state officials can intervene.

AP also reported Friday afternoon that Santa Fe County, the third-largest in the state, had begun issuing marriage license to same-sex couples as well. The first homosexual couple to get a license there was a county commissioner and former Democratic state senator and her partner who is a lobbyist for New Mexico-based “gay rights” group.

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