ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is reacting to a county clerk’s office’s issuing of marriage licenses to dozens of same-sex couples by repeating her call for a statewide vote on a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.
Martinez is an opponent of same-sex marriage and she says she continues to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.
A statement that Martinez issued late Wednesday says any change regarding marriage should be made by the people of New Mexico.
The Dona Ana County Clerk’s office starting issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Wednesday and issued more than 40 before closing for the day.
Later Wednesday afternoon, New Mexico Attorney General Gary King said he had no plans to challenge the move by Dona Ana County or another other county who might allow the practice.
New Mexico’s marriage law as written is gender-neutral, and there is no provision specifically authorizing or prohibiting same-sex marriage. County clerks have denied marriage licenses to same-sex couples in part because the marriage license application form in state statutes contains sections for male and female applicants only.
On Tuesday, a same-sex couple from Santa Fe asked the New Mexico Supreme Court to streamline the handling of lawsuits seeking to legalize gay marriage in the state.
State Rep. Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, a lawyer who represents the couple, said the goal is to get a quick lower court decision and clear the way for an expedited ruling by the state’s highest court.
The justices were being asked to consolidate all cases involving the issue and assign a district court judge in Santa Fe, who would issue a ruling that would go directly to the state Supreme Court for review.