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New Mexico

N.M. clerk targeted by GOP lawkmakers seeks help in gay marriage lawsuit

County clerk launches legal fund to defend issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples
Friday, September 6, 2013

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The clerk of a New Mexico county who is facing a legal challenge over his decision to issue same-sex marriage licenses is seeking support for expenses.

Shari Vialpando-Hill, Las Cruces Sun-News/AP
Gay and lesbian couples flocked to southern New Mexico when Doña Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins announced on August 21 that his office was now issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins is hoping that backers of same-sex marriage will help pay legal fees from a pending lawsuit, filed by state Republican lawmakers.

Earlier this week, Ellins’ office started requesting legal defense donations, starting at $5.

Ellins says he “felt it was inappropriate” to use county resources to pay the legal fees, because the case involves polarizing topics.

Last week, a group of Republican legislators filed a civil suit in 3rd Judicial District Court, alleging that Ellins, a Democrat, overstepped his authority and violated the New Mexico Constitution.

As of Friday afternoon, more than 200 donations totaling $10,025 had been received.

Editor’s Note: Donations are accepted here.

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