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New Mexico

N.M. county clerk raises nearly $30K for gay marriage defense fund

Saturday, September 14, 2013

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A southern New Mexico county clerk who is facing a challenge for his decision to issue same-sex marriage licenses has garnered close to $30,000 in donations.

Shari Vialpando-Hill, Las Cruces Sun-News/APGay 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.

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.

Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins has received more than 575 donations totaling more that $29,000.

That’s about 75 percent of the estimated $40,000 goal Ellins says will be needed to defend against a lawsuit filed by a group of state Republican legislators who’ve challenged in court his issuing of marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

Last 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.

Ellins issued the first licenses to same-sex couples on Aug. 21. He says around 225 licenses have been dispersed to date.

Donations for Ellins’ defense fund are being accepted here.

Associated Press contributed to this report.
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12 more reader comments:

  1. Anyone else noticing a difference. Clerk defending marriage equality. Paying for it with donations and out of pocket. Congressmen defending discriminatory law (doma) and tax Paterson front the bill.

    Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 6:07pm
  2. Also of note: he isn't under 30 years old ;-) <3

    Replied on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 9:58pm
  3. i actually fail to see what you mean. the congressmen who defended DOMA in court weren't under 30 either

    Replied on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 11:18pm
  4. But true he isn't a "younger whipper snapper" either

    Replied on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 11:19pm
  5. Good man. I respect him.

    Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 6:22pm
  6. Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 6:50pm
  7. Very.good

    Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 7:49pm
  8. Good Man.

    Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 8:29pm
  9. Why are you excluding everybody else by calling this “Gay marriage?” It’s not. It’s marriage equality for all people, regardless of gender, sex or sexual orientation. Please stop excluding us. We’ve worked harder for this, at greater, personal risk, than cis gendered, affluent white men would ever have to. Show some respect and stop erasing us.

    Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 9:28pm
  10. Um I think its the same thing it covers all gay lesbian and transgendered … stop trying to wage another war over a choice of words

    Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 9:46pm
  11. Thanks!!!

    Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2013 at 3:36am
  12. Wow! This is terrific. Keep fighting.

    Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2013 at 5:26pm