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New Mexico

N.M. county clerk to donate unused legal funds to marriage equality campaign

Sunday, January 12, 2014

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A southern New Mexico county clerk who faced a lawsuit for issuing same-sex marriage licenses is donating the remainder of his defense fund to a marriage equality advocacy campaign.

Shari Vialpando-Hill, Las Cruces Sun-News/AP
Doña Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins.

Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins plans to give the money to New Mexico Unites for Marriage Equality, reports The Las Cruces Sun-News.

Ellins, who announced his decision Friday, says a several thousand dollars are left.

In September, a website raised $33,067 for Ellins’ defense in a lawsuit filed by a group of state legislators challenging the issue of the licenses. Another $3,000 came from mail-in donations.

Dona Ana County officials say Ellins’ legal expenses were about $31,000.

On Aug. 21, Ellins was the first county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples after determining that there were no laws specifically prohibiting him from doing so.

His actions ultimately led to a New Mexico Supreme Court ruling in December that barring same-sex couples from getting marriage licenses was unconstitutional.

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

  1. Faith in humanity is coming back…..slowly but surely

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 1:33am
  2. Feel free to donate to me

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 1:52am
  3. Now that is a hero

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 1:58am
  4. The world needs more like him thank you sir for your support.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 1:58am
  5. Our 1st hero in 2014

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 2:05am
  6. Admirable act ….. A real American who fight for equality in America thanks so much !!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 2:17am
  7. Yayyy :)

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 2:37am
  8. i personally dont agree with this, i think that you should donate your personal funds, not public funds.. although i agree with the cause, i know i would be pissed if someone did it and gave it to an anti-gay organization…

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 2:38am
  9. I am ok with this as long as the public funds are going to great causes like this. New Mexico has my support . moving towards the future of equality

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 2:52am
  10. Ah, yes there are a lot of really good people in the world. So glad to know that this county clerk is a good man.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 2:59am
  11. good man

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 3:16am
  12. God bless this man……………….

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 3:24am
  13. Great person. Others need to follow his thinking. Thank you.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 3:33am
  14. Nice man

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 3:43am
  15. good for him!!!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 3:43am
  16. Very classy gesture for sure.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 3:58am
  17. Thanks, Mr. Ellins

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:54am
  18. Erica. Your comment makes no sense. If you donate your money, you have no right to tell them what to do with the money. Don’t like it, don’t donate.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:02am
  19. Erica Wood did you read the article? The money he’s donating was given to him by private citizens so he could defend himself from some GOP lawmakers who were suing him.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 7:13am
  20. …and then we move-on to the political scene in Utah.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:05am
  21. thankyou!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:31am
  22. Love it!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 3:13pm
  23. The world needs more kind people like him.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:24pm