News (USA)

Grant County becomes 8th N.M. county to issue same-sex marriage licenses

SILVER CITY, N.M. — Four same-sex couples were waiting at the County Clerk’s office in Silver City, N.M., on Monday to be the first to obtain their marriage licenses when Grant County became the eighth New Mexico county to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

Silver City Sun-News
Joshua Reeves and Kyle Meredith, together 35 years, are among the couples applying for their marriage license at the Grant County Clerk’s Office Monday, Sept. 9.

The Grant County Clerk’s Office had previously denied marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Aug. 27, and Clerk Robert Zamarripa said he would wait for a court order before issuing any marriage licenses to gay couples.

That court order came last Tuesday when District Court Judge J.C. Robinson ruled that Grant Count was to issue marriage licenses “on a nondiscriminatory basis” to same-sex couples.

Joshua Reeves and Kyle Meredith had been waiting the longest for the historic moment – 35 years, according to the Silver City Sun-News. “All I can say is after 35 years of being together, it’s about time we got married,” Meredith said.

Grant County was to be the seventh county to issue same-sex marriage licenses, but a day after Robinson’s ruling, District Court Judge Sheri Raphaelson made a similar ruling in Los Alamos County, also ordering the county clerk to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Los Alamos County began issuing the licenses immediately.

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Prior to last weeks rulings in Grant and Los Alamos Counties, six of the state’s 33 counties were issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Last week, the New Mexico Association of Counties and clerks statewide filed a petition asking the state’s highest court to decide the issue, and to stop the spread of lawsuits that have resulted in court rulings ordering county officials to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

On Friday, the The five-member state Supreme Court granted an Oct. 23 hearing in a case that could eventually determine the constitutionality of marriage equality statewide.

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