US: New Mexico clerk issuing same-sex marriage licences asks for support for legal case against him

PinkNews logo surrounded by illustrated images including a rainbow, unicorn, PN sign and pride flag.

A county clerk from Dona Ana in the US State of New Mexico, the first to begin issuing same-sex marriage licences, has asked for financial support in order to defend himself in a lawsuit from Republican lawmakers.

The county clerk for Doña Ana County, Lynn Ellins, released a statement two weeks ago saying that New Mexico’s marriage laws were “gender neutral” and to ban same-sex couples from marrying violated the United States Constitution and he went onto say that “I see no reason to make committed couples in Dona Ana County wait another minute to marry.”

Ellins has said he hopes that equal marriage advocates will help pay legal fees for the lawsuit, as he “felt it was inappropriate”, to use county resources, as it is an issue which divides voters.

The group of Republican lawmakers last week filed a lawsuit in the 3rd Judicial District Court alleging that Ellins had overstepped his authority, and that he had violated the state’s consitution.

The clerk’s Facebook page begain requesting legal defence donations starting at $5 (£3.20).

The situation regarding equal marriage in New Mexico is becoming gradually more heated, as a group of counties yesterday filed to ask the state’s Supreme Court to rule to give clarification on equal marriage.

State District Judge Alan Malott handed down a ruling last Monday, which stated that equal marriage should be made legal, as he ruled that prohibiting same-sex marriages is a form of sexual discrimination.

Governor Susana Martinez said that she believes the issue of same-sex marriage should be decided by the population of New Mexico, rather than courts or legislature.

The Democrats said that they believed that marriages from the certificates since the ruling will stand, and that they will fight legal action by GOP lawmakers.