NM clerks should follow marriage license laws: State law reserves licenses for one man, one woman


Voices for Family Values

Contact:  Chris Donnelly, chris@vffv.org505-577-5399


NM clerks should follow marriage license laws

State law reserves licenses for one man, one woman


SANTA FE, N.M. — Voices for Family Values is calling upon all county clerks in New Mexico to follow state law instead of the desires of Santa Fe Mayor David Coss with regard to marriage licenses.

Coss and Santa Fe City Attorney Geno Zamara are falsely claiming that state law allows people of the same sex to marry each other even though the law hasn’t changed since a New Mexico court ruled otherwise in 2004.

“Civil servants should not think they are above the law,” said Gary Risley, Esq., of Voices for Family Values. “New Mexico law requires an application to get married in our state, and that application, by state law, calls for a ‘male’ and a ‘female’ applicant. Elected officials simply cannot make up the law as they go. New Mexico law is clear: marriage can only be between people of the opposite sex.”

In 2004, a Sandoval County clerk decided, in violation of state law, to issue marriage licenses to people of the same sex. Patricia A. Madrid, who was then state attorney general, immediately demanded that the clerk stop. The New Mexico attorney general’s office has the legal duty to defend state law.

The matter then went to state court. The court agreed with the attorney general and ordered the clerk to not issue any additional marriage licenses to members of the same sex. Despite this, Coss and Zamara recently called on Santa Fe clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Risley pointed out that no change to state law has taken place since 2004 when the attorney general and a state court ruled that public officials cannot bypass state law. He explained that neither individual public officials nor the courts have the right to unilaterally change the state’s marriage laws.

“One city’s mayor cannot change state law on his own, regardless of the issue involved,” Risley said. “This issue was decided in 2004. The attorney general said that New Mexico law only allows marriage for a man and a woman. The New Mexico courts agreed. Santa Fe’s mayor is not above the law or the democratic process that gives us our laws.”

Voices for Family Values is a non-partisan, non-denominational organization dedicated to the promotion of traditional family values in New Mexico.


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