Friday, February 20, 2004
New Mexico county OKs same-sex marriage licenses
By Susan Montoya Bryan
Feb. 20, 2004 | BERNALILLO, N.M. (AP) -- A lesbian couple was issued a marriage license and exchanged vows outside the courthouse Friday as other same-sex couples lined up for their chance to tie the knot.
At least a half-dozen gay and lesbian couples waited outside the Sandoval County courthouse after county clerk Victoria Dunlap began issuing marriage licenses for same-sex couples.
The move came just over a week after San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to thousands of gay couples in a direct challenge to California law.
Dunlap said she made the decision after county attorney David Mathews said New Mexico law is unclear.
This has nothing to do with politics or morals," she said. "If there are no legal grounds that say this should be prohibited, I can't withhold it. This office won't say no until shown it's not permissible."
NOTE: New Mexico has no law explicitly excluding same-sex marriage.... the other states that do not have such laws are Wyoming, Oregon, New York, Maryland, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin.
NOTE2: More trouble for Democrats if Gov.Bill Richardson of New Mexico is the Veep candidate.
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