NM County Clerk Issues Same Sex Marriage Licenses

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A county clerk in New Mexico is issuing marriage licenses to gay couples despite legal challenges over same-sex marriage in the state.

Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellis said he has issued about 35 same-sex marriage licenses.

New Mexico residents have never voted to ban same-sex marriage and state law does not expressly permit or prohibit such unions.

In 2004, the county clerk in Sandoval County, N.M., began issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples but stopped after then-state Attorney Gen. Patricia Madrid declared the licenses invalid. A court also later ordered the clerk to stop.

Two gay couples seeking the right to marry have filed lawsuits against the state. The lawsuits are working their way through the state's court system.
    
The state's current Attorney Gen. Gary King said the licenses could become invalid again if the state supreme court rules same-sex marriage is not allowed.

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