A New Mexico lesbian couple who married last week has asked a
judge to have their marriage recognized by the state.
The request comes following decisions in two counties to begin
issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
On Wednesday, Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins announced that he
would begin issuing such licenses. Two days later, Santa Fe County
Clerk Geraldine Salazar was ordered by a judge to begin issuing
licenses to gay couples or explain her reasons for not doing so to
Salazar said that she welcomed the ruling and kept her office open
late to accommodate a rush of requests. The first couple received a
license at 1:30 PM, ahead of 48 additional couples by the day's end.
Salazar's office had issued an additional 64 marriage licenses to gay
couples by noon on Monday, the
One to the couples who married on Friday were Jen Roper and
Angelique Neuman, a Pojoaque couple together 21 years. The women
exchanged vows in the lobby of the cancer center at Christus St.
Vincent Regional Medical Center.
Roper, who is suffering from a life-threatening form of brain
cancer, had earlier filed an emergency request with New Mexico's
Second Judicial District Court to let her legally marry her partner.
Friday's unrelated ruling resolved securing a license from the
At a hearing scheduled for Monday, Roper's lawyers are expected to
ask the court to recognize her marriage.
Without a law specifically prohibiting or legalizing nuptials for
gay couples, proponents have argued that the state's laws on marriage
are gender neutral and have turned to the courts to resolve the
State Attorney General Gary King, a Democrat, has called the prohibition
unconstitutional, while Governor Susana Martinez, a Republican, has
so far only reiterated her opposition to marriage equality.
However, a group of Republican lawmakers is planning to file a
lawsuit to stop Dona Ana County from issuing additional marriage
licenses to gay couples.