The New Mexico county clerk who played
a pivotal role in bringing marriage equality to state says he's
issued nearly 900 marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples in the
According to the Las
Cruces Sun-News, Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins has handed
out 896 licenses.
Ellins decided to independently act
against the state's law on August 21, 2013, saying that he had
concluded that the state's marriage statutes are “gender neutral
and do not expressly prohibit Dona Ana County from issuing marriage
licenses to same-gender couples.”
Nine counties quickly followed Ellins'
lead, sparking a legal battle that culminated in the state Supreme
Court ruling that legalized marriage equality across New Mexico.
Ellins said he handed out the most
licenses within the first two months of his announcement.
“I think we're over the hump,” he
said. “We peaked a long time ago.”
A similar fight is playing out today in
Colorado, where Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall is defying the
state in issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.
appeals court won't block Boulder from issuing marriage licenses to