Nearly 600 individuals have answered a New Mexico county clerk's
plea for donations to help defray the cost of defending his decision
to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
Dona Ana county clerk Lynn Ellins sparked a small revolution when
he announced on August 21 that New Mexico's marriage laws, which are
phrased in a gender-neutral manner, did not prohibit gay couples from
marrying. Seven counties, representing nearly 60 percent of the
state's population, have joined Dona Ana in issuing such licenses.
Mexico could legalize gay marriage as early as next month.)
A group of Republican lawmakers, led by state Senator William
Sharer, have sued to block Ellins from issuing additional licenses.
Mexico GOPer William Sharer: Gay men should stop “whoring,” marry
Ellins' office put out a request for donations to cover the cost
of legal representation.
Ellins said that he “felt it was inappropriate” to use county
resources to pay the legal fees and that taxpayers who do not agree
with his decision should not be burdened with the bill, estimated to
As of Saturday, nearly 600 contributors have pledged nearly
$30,000, roughly 75 % of the goal, through a
website set up by ProgressNow New Mexico dedicated to raising the
funds. Contributions are also being accepted at Ellins' office.