A lawsuit asking Sandoval County Clerk Eileen Garbagni to issue a
marriage license to a lesbian couple has been put on hold for now.
According to the Rio
Rancho Observer, District Judge George Eichwald has decided
to wait on the outcome of a New Mexico Supreme Court case before
issuing a ruling.
“He said it made more sense to wait to see what the state
Supreme Court had to say,” Sandoval County spokesman Sidney Hill
said. “He didn't want to act and have something potentially
The high court has agreed to hear a case related to whether New
Mexico's marriage laws, which are phrased in a gender-neutral manner,
prohibit gay couples from marriage.
Numerous attempts to either legalize or outlaw gay nuptials in the
state have failed to gain traction in recent years.
The debate turned into action on August 21, when Dona Ana County
Clerk Lynn Ellins decided the question independently and started
issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. Since then, seven
additional counties, representing nearly 60 percent of the state's
population, have joined Dona Ana in issuing such licenses. Some of
the counties were ordered to act by a district judge.
The state Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on October 23.
Mexico clerk raises nearly $30K to cover legal bills in gay marriage