N.M. County Clerk Becomes 8th To Issue Same-Sex Marriage License


A Republican county clerk issued Los Alamos County, N.M.’s first same-sex marriage license Wednesday after a judge ruled she must in district court.

Los Alamos County Clerk Sharon Stover declined to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple last week, telling TPM on Friday that she would review a judge’s order to issue licenses with her attorneys. On Tuesday, she decided to fight the order.

For Wednesday’s ruling, district court Judge Sheri Raphaelson based her decision on the language of the New Mexico statute addressing marriage licenses and stated that the law refers only to “the couple” without making any gender distinctions, according to the Albuquerque Journal. Raphaelson ruled Stover, as the clerk, “has no discretion” when a couple asks for a marriage license.

The ruling made Los Alamos the eighth New Mexico county to begin offering same-sex marriage licenses, according to the Journal.

Correction: This post originally described Stover as having defied the court order. In fact, the judge had directed the clerk to either issue licenses or appear at a court hearing to make the legal arguments for why licenses should not be issued. Stover decided to argue the case in court and the judge ruled against her.