GOP Lawmakers Prepare Lawsuit To Block Gay Marriage Licenses In New Mexico

A large group of Republican lawmakers in New Mexico are considering filing suit to block county clerks from issuing same-sex marriage licenses, TPM has learned.

The group of legislators was poised to file suit Friday to enjoin Doña Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins from granting any more marriage licenses to same sex couples, something Ellins had begun doing earlier this week. But the group is now reconsidering its options after a second county clerk was orderd by a state court to begin issuing same sex licenses. That order, by District Judge Sarah Singleton to Santa Fe County Clerk Geraldine Salazar, was issued on Thursday in a lawsuit brought by a gay couple seeking to get married in the state.

State Sen. Bill Sharer (R-NM) told TPM that he and roughly 30 of his colleagues in the state legislature had been planning to file an injunction to stop Ellins from continuing to issue marriage licenses. Now lawyers on behalf of Sharer are considering new legal options in response to Singleton’s court order.

“Does the county clerk simply get to decide what the law says? If this county clerk gets to decide what the law is, then what’s to decide some other county clerk somewhere else in the country from deciding what the law is?”  Sharer said to TPM on Friday.