Gay Marriage

NM County Licenses Same-Sex Marriage Ahead of Legal Change

The state's AG plans no opposition

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A county clerk in southern New Mexico began handing out marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples on Wednesday, in a move the state's attorney general said he would not seek to stop as courts weigh lawsuits by same-sex couples seeking to wed.

Doña Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins told Reuters in a phone interview that his office by mid-afternoon had issued about 35 same-sex marriage licenses.

He said the first same-sex couple that walked in to obtain a license said they had waited 31 years to wed.

"Maybe I'm jumping the gun, but so be it," Ellins said, adding he supports gay marriage because he believes "equal protection should apply to everyone."