Posted at: 06/06/2013 4:01 PM
Updated at: 06/06/2013 6:56 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4
New Mexico’s Attorney General says county clerks should not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because state law is unclear.
Attorney General Gary King stopped short of issuing an official legal opinion on same-sex marriage, but his advice to county clerks is clear: Don’t hand out those licenses.
The city of Santa Fe's attorney concluded that same-sex marriage is legal under state law in March. After months of study,however, the Attorney General said he doesn’t see it that way.
“We cannot state definitively that state law currently permits same-sex marriage,” King said Thursday. “Therefore, we’re cautioning the county clerks against issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples before the courts have decided the issue or until the legislature changes the law."
Same-sex marriage supporters say they’re dismayed at King’s position, but said they're not giving up.
“Let’s move this forward,” said Pat Davis of Progress Now New Mexico. “Let same-sex couples marry if they love each other. That’s really the question here and that’s why it’s so disappointing. We really wanted that to end in New Mexico - discrimination to end in New Mexico today – and it won’t.”
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule next week on California’s ban on same-sex marriage – a decision that could impact other states.
King said he personally thinks the state should not prevent same-sex couples from sharing the same legal rights that opposite-sex couples have.