Appeals expected to be filed following same-sex ruling

Posted at: 08/26/2013 6:26 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

So far nobody has gone to court to file any challenges to stop the county clerks in Santa Fe and Las Cruces from issuing same-sex marriage licenses, but leaders of the opposition on this issue say they’re not giving up and expect legal action.

One thing everybody on all sides of the issue seems to agree on is that they are confused and frustrated by the patchwork, fragmented, county-by-county approach this thing seems to be taking.

A district judge’s ruling in Santa Fe led the county clerk to start issuing same-sex licenses Friday afternoon, but there was no such order giving the green light to the clerk in Dona Ana County on Wednesday.

People for and against same-sex marriage are seeking a uniform state policy one way or the other – not a county-by-county jigsaw puzzle.

That includes Gov. Susana Martinez.

“This is not the way laws should be created,” Martinez said Monday afternoon. “There are 33 county clerks. We should not have a county clerk in the south decide different from a county clerk in the southeast, or different from someone in the northwest. You could truly have many different decisions that are made.”

Martinez personally opposes same-sex marriage, but favors letting the voters decide the issue on the ballot.

State Sen. William Sharer of Farmington, a legislative leader of the opposition on this issue, emailed a statement late Monday afternoon.

“Our legal team continues to review how to stop the usurping of the legislative function by some district court judges in regards to marriage in the state, and it continues to review how to stop the lawless actions of the Dona Ana County Clerk,” the statement said.

Other lawmakers told us they expect some members of the legislature and some county commissioners to file challenges to the actions in Santa Fe County and Dona Ana County.  Lawyers said a regular everyday citizen may have a hard time appealing a judge’s ruling on the issue, because you would have to be able to show that the ruling somehow harmed you, and that may be a difficult thing to do.