Same-sex marriage license issuances delayed due to system updates

Posted at: 08/26/2013 10:36 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4

As soon as the judge’s ruling came down on Monday, same-sex couples rushed over to the Bernalillo County Clerk’s Office to get married.

But all of these couples walked out of Civic Plaza without a marriage license in hand.

Same-sex couples have filed into the Bernalillo County Clerk’s Office before but have been denied a marriage license.

But on Monday afternoon couples like Jessica Dunn and Shanda Shaw weren’t denied a marriage license.

A county clerk office employee told them, "They said they will not be issuing licenses until tomorrow at 8 o'clock."

Gay and lesbian couples were told they’d have to wait until Tuesday morning to get married.

The county clerk’s office says it needs to get its system ready to file same-sex marriage licenses.

“Because Santa Fe did it so quickly so we were sort of disappointed that we couldn't like stay late at the court office and do it today," said Jessica Dunn of Albuquerque.

Bridgette Noriega and Stacy Ruiz could hardly believe they were filling out a marriage license application after being in relationship for four years.

"It's a huge decision for us and we've come a long way," said Noriega.

Her father Gavino Noriega said his niece also drove in from Arizona hoping she too could file with her partner.

“When two people are in love that's what makes the world go round: love,” he said.

"As far as we've come for gays and lesbians, we've seen many of our friends pass away and be bullied so we've come a long way we're just ecstatic that we're finally able to get married,” said Stacy Ruiz.

“I've waited seven years, I can wait one more day,” said Shanda Shaw.

County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver says if her office hadn’t already ordered a thousand “gender-neutral” marriage licenses, it would have taken even longer to start issuing licenses to same-sex couples.

Liberal activist group, Progress Now New Mexico is planning a big event on Tuesday to mark the historic ruling.
The group will be holding marriage ceremonies on Civic Plaza starting at noon on Tuesday.

Wedding officiates will be on hand to marry same-sex couples.