Los Alamos County to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses

Posted at: 09/04/2013 5:34 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

On Wednesday, a district court judge upheld a ruling making Los Alamos the eighth county statewide to allow same-sex marriage.

The question was whether the state legislature-issued marriage application, which said “male or female” and “bride or groom”, meant the county couldn’t issue licenses to couples with two men or two women.

Cheered on by supporters, a district court judge ruled the clerk can and should issue marriage licenses to all same sex couples that qualify.

“I did grow up here so for me it was important that it be a Los Alamos license,” Janet Newton said. “That's got a lot of power for anyone connected to community to recognize your community recognizes that you're equal.”

The judge said a gender-neutral statute overrules the application forms made up by the legislature. The county clerk, who had wanted to wait for a statewide ruling, accepted the ruling.

“Janet’s a hometown girl and Maria's a teacher,” Los Alamos County Clerk Sharon Stover said. “I went over to them and said our office is open, we're here, we will honor and comply with the judge’s decision.”

But she still says the state legislature needs to get involved.

“We've been caught up in this issue to be honest and we need the form, which is antiquated (to be changed),” Stover said. “It needs to fixed- that's what we hope would happen through the state legislature.”

The county clerk says she’ll keep using the current forms – which do call for a female and male – until the legislature issues a new one. That’s because she believes she’s required by law to use the given form.