County in New Mexico Begins Issuing Marriage Licenses to Same-Sex Couples
The county of Dona Ana, New Mexico has begun to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the state Supreme Court referred a related case to lower courts.
Dona Ana Country Clerk Lynn Ellins announced on Wednesday that the County Clerk's office would being to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. "After careful review of New Mexico's laws it is clear that the state's marriage statutes are gender neutral and do not expressly prohibit Dona Ana County from issuing marriage licenses to same-gender couples," Ellis wrote in a statement. "Any further denial of marriage licenses to these couples violates the United States and New Mexico Constitution and the New Mexico Human Rights Act. Dona Ana County is upholding New Mexico law by issuing these marriage licenses, and I see no reason to make committed couples in Dona Ana County wait another minute to marry." The County Clerk's office issued 42 marriage licenses to same-sex couples by the end of the day.
Currently, there are two court cases in New Mexico challenging the denial of marriage certificates to same-sex couples. However, the New Mexico Supreme Court has refused to hear these cases before they go before a lower court. The ACLU of New Mexico had petitioned to expedite one case.
New Mexico Attorney General Gary King said he would not try to stop the county from issuing licenses.
Media Resources: Albuquerque Journal 8/22/2013; Associated Press 8/22/2013; Dona Ana County Clerk Statement 8/21/2013
2/27/2015 This Bipartisan Bill Will Hold Colleges Accountable for Ending Campus Sexual Assault - A bipartisan bill aimed at holding colleges and universities accountable for rape and sexual assault cases was introduced in Congress yesterday, spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Some of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act's key key provisions include a requirement of confidential reporting systems on colleges and universities, minimum training requirements for campus personnel, and stricter penalties for schools found to be in violation of Title IX or the Clery Act. . . .
2/26/2015 If This Bill Passes Federal Law Will Add Consent to Sex Ed Curriculums - Right now, federal law does not require health or sex education to include sexual assault prevention - but that could change with a new bill introduced by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).
The Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015, which was introduced earlier this month, would require all public secondary schools in the country to include teaching "safe relationship behavior" in order to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. . . .