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County clerk in New Mexico and her deputy resign rather than issue marriage licenses to gay couples

County clerk in New Mexico and her deputy resign rather than issue marriage licenses to gay couples

A ruling this week by the New Mexico Supreme Court means that all 33 counties in the state must begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

That includes Roosevelt County where Donna Carpenter in the county clerk and Janet Collins is her chief deputy.

Rather than have to comply with the law, the two women resigned from their jobs on Friday (20 December), according to state’s largest progressive advocacy organization ProgressNowNM which supported the campaign for marriage.

Roosevelt County Manager Charlene Webb confirmed the resignations. The county commission will appoint a new clerk.

‘We respect that these women made a tough decision,’ Pat Davis of ProgressNowNM says in a statement. ‘In the end, their decision to resign is honorable if they feel that they are unable to execute their duties under the law.’

All 33 New Mexico counties sought a decision on the marriage issue from the state’s Supreme Court after some county clerks began issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

States Davis: ‘All of our county clerks deserve credit for coming together to ask for a definitive decision on this issue of equality and we look forward to every clerk in the state offering licenses to every loving couple in their county.’

The justices unanimously found that barring couples from marrying based on their sexual orientation violates the Equal Protection Clause of the state’s constitution.