New Mexico County Clerk, who has “exhausted his patience waiting for the courts,” To Issue Marriage Licenses to Same-Sex Couples

August 22nd, 2013

More developments in the rule of law and same-sex marriage (see my earlier posts here and here), from New Mexico:

The clerk, Lynn Ellins, said he had exhausted his patience waiting for the courts to resolve the ambiguity between the state’s definition of marriage, which makes no mention of gender, and the marriage applications used by county clerks, which require couples to list their names under “bride” and “groom.” The issue was central to the lawsuits filed by same-sex couples in Albuquerque in March, and by Alexander Hanna and his partner, Yon Hudson, in Santa Fe in June.

“If the court tells me to stop, I’ll stop,” Mr. Ellins said. “But until that happens, we’re open for business.”

Why should anyone wait for the courts? We all know this is the right thing to do. “Moral disapproval” is not a rational basis. Why shouldn’t clerks in all 50 states take it upon themselves to do what everyone knows the Supreme Court will do in OT 2015, when it recognizes that bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional. Why wait till June 2016. Let’s do it now, and spare the Justices the discomfort of making that decision.