ALBUQUERQUE — Two Eastern New Mexico county clerks have submitted their resignations after the state Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision legalizing same-sex ‘marriage.’
Roosevelt County Clerk Donna Carpenter and her Deputy Clerk Janet Collins left their jobs on Friday following last week’s court ruling, as they would be responsible for issuing marriage licenses in the county.
Commissioner Bill Cathey told the Associated Press that the women had advised that they would walk away from their jobs “rather than be associated with that.”
“She told us in the past that’s what she would do,” he stated of Carpenter. “I am personally very disappointed in the decision of the judges, and I don’t blame our clerk for doing what she did.”
Pat Davis of ProgressNow New Mexico, a homosexual advocacy group in the state, told the New Mexico Telegram that he understood the clerks’ resignations.
“In the end, their decision to resign is honorable if they feel that they are unable to execute their duties under the law,” he stated.
There had heretofore been disagreement among county clerks in the state as to whether or not it was permissible under the New Mexico Constitution to issue licences for same-sex “marriages,” thus prompting a lawsuit over the matter. Four district court judges had ordered clerks in Santa Fe, Bernalillo, Taos and Grant County to issue the licenses this year in various localized lawsuits, and one clerk in Dona Ana County had also begun issuing licenses on his own volition.
As previously reported, last Thursday, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to those in same-sex relationships.
“Denying same-gender couples the right to marry and thus depriving them and their families of the rights, protections, and responsibilities of civil marriage violates the equality demanded by the Equal Protection Clause of the New Mexico Constitution,” wrote Judge Edward Chavez on behalf of the five-judge panel.
However, the Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) issued a statement following the decision, disagreeing with the court’s line of logic.
“The New Mexico Supreme Court ignored that time-tested understanding of marriage and replaced it with the recently conceived notion that marriage means special government recognition for close relationships,” stated legal counsel Jim Campbell. “This unfortunate result prevents New Mexicans from deciding the future of marriage–its very definition as well as its role in society–through an inclusive democratic process.”
Governor Susanna Martinez, who opposes same-sex “marriage,” also contended that the matter should have been decided by voters, rather than in the courts.
“My personal views on this issue are well-known, and I’m confident that most New Mexicans believe, like I do, that it should have been settled by a vote of the people,” she told reporters.
Therefore, State Senator William Sharer (R-Farmington) has advised that he plans to present a proposal in the legislature to put a constitutional marriage amendment on the ballot in an attempt to protect marriage from the courts.