ELLINS PAYS OFF LEGAL BILLS, DONATES THE BALANCE

ELLINS PAYS OFF LEGAL BILLS, DONATES THE BALANCE

            When Doña Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins announced on Aug. 21, 2013, that his office would begin issuing marriage licenses to same-gender couples, a group of Republican New Mexico legislators challenged him in the Third Judicial District Court.

            Working with ProgressNow of New Mexico, Ellins sought donations of private funds to defend against the lawsuit, which has since been dismissed after the New Mexico Supreme Court upheld marriage equality across the state in a Dec. 19 ruling.

Ellins said today that of $33,066.68 collected in donations, $31,758.70 was spent defending the lawsuit and joining in the Supreme Court case. The balance has been donated to the New Mexico Unites For Marriage Coalition.

            “We did the right thing at the right time by issuing the licenses last August, and we’re doing the right thing now by donating the balance of our legal-defense fund to the coalition that stood beside us while we waited for the Supreme Court to make its determination,” Ellins said. “I want to thank all who donated, thereby helping me keep my pledge to the taxpayers of Doña Ana County that I would not use their tax dollars to wage this important fight for equality.”

            For information about New Mexico marriage license requirements, call the Doña Ana County Clerk’s Office at (575) 647-7421.

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Reporters seeking more information or interviews: may call county Public Information Director Jess Williams at (575) 525-5801.