Two New Mexico Counties Stop Officiating Weddings

Staff Report
Associated Press

CARLSBAD, N.M. - Judges in two southeastern New Mexico counties say they will no longer officiate weddings after the state's high court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports that judges in Eddy and Chaves Counties recently announced they won't officiate civil marriage ceremonies for straight or same-sex couples.

In December, the New Mexico Supreme Court decided it was unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

Officials in both counties say the decision was made a few months ago.

State law does not require judges to officiate weddings but county clerks are required to issue licenses that must be signed by a judge, minister or tribal representative.

Eddy County Magistrate Judge Henry Castaneda says he doesn't have a problem with same-sex marriage but judges don't have to compromise their beliefs.