Attorney General Gary King: 2004 Same-Gender Marriage Licenses in Sandoval County OK

Responding to citizen complaints that their same sex marriage licenses from Sandoval County had been declared void, Attorney General Gary King today advised the county clerk that only the courts have that authority.

Attorney General Gary King

Attorney General Gary King

In a letter to Sandoval County Clerk Eileen Garbagni, AG King states: “It has come to the attention of this Office that you have discovered the word “void” or “illegal” affixed to marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples by the former Sandoval County Clerk in 2004.  Under New Mexico law, as set forth at NMSA 1978, Section 40-1-9, it is clear that only the courts of New Mexico are invested with the authority to void marriage licenses.”

Attorney General King says that while New Mexico county clerks have the legal duty to issue marriage licenses, nothing in State law gives them the right to invalidate marriage licenses.  The AG adds that absent a court directive, a marriage license issued by a New Mexico county clerk is considered to be valid.

Read Attorney General Gary King’s letter to Sandoval County Clerk Eileen Gabagni