NM County Clerk Who Spearheaded Marriage Equality Charge Donates Leftover Funds to Protect It

In late August, New Mexico's Doña Ana County made history when it began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. County Clerk Lynn Ellins was leading the charge, which engaged other counties until the the New Mexico Supreme Court finally decided the matter.

EllinsIn September, Ellins began raising private donations to help the county cover the cost of its legal fees and the fundraising effort was so successful that there was more cash to spare.

Ellins is now donating that money to a New Mexico group established to protect equal marriage rights, the Las Cruces Sun reports:

Ellins had raised private donations — via a website and at his county office — to pay for his defense in a civil lawsuit brought by opponents of his controversial August decision to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

After paying his legal bill, Ellins estimated a few thousand dollars are leftover. And he said he's giving that money to a campaign called New Mexico Unites for Marriage Equality.

"It's a nonprofit organization that was established the last year to basically protect the same-gender marriage rights," Ellins said.

Ellins' legal expenses tied to the state district court lawsuit totaled nearly $31,759, according to a Doña Ana County news release.


  1. ratbastard says

    No….no,no,no…..this isn’t fitting in well with the narrative. I mean,c’mon, he’s an old white guy! We’ve worked tirelessly to impress upon the masses that old white guys are all homophobic, sexist, racist warmongers who beat up transgendered Hispanic HIV+ undocumented migrants for kicks and giggles! Tired old pale white guys are the enemy! Now this story!

  2. oncemorewithfeeling says

    That gentleman is a true American hero.

    In years to come, when we remember the names of those who made equality a reality in this country, his name should be one of them.

    He not only secured marriage equality for the citizens of New Mexico, he advanced the cause of civil rights and equality for every American.

  3. GreatLakeSailor says

    Mister Ellins,

    If we had a properly functioning country, your moral actions would be the rule instead of the exception. But they were the exception, and that couldn’t have been easy.

    Thank you, Sir.

  4. ThomT says

    Lynn Ellins once again proved that there is never a wrong time to do the right thing. The results of doing the right thing ultimately resulted in changing the law in New Mexico. Fortunately Mr. Ellins was able to secure sufficient funds to cover the expenses of his defense. However, I think it is highly unlikely that he was ever really concerned about the cost. I believe his only concern was doing what he felt was the right thing. Thank you Mr. Ellins.

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