New Mexico Judges Refuse To Officiate All Weddings

Back in December, New Mexico became the 17th state to introduce marriage equality. But judges in two of those state's counties (Eddy and Chaves Counties) have decided to stop performing any and all marriages

The Albuquerque Journal reports on the response of one of those judges, Eddy County Magistrate Judge Henry Castaneda who said: “I don’t have a problem with who wants to get married. But we don’t have to compromise our beliefs.”

The Current-Argus reports


Neighboring county judges have also decided to no longer perform marriages. Jeff Ortega, chief deputy clerk for Chaves County, said judges informed the county of their decision months before the supreme court decision. In Lea County, however, two judges in Lovington did notify the county clerk that they were still going to continue to officiate weddings, said Pat Chappelle, Lea County clerk. Chappelle said the county has not received a significant spike in marriage licenses since the ruling, but the process has been a little slower because of a shortage of people who can legally sign off on marriage licenses.

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

Watch a KRQE news segment about the story, AFTER THE JUMP.