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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The county clerk in the New Mexico state capital and the heart of this state's gay rights movement began issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples Friday, a court-ordered move that came just two days after a county clerk in the south decided on his own to recognize same-sex marriage.
The first couple to get a license in the state's third-largest county was Santa Fe County Commissioner Liz Stefanics and Linda Siegle, a lobbyist for Equality New Mexico, a gay rights group. Stefanics is a former Democratic state senator from Santa Fe.
The couple walked into County Clerk Geraldine Salazar's office shortly after 1:30 p.m., and asked if they were still denying licenses to same-sex couples.
"Not today," Salazar said.
Also receiving a license were the two men who filed the lawsuit that resulted in the court order directing the clerk to issue the licenses — Alexander Hanna and Yon Hudson.
"It's exhilarating and also humbling," Hudson said.
The order late Thursday from District Judge Sarah Singleton represents the first time a New Mexico judge has ruled that gay and lesbian couples can be married, said state Rep. Brian Egolf, a lawyer representing Hanna and Hudson in the suit.
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