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Santa Fe County in N.M. permits gay unions

SANTA FE, N.M. — The Santa Fe County clerk, in New Mexico’s capital, began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Friday, a court-ordered move that came two days after a county clerk in southern New Mexico decided on his own to recognize gay marriage.

Under orders from a judge overseeing a lawsuit by two Santa Fe men trying to get married, County Clerk Geraldine Salazar began issuing licenses to same-sex couples shortly after 1:30 p.m.

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The order late Thursday from District Judge Sarah Singleton in the suit represents the first time a New Mexico judge ruled that gay and lesbian couples can be married, said state Representative Brian Egolf, a lawyer representing the men.

New Mexico law doesn’t explicitly prohibit or authorize same-sex couples to be married, but Attorney General Gary King contends the law violates equal protection rights.

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