Out of town same-sex couples apply for marriage licenses in Dona Ana County
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Thursday was another busy day for the Dona Ana County Clerk's office as they continue to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
On Wednesday, County Clerk Lynn Ellins announced his office would grant marriage licenses to all couples.
"They think it's fantastic," Ellins said. "Some have said they have been waiting for years."
On the first day 42 marriage licenses to same-sex couples were issued mostly to area applicants.
But on Thursday the office issued 40 licenses and most have been to people from as far as Lubbock, Texas and all over New Mexico.
"We wanted to leave last night because I was really afraid they would close this window off opportunity," said Jamie Smith who drove to Las Cruces with her partner Karin Thron.
Couples like Smith and Thron already consider themselves married and even had a ceremony three years ago.
Before their trip to Las Cruces the couple even tried explaining the opportunity to their 7-year-old son.
"You already got married he said to us," Thron said. "Well it means a lot of things now that the state recognizes it in a way it didn't before and that's really important."
Ellins said he has had minimal negative feedback from the public and has only received one email and a phone call.
He said he's not sure when the turnout will die down but said his office will accommodate all couples regardless of gender until he is told otherwise by a higher state authority.