As of this week, six of New Mexico's 33 counties — Santa Fe, Bernalillo, Taos, Valencia, San Miguel, and Doña Ana — are issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. More than half of New Mexico residents — 56% — live in a county with marriage equality.
In Bernalillo County, which includes Albuquerque, Patricia Catlett and Karen Schmiege, partners of 25 years, were reportedly the first same-sex couple to receive a license.
"I’m very happy and proud to finally be issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Bernalillo County," County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver said on Facebook, according to the The New York Times. "Furthermore, I am beyond relieved to have some judicial guidance in this matter that immediately resolves the conflict that existed between state law and our state constitution. Marriage is a fundamental civil right that should be acknowledged and respected at all levels of government."
Later, a mass wedding in Albuquerque's Civic Plaza took place Tuesday while other couples applied for marriage licenses in the county's offices. Albuquerque has printed 1,000 gender-neutral licenses in anticipation of the influx of same-sex couples seeking to exchange vows, according to local TV station KRQE.
And here's a shot of Bernalillo County Clerk Oliver marrying an unidentified lesbian couple.
Finally, we'll close with this heartwarming shot of two lesbian couples among the hundreds who were married at the mass wedding ceremony in Albuquerque on Tuesday.