Judge: Lesbian couple must get divorced

Aug. 10, 2010 at 2:55 PM

SANTA FE, N.M., Aug. 10 (UPI) -- A judge in New Mexico has ruled a marriage license a lesbian couple obtained six years ago is valid, and they must now obtain a divorce to void it.

The license was one of 66 Sandoval County Clerk Victoria Dunlap issued to same-sex couples in a single day in 2004 before the state attorney general convinced her to stop. District Court Judge Sarah Singleton ruled Monday the licenses were "not void from the inception but merely voidable," The Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

Under New Mexican law, gay marriage is not legal but is not expressly banned. Singleton said she believes the only marriage license that would have no legal force would be one for an incestuous marriage.

Karla JaNelle Haught and Angela Marie Carrejo are disputing ownership of two properties, a home in Santa Fe and a ranch in Rio Arriba County on the Colorado border. Haught, who received both from her parents, argues Carrejo is not entitled to share in them because they were never legally married.

Singleton took no position on whether gay marriage is or should be legal.

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