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Lawyers see recent gay marriages as legally solid

August 29, 2013 • State News

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — As hundreds of gay couples flock to courthouses around New Mexico to get married, they are closely watching the next steps to be taken by the state’s highest court, the Legislature and possibly voters to resolve lingering legal questions on the issue.

For now, six of the state’s 33 counties are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples and a number of other clerks say they’re waiting for a court order before they take similar steps.

What remains uncertain is when or how a legal challenge over same-sex marriage reaches the five-member Supreme Court. Justices on Wednesday rejected a request to take control of pending lawsuits over gay marriage and consolidate them before a single judge, representing a procedural setback for advocates who hoped it could provide a way for a speedy decision by the court to offer a uniform policy on gay marriage.

In the meantime, recently married couples aren’t caught in legal limbo, according to Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, a professor of family law at the University of New Mexico. She said Wednesday the marriages are legally sound and presumed valid.

“Folks who have received marriage licenses from county clerks and have gotten married with those licenses are just as married as anyone else,” said Login to read more

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