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New Mexico court considers legalizing gay marriage

October 23, 2013 • State News

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s highest court stepped into the fray over gay marriage on Wednesday, with the state attorney general and gay rights advocates urging justices to order county clerks statewide to allow the unions.

The Supreme Court heard from lawyers in a case that could determine whether gay marriage is legal across New Mexico. The five justices will issue a decision later.

At issue is an Albuquerque district judge’s ruling in late August that denying marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples is unconstitutional.

County clerks statewide have asked the justices to clarify state law because eight of the 33 clerks are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Their lawyer, Daniel Ivey-Soto, told the justices a uniform rule is needed.

“We have county clerks who are truly struggling with this issue on a daily basis,” he said.

To date, he said, nearly 1,500 same-sex licenses have been issued in New Mexico.

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