The New Mexico Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today about whether state law permits same-sex couples to marry in the state.
Currently, the state’s law is silent on the issue. As a result, some counties in the state have allowed same-sex couples to marry, while others have refused. To date, same-sex couples have married in eight of the state’s 33 counties, and at least two judges have upheld marriage equality under the state constitution. Over 900 marriage licenses have been issued across the state, but some Republican lawmakers have voiced opposition.
A group of same-sex couples represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of New Mexico, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and several local attorneys sued in March after initially being denied marriage licenses. A New Mexico judge ruled in favor of the couples in September. Thereafter, the New Mexico Association of Counties, joined by every county clerk, requested that the New Mexico Supreme Court immediately review the decision in order to settle several open cases around the state.
Although the Court has not expressed when it will make its decision, it will allow same-sex marriages to continue pending the outcome.
Media Resources: Daily Times 10/22/13; Huffington Post 10/23/13; American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico; NPR 10/22/13