Main | Saturday, September 07, 2013

NEW MEXICO: State Supreme Court Sets Date For Marriage Equality Hearing

Late yesterday afternoon New Mexico's state Supreme Court agreed to decide on marriage equality in a hearing to begin next month.
Stepping into an intensifying debate over same-sex marriage in a state where such unions are neither expressly recognized nor prohibited by law, the high court set a hearing for Oct. 23 to consider a request from all 33 counties statewide to settle the matter. All five of the justices concurred in ordering a review of the case without comment. The justices had previously declined to intervene on the issue, saying they would leave it to the lower courts to rule on lawsuits being filed in different counties. Separately, several Republican lawmakers filed a lawsuit challenging a Dona Ana County clerk who began voluntarily handing out marriage licenses to same-sex couples last month. Several counties have done likewise since then, some on their own and some under court order. Both sides in the debate welcomed the intervention of the Supreme Court.
It's unclear what impact yesterday's decision might have on the lawsuit filed against Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins, who earlier yesterday asked the public for donations to help in his defense.

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