New Mexico’s Counties Ask State Supreme Court to Decide if Gay Marriage is Legal

With eight counties in New Mexico handing out marriage licenses to same-sex couples, lawsuits have begun, and the state's counties want the high court to rule on what's happening, the AP reports:

NewmexicoThe New Mexico Association of Counties and clerks statewide filed a petition seeking clarity in a legal dispute that has changed rapidly in the past two weeks since a southern New Mexico clerk independently began issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

Since then, seven other counties followed — some because of court orders in response to lawsuits by same-sex couples.

More than 900 marriage licenses have been granted to gay and lesbian couples in the state, according to the lawsuit.

It remains uncertain whether the Supreme Court will accept the case.

"The bottom line is we're looking for a uniform answer," said Steve Kopelman, general counsel for the county group. "There's a controversy here. This is not a simple issue legally. But we're not weighing in on the moral issue. We're weighing in on the law."

State law on marriage is gender-neutral and does not define marriage as between a man and a woman. Nor does it prohibit same-sex marriage.