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Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 7:14pm
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The New Mexico Supreme Court will listen to arguments Wednesday morning on whether same-sex marriage is legal in the state.
The issue became even more controversial when Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins was the first in New Mexico to issue marriage licenses to all couples regardless of gender.
"It's going to be a unique experience in terms of Supreme Court hearings," Ellins said.
The court will hear a case from northern New Mexico where six same-sex couples are suing Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties for for the freedom to marry.
The ruling will extend to all 33 counties in the state and all county clerks will be required to issue marriage licenses to all couples if the court upholds same-sex marriage as legal.
It will then give legitimacy to all the marriage that have been licensed and performed so far," Ellins said of the hearing's magnitude.
Each side will be granted an extended length of time to argue it's case with both parties being granted an hour a piece.
Ellins was granted party-in-interest status but said the American Civil Liberties Union will take the counties' stance and make arguments based on the constitution.
"I'm pretty certain that the Supreme Court will uphold that the county clerks are required to issue same-sex marriage licenses," Ellins said.
An immediate ruling after the hearing is not likely and the court expects an overflow crowd Wednesday morning in Santa Fe.
Two additional rooms have been set aside for the 9 a.m. hearing.