New Mexico's highest court to hear same-sex marriage case

BY admin

June 24 2004 12:00 AM ET

The New Mexico supreme court has requested written legal arguments from the attorney general's office in a dispute over a county clerk's issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Sandoval County clerk Victoria Dunlap asked the court earlier this month to dismiss a temporary restraining order preventing her from handing out more marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. The court, in a one-page order on Monday, directed the state to file written arguments by July 6 responding to Dunlap's petition before the justices. Asst. Atty. Gen. Chris Coppin said Wednesday that he had not seen the court's order but that the attorney general's office would file its response by the deadline. He would not discuss how that response would read. The court typically seeks responses from parties in a case before determining how to proceed. No hearing has been scheduled in the case.

Dunlap issued 66 marriage licenses to same-sex couples on February 20. She contends that New Mexico laws support same-sex marriages and that she should be allowed to resume issuing licenses to same-sex couples. The attorney general's office contends that state law limits marriage in New Mexico to a man and a woman.

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